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1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
STENDAHL, Brita Kristina Of Cambridge, died on February 11, a month into her 92nd year. An educator, author, and translator, she was the widow of the Harvard New Testament scholar and Dean Krister Stendahl. She was born January 10, 1925, in Stockholm, Sweden, the daughter of Johan Wiktor Johnsson and Olga Ingeborg Normann. Her father was the director of the Stockholm City Mission, a major social service agency working among the neediest and most vulnerable. Coming to study at Uppsala University she met the young theologian who would become her life partner for more than sixty years. When he received his doctorate in 1954 and accepted a professorship at Harvard Brita and their children relocated with him to the U.S. Brita loved the diversity and ferment of life here and her curiosity and insight soon found expression in teaching, research, and writing. Through her hospitality, friendships, and intellectual engagement she touched countless lives. After 30 years at Harvard the Stendahls returned to Stockholm where Krister served for four years as Bishop and Brita was active in church and cultural affairs. Brita is survived by her children John Stendahl of Newton, Anna Langenfeld of Middleboro, and Dan Stendahl of Ipswich, along with their spouses Suzanne, Eric, and Susan. She is also lovingly mourned by her eight grandchildren and their spouses: Johanna and Len Glazer of Concord, Rebekah Stendahl and Paul Blankman of Natick, Sarah and Terry Osborne of Millbury, Nick and Holly Langenfeld of Fairhaven, Mia Stendahl and Bob Holt of Peterborough, NH, Shelby and Brian Lantagne of Milford, Brita Amanda Stendahl of Salem, and Max and Meredith Stendahl of Hoboken, NJ. She also found great delight in the next generation to come along, her great-grandchildren Joshua, Samantha, Lucy, Amy, Tyrian, Malcolm, Linnea, and Hooper. Brita also leaves two surviving siblings in Sweden, Ulf Johnsson and Gudrun Rosin. She is mourned by a wide circle of friends in church and community, including staff and fellow residents at The Cambridge Homes. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, February 16, at 11 a.m. at University Lutheran Church, 66 Winthrop Street, Cambridge. A memorial service celebrating her life is being planned for a future date at Harvard's Memorial Church. Contributions in Brita's memory may be made to the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, 66 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, or to refugee resettlement through The International Rescue Committee (www.rescue.org) or through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (www.lirs.org).
Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 14, 2016
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