Edith Stephenson

Edith Arlone Stephenson died peacefully Jan. 25, 2023 at Bay Ridge Assisted Living Residence, Traverse City, having lived a good life of 101 years, 7 months and 3 days.

She is lovingly remembered as a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend whose optimistic, happy spirit cheered all those around her.

Edith was the fifth and last daughter of Frank and Goldie (Stahl) Route born June 22, 1921 in the family’s farm house near Brooklyn, Michigan.

On Dec. 31, 1940 she married “that neat-looking guy who was a terrific dancer,” Charles “Charlie” Stephenson in the parlor of that same family home. Their first son, Charles Richard “Dick,” was born in 1942; second son, Ross Ernest, in 1944, eighteen months before Charlie returned from having served in Europe during World War II. Following the war, they settled in Tecumseh where Edith enjoyed caring for her home and “her boys.”

With their many family friends, they enjoyed outings for fishing, picnicking and always a baseball game with everyone playing. She often said some of her favorite years were when the boys were in high school. They had moved to New Holstein with dad’s job transfer, and the boys were popular, actively involved in sports and music. Edith loved cheering and applauding their accomplishments.

Edith demonstrated what some have called her “servant-spirit” with the many leadership and volunteer positions she held: president of the Church Guild, always a member of her church choirs, worthy matron of her chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, president of the Winnebagoland Regional Garden Club and of the Wisconsin State Garden Club and president of the New Holstein Civic Club. She was an active volunteer at the hospital and at local blood drives. She was presented with the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Garden Club of Wisconsin, and she was recognized with the “Outstanding Woman Award” by the New Holstein Jaycettes. Even in her last years, one of her caregivers reported that she “always wanted to know how she could help.”

Edith loved family gatherings. Their cottage on Found Lake near St. Germain was a favorite place for the family in the summer and winter holidays. She packed great picnics for the family to enjoy on the lake’s island. She would spend hours playing games around the table with her grandchildren or splashing in the lake as they jumped from a small raft. She was quick to join bicycle rides, hikes in the woods and cross country skiing adventures.

Edith kept her cheerful outlook even after experiencing tragedy and sadness. She lost her older son Richard, her daughter-in-law Lynn (Cooley) and her grandson Andrew David in a fatal plane crash in 1987. She was also preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years; her parents; her four older sisters, Mabel (Howard) Dewey, Ruth (Russell) Brix, Lila Jean (Robert) Reed and Elizabeth (Arlo) Emerson; and many relatives and friends.

Edith was proud of her accomplished son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by son Ross Ernest (Dianne Jackson) Stephenson; her five grandchildren, Julie (Bill) Palm, Matt (Shelly Siebert) Stephenson, Molly (Dale Fenn) Stephenson, Sarah (Brad) Babcock and Jill (Dan McCole) Stephenson-McCole; and her nine great-grandchildren, Emma Palm, Sophie Stephenson, Charlie Palm, Mikaela Fenn, Declan McCole, Fiona McCole, Kiara Fenn, Ian Babcock and Sydney Babcock.

In 2010 when this family had joined her around the casket of her beloved Charlie, she declared, “Not a clinker in the bunch!”

Edith’s family and friends will celebrate her life on Friday, Feb. 3 gathering at 12:30 p.m. at the Eineder Funeral Home—Brooklyn Chapel, 137 South Main St., Brooklyn, Michigan until the time of service at 1:30 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. John E. Harnish officiating.

Interment will be in Maple Shade Cemetery, Onsted, immediately following the service. In Edith’s honor memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Michigan, 10850 E. Traverse Hwy 3325, Traverse City, MI 49684.

Please leave a message of comfort for Edith’s family or sign her guestbook at www.EinederFuneralHomes.com.

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