Obituary: Lee “Poldi” Stevenson — long-time Darien resident, mother-in-law of first selectman
Lee “Poldi” Stevenson, a 30 year resident of Darien, died peacefully on January 24th. Her entire family was by her side when she passed. Her strength and joyful spirit prevailed as her room was filled with love and laughter through her final moments.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, John Buchanan Stevenson III; her son and daughter-in-law, John and Jayme Stevenson of Darien, CT; her son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Gabrielle Stevenson of Southport, CT; her daughter and son-in-law, Joan and Don McDonald of Bellevue, WA; and her 13 grandchildren: Alexandra, DL, Samantha, Ross, Kendall, Charlett, Amanda, Brett, McKenna, Ian, Hailey, John V and Kyle. Lee was preceded in death by her sister Charlett Strohlein of Hamburg, Germany and is survived by her half-sister, Jutta Schmoldt’s of Hamburg, Germany.
Lee was born in NYC in 1930 but her family moved to Germany in 1936 to care for her ailing grandmother. With war breaking out in 1939, the family was forced to remain in Germany through the entirety of fighting and Lee witnessed some of the worst of times. Who could have known, but of the thousands of American B-24 Bombers flying missions from bases throughout Europe, a tail-gunner on one of them was destined to be her husband. Both having survived the war, it was 1948 and Lee was living at the YWCA in Stamford, CT employed at American Cyanamid. As Stamford was John’s hometown, it was where he returned after the war. A blind date was arranged and the rest is history.
Born with an eagerness for knowledge Lee pursued her love of learning throughout her life. Lee embraced Bible Study, Bridge Club, Book Club,the study of art, music, history, literature, gardening and enjoyed social media through her 86th year, Lee loved it all. Lee’s enthusiasm was infectious and as her three children will attest there was no better collaborator on homework assignments, reports and projects. John and Lee spent much of their retirement traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad. Visiting China, Australia or Colorado, every detail of the trips were meticulously planned, as Lee spent 8 years as a travel agent. Wherever they went one constant remained: John driving with Lee by his side co-piloting. As diverse as Lee’s interest were, one constant always endured: Family. A devoted wife, dedicated mother and encouraging grandmother remain her everlasting legacy.
The Stevenson Family would like to thank all the nurses at Norwalk Hospital for their concern and special care and compassion. And a special thanks to Pastor Paul Whitmore for providing spiritual comfort and guidance throughout the entire process.
A celebration of Lee’s life will be held in June.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southport Congregational Church, care of the Missions Board, 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT 06890, which supports local charities throughout the county.