Stasia Stearns, 104
WESTBROOK - Stasia Renski Stearns, 104, died peacefully with her family on Sunday, June 14, 2015. Born on July 14, 1910, Stasia was the second of five children to Charles and Laura Renski, who immigrated to the United States from Poland. She was proud of her Polish heritage and her role of matriarch to the extended Renski family. She was loved and admired by generations of her family and students.
She graduated from high school in Denmark, Maine, attended Gorham Normal School, earning a degree in education, followed by teaching in Albany, Sweden and Westbrook schools. She retired in 1976 after 27 years in the classroom, primarily in Westbrook at Bridge Street and Congin schools, teaching third and fourth grade. She will always be known as a strong advocate for reading.
Stasia was a 76 year resident of Westbrook living in the house she built with her husband of 60 years, Leo. She lived independently until recently moving to her daughter's home in Richmond, Maine. Her home and camp on Highland Lake were places where she gathered the family, gardened, knit and read, especially poetry. She always said maintaining her home, going up and down stairs, reading and doing word jumbles kept her mind and body strong. Last summer, Stasia was given the Key to the City of Westbrook by Mayor Hilton for her many years of residency.
She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Sharing time with loved ones was sacred and often involved food, games, stories and playing music. When not at home she and Leo often set off in the car to visit and attend events of family and friends. She was a great conversationalist and enjoyed sharing stories about growing up on the farm, traveling to school by horse and wagon, her parents and siblings, the classroom and all the changes she witnessed in the world.
Stasia cherished keeping everyone apprised of each other's activities, staying up to date on current events, listening to the radio, especially talk radio, and researching nutritional foods and remedies for good health.
She was predeceased by her husband, Leo, son, Fred, and her four siblings, Helen Cole, Josephine LeGoff, Celia Sanborn and Henry Renski. She is survived by her daughter, Joan Goodall of Richmond; her daughter-in-law Donna Stearns of Westbrook; five grandchildren, Jeffrey Stearns, Christopher and his wife Brenda Stearns, Shana Goodall, Benjamin and his wife Hilary Goodall, and Seth Goodall and his wife LeAnn Greenleaf; six great grandchildren; and loving nieces and nephews; all whose lives she touched and enriched.
Stasia will be buried at a private service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Westbrook. In lieu of flowers and to celebrate Stasia's love of books and poetry, it is hoped that people spend time reading to children and making a donation to a library of their choice.
Arrangements are under the care of Kincer Funeral Home 130 Pleasant St. Richmond, Me 04357