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Douglas Stenstrom

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Douglas Stenstrom Notice
STENSTROM, DOUGLAS life-long resident of Seminole County, died June 23, 2010., at age 88. Born in Sanford September 5, 1921, he was the second son of Orin Herbert Stenstrom, descendent of early Swedish Sanford settlers, and Cora Bradshaw
Stenstrom, native of Morganton, NC. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1942 and served during World War II in the South Pacific in the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service. He attended the University of Virginia College of Law 1945-47 and graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1948. Stenstrom was a former Seminole County Judge and member of the Florida Senate for Brevard and Seminole Counties. While Judge, he co-authored Florida's first Juvenile Court Act. He represented the Senate on the Joint Interim Committee on Mental Health which modernized methods of treating the mentally ill in Florida. He co-authored legislation creating Florida's Community College System, and co-sponsored legislation creating the University of Florida College of Medicine, the University of South Florida, and many acts relating to strengthening Florida's public schools. In 1954, Stenstrom founded his law firm, now known as Stenstrom, McIntosh, Colbert, Whigham, Reischmann & Partlow, P.A., at Sanford, and served as Senior Partner until his retirement in 1988. He was very proud that his firm has continued for over 55 years and that five lawyers associated with the firm over the years have gone on to serve as Florida Circuit Judges. A former member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar, he chaired its Committee on Law Reform and served on the President's Selected Committee to strengthen legal education in Florida. The Florida Legislature in 1978 named the then new State Road 415 bridge over the St. John's River for Stenstrom for his work over many years in the field of transportation. He led the fight to obtain the I-4 Interchange at Lake Mary Boulevard and worked for many other road and bridge improvements in Seminole County, as Chairman of the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce on Roads and Bridges Committee for over 20 years. Stenstrom was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Sanford and served as Vice President of the Florida Baptist Men. He also served as Senior Commander of the Florida Department of Disabled American Veterans. In his retirement years, he has chaired the City of Sanford Museum Commission where there is a current display of his historical scrapbooks, served as President of the Seminole County Historical Society, and as a member emeritus of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army at Sanford. He was an Honorary Member of the Kiwanis Club of Sanford and the Ixora Garden Club. Judge Stenstrom gave full credit for whatever good he may have contributed in his life to his beloved mother, a North Carolina farm girl who shaped his life, and to his late beloved wife, Florence Wells Stenstrom, who predeceased him in 1994 and with whom he shared 51 years. He was also predeceased by his parents, his sister, Ruth, and his brother, Julian and Herbert. He is survived by his present wife, companion and helpmate, Gladys; his son, Douglas, Jr., of Costa Rica; his daughter, Patricia Fesperman and her husband, Thomas; grandchildren, Stephen, Angela and Bridget, all of Asheville, NC; his brother, Frank, of Lake Mary; stepbrother, John Salsbury, of Sanford; 24 nieces and nephews and 42 grandnieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make remembrances to the First Baptist Church of Sanford, 519 Park Avenue; the Salvation Army, 700 West 24th Street; the Good Samaritan Home, 1704 West 9th St.; or to the charity of choice. The family will receive friends on Sunday, June 27, 2010 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Gramkow Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10 a.m., First Baptist Church of Sanford, with Reverend Wendell Bishop, officiating. A visitation prior to the service will be held at the church from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Interment will be private. Arrangements entrusted to Gramkow Funeral Home & Crematory, 500 East Airport Blvd., Sanford, Florida 32773 (407) 322-3213
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on June 27, 2010
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