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Lydia Beebe Hastings Stevens

1918 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Lydia Beebe Hastings Stevens Obituary

Lydia Beebe Hastings, 95, of Guilford, died peacefully at her home, February 25, 2014. She lived a life of service to family and community, always expressing appreciation for the opportunities life presented. A role model for four generations she was an avid gardener, sailor, birdwatcher, world traveler, lifelong community activist and committed environmentalist. She lived fully with dignity, humor, integrity and compassion. Born August 2, 1918 in Highland Park, Ill. to Rolland Thomas Rankin Hastings and Ruth Shotwell Beebe, she attended Elm Place School then Roycemore School. She graduated from Vassar College in 1939 and continued as an active Vassar alumna for many decades. She married George Cooke Stevens (Yale '36) of Wallingford in 1940. They lived in New Haven, and Mineola, NY then moved to Greenwich, in 1949 where they raised their six children. Lydia Stevens devoted over half a century of her life to the people and institutions of Greenwich. She served as president of the YWCA board and chaired its building committee, which oversaw the construction of its new building that opened in 1970. She was chairman of the Greenwich Commission on Aging, first president of the Greenwich Housing Coalition, consultant to the Carver Center of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, trustee of the Greenwich Public Library and of the United Way where she served as vice president of planning and chairman of the planning council. She was first winner of the YWCA's President's Award and was Greenwich Council of Churches and Synagogues Lay Person of the Year. She was trustee of the League of Women Voters, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Save the Sound and the Fairfield County Fund. She served as consultant to the International Executive Service Corps. A devout Episcopalian, she worked in many capacities as a lay leader at Christ Church, Greenwich and served as its first female senior warden starting in 1981. She worked on projects for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and was affiliated with the Alban Institute of Washington, DC Following her husband's death in 1977 she served as president of the Greenwich Broadcasting Corporation, parent company of WGCH where he had been president. She was twice elected, as a Republican, to represent the 151st district in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1988 and 1990. She continued to work on local issues in Greenwich after retiring from the legislature. In 2002 she moved full time to Guilford, to the home she and her husband designed with architect Fred Vogt in the 1970s. Predeceased by brother Rolland Thomas Rankin Hastings, Jr. in 1996 and sister Jean Hastings Ayres in 2011, she is survived by children, Lydia Stevens Gustin, New York, NY; Priscilla (Michael) Goldfarb, Garrison, NY; Frederick (Ramelle) Stevens, Chapel Hill, NC; Elizabeth Stevens (Norman MacLeod), Woodstock, VT; George Stevens, Willow Creek, CA; Ruth Stevens (Thomas M. Stellard), East Grand Rapids, MI; 15 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. A celebration of Lydia's life is planned for May 3, 2014, 11 a.m., Christ Episcopal Church, Greenwich. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Episcopal Relief and Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058 or www.episcopalrelief.org.

Published in The Hartford Courant from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2, 2014
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