Lucille Stubbs of Northampton, formerly of Sharon, Massachusetts, died peacefully at home on May 17, 2020. She was 94.
Born Lucille Frances Benedetti in New York City on August 16, 1925, she was raised in New Jersey and Westchester County, N.Y. She graduated from Eastchester High School in 1942, and worked as a model, then as a fashion designer in New York City. She was active in the USO during World War II. She was married to Harold Stubbs in 1945, after his return from service as a Major in the US Airforce overseas.
They moved to Boston, and subsequently Sharon, where they raised their two daughters Susan Lee and Deborah Ann. After her daughters reached school age, Lu pursued her lifelong dream of becoming an artist and enrolled in the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. She graduated with highest honors in 1964. She also did post-graduate studies at L'Accedemia di Belle Arte in Perugia, Italy.
She taught art at Boston University, the Boston Center for Adult Education, and Milton Academy. Her commissions as a sculptor included public art in Boston, Brookline, Charlestown, and Springfield, as well as a statue of Deborah Sampson in front of the Sharon Public Library. Her work was shown at several museums, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, where she had a solo show in 1977.
She is known in Northampton for "Pregnant Woman II," an eight foot outdoor bronze statue standing tall at the entrance of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and her "Happy Frog" sculpture in front of First Churches on Main Street, with a collection box to raise money to feed the hungry and homeless of Northampton.
For many years, Lu had had the wish to build her own home. In 1981, she attended a three-week intensive workshop at Shelter Institute in Maine which teaches lay people to design and build their own homes. She was later joined in this venture by her husband, and after a long process, the subdivision they applied for was approved by the Town of Sharon, and together they built a beautiful, energy-efficient home in their "back yard."
Lu and Hal enjoyed yearly vacations on Cape Cod, camping trips in the US, and trips to Europe with their family. Later in their lives they studied Italian together, and they made several trips to Italy, providing Lu the opportunity to connect with her Italian roots.
Though they enjoyed their home in the woods in Sharon, and planting and tending their garden in the field out in back, they decided that they wanted to spend their later years near their daughters (and families), both of whom had settled in Northampton. In 2001, they moved into the first-floor apartment in the multi-family house next door to their daughter Sue's home, which happened to come on the market just as they were considering the move to Northampton.
In their retirement years Lu and Hal were active in the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement and later in the similar Five-College program, in Northampton.
In addition to her lifelong passion for art, Lu enjoyed playing tennis and bridge with Hal. Later in life, as sculpture became too physically taxing for her, Lu channeled her creative energy into writing a memoir and many short stories and essays.
But her greatest joy in life was raising her two daughters, and frequently taking care of her two grandchildren, Robin and Rosie, from the time they were infants, taking them on trips as they grew, and spending time with them in their adulthood. In the last few years, her frequent visits with her great-grandson Azai always brought a smile to her face.
Lu was pre-deceased by her husband Harold (Hal) in 2016, a few days before they would have celebrated their 71st anniversary. She continued to live in her in-town apartment with the loving care and assistance of her personal caregiver Joyce Smith.
She leaves her brother Thomas Benedetti and sister-in-law Jean Benedetti of Tennessee; daughter Susan Stubbs, son-in-law Barry Goldstein, and daughter Mahi Swan of Northampton; son-in-law Siddharth Lodaya of Westfield; grandson Robin Stubbs Goldstein of Oakland, CA; and granddaughter Rosemary Stubbs Goldstein, partner Eraun Dugger, and great-grandson Azai Dugger of Northampton.
Lu is greatly missed by her family and the many friends who've grown to know and love her.
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on May 28, 2020.