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As graceful in death as she was in life, Catherine Lenore Stein passed away in Concord, NH, on July 5, 2013, lovingly attended by her children. By her own account, her long life was blessed and fulfilling. Catherine was born Feb. 10, 1917, in Bad Axe, MI, and she was always proud of her heritage. Her orphaned mother, Elizabeth Winifred Morgan, traveled alone to America at age 14 from Grange, County Down, Ireland to Detroit, MI, and earned her R.N. degree from St. Mary's Hospital in 1911. Her father, George Stephen Wagner, descended from some of the earliest settlers of Fort Pontchartrain (now Detroit). He started one of the first automobile dealerships in Michigan. After her father's death in 1928, Catherine's mother married Michael Albert Mausolf, a young freighter captain on the Great Lakes, who became a loving step-father to Catherine and her two brothers.

Catherine graduated from Harbor Beach (MI) High School in 1934 and enrolled in the highly regarded home economics program at Michigan State University, graduating in 1938. After graduation, she was appointed Head of the Homemaking Department at Petoskey (MI) High School. She married Edwin Eugene Stein in 1942. Catherine's greatest ambition in life was to be a good mother, and in this she excelled. She was a superb cook and seamstress, making most of her children's clothes, including their wedding dresses.

Upon their retirement in 1989, Catherine and Ed wintered in Green Valley. Catherine was always generous with her time and resources, serving as a volunteer in every community where she lived. In Green Valley, she volunteered at the Food Bank and the White Elephant. She was a faithful daughter of the Catholic Church and a parishioner of Our Lady of the Valley and San Martin de Porres Churches.

She was predeceased by her husband and is survived by her five children: Mary Susan Leahy, Kathleen Elizabeth Stein, Ellen Clare Stein, and Edwin Eugene Stein, all of Concord, NH; and Margaret Lenore Stein of Springfield, MA. Family and friends remember Catherine as a kind, thoughtful and generous lady, always optimistic about life. These wonderful qualities live on through her spirit.

Funeral services are private.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on July 21, 2013
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