Obituary: Varina Mason Steuert

Varina Mason Steuert, an active and enthusiastic supporter of the arts in both Fairfield County and New York City, died quietly at her home in Darien on Friday, Aug, 24 after a courageous battle with lymphoma cancer. She was 62.

Varina was a long-time member of the board of directors of the Stamford Symphony, for which she commissioned a musical composition by contemporary German composer Hans-Peter Preu and hosted numerous fund-raising events. For 18 years she performed bi-annual concerts with the Duo Piano Group of the Darien Community Association, for which she served as chairman and for their 50th anniversary commissioned a musical composition by contemporary American composer Eugenie Rocherolle.

She served as treasurer and a director of the Darien Community Association, and as a director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and of The National Society of Colonial Dames of New York City, and hosted fund raisers for the Westport Country Playhouse.

Mrs. Steuert was a long-time supporter of The Metropolitan Opera, a member of the Colony Club of New York City, the Garden Club and Tokeneke Club of Darien and the Ponte Vedra Club of Ponte Vedra, Fla., and an active member of the Noroton Presbyterian Church of Darien.

Prior to devoting herself to her family and artistic interests, Mrs. Steuert worked professionally for The Charter Company in Jacksonville, Washington, D.C. and New York City, and assisted their chairman, her father, in hosting visits to the U.S. by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Hassan II of Morocco and the Shah of Iran. Varina served as a director of Intrepid Capital Corporation and Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Inc. of County Galway, Ireland.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Varina was a graduate of Pine Manor College, Boston University and Columbia University, where she earned a graduate MBA degree. She also attended the master’s degree program in the History of the Decorative Arts and Design at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.

Varina is survived by her husband of 31 years, Joseph J. Steuert, with whom she had two sons who were the lights of her life, Raymond Michael Steuert and Joseph John Steuert V; two stepchildren, Elizabeth Steuert Riva and her husband Sebastiano and their daughters Grace and Emily, and Douglas R. Steuert; her parents, Raymond Knight and Minerva Rogers Mason; her sister, Marcy Mason Moody and her husband Tom; and her brother, Raymond Knight Mason, Jr. and his wife, Kim.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28 at the Noroton Presbyterian Church 2011 Post Rd, Darien, and a Memorial Service will be held at 11 am. on Friday, August 31 at the Riverside Presbyterian Church 849 Park St, Jacksonville, Fla.

Gifts of flowers should be directed to the Lawrence Funeral Home of 2119 Post Rd, Darien and to the Riverside Presbyterian Church of 849 Park St, Jacksonville, Fla., and the family suggests memorial donations to the Darien Community Association of 274 Middlesex Rd, Darien or