Mary Lee Stenstrom
Badger Funeral Home of Littleton
Littleton, MA
Mary Lee (Vorce) Stenstrom, 88, was reunited in heaven with her loving, devoted husband, the late John R "Bob" Stenstrom who passed away in 2003, her two adoring brothers: Raymond M Vorce Jr and Roger F Vorce, and her parents, Raymond M Vorce Sr and Grace S (Young) Vorce, on December 29, 2020.

She was born in Somerville on November 27, 1932 and was raised in Belmont. In 1950 Mary Lee graduated from Mount Trinity Academy in Watertown, MA where she competed on many sports teams, played several instruments, and made dear friends whom she kept in touch with throughout her life. She majored in Theology at Saint Mary's College of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, Class of 1954, where she became an avid Notre Dame football fan, driving all the way out to Notre Dame games and pep rallies to support her "Fighting Irish".

In 1951 her parents bought the family home in Littleton. It was there that she met and fell in love with the "boy next door", Bob Stenstrom. They were married in 1956 and raised their young family in the cottage behind her parents, before eventually moving into the family home to care for her father after her mother's death in 1963. Mary and Bob were happily married for forty-seven years before his passing in 2003, but they loved their life together and lived it to the fullest. The demands of a large family kept them busy, but they managed to maintain their beautiful property, care for the stables full of horses, attend mass together, camp one or two times each summer, and even managed to travel across country, their life-long dream which they fulfilled in 1982. Their true passion; however, was spending time with their family; attending their horse shows, sporting events, school functions, and family celebrations together. Later in life, Mary enjoyed watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's games, school events and concerts if she was physically able. She loved her pool and enjoyed time spent there with her family and friends. Her family was her pride and joy, and she was so proud of each one of them. Mary instilled the importance of family, and held many reunions at her home, which sometimes lasted two or three days, so her huge, extended family could spend time together.

Mary Lee was a hard worker and held many jobs to help support the family while raising their six children; Diagnostic Instruments, American Home Toy, Harwood Station Post Office, and Leads USA, to name a few. She also volunteered her time serving on Littleton Scholarship Trust Committee, Mill Pond Association, Nashoba Tech Booster Club, and she covered School Committee meetings, Littleton girl's track and field meets, softball games, and soccer games for the Littleton Independent Newspaper. Mary held many titles throughout her life including assistant leader in the first Littleton 4H Hack & Tack Horse Club, licensed horsemanship instructor, boy scout leader, but her most memorable title to her family was "Gaga", a loving and supportive wife, mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

In her spare time, Mary enjoyed making crafts, gardening, cooking, and watching her "Fighting Irish" games on television. She loved her country and organized Support Our Troops rallies which were held at the Littleton Common in 1991 and 2001.

Mary Lee was a strong, devout Catholic, a communicant of St Anne's Church in Littleton, a former CCD Instructor, a member of St Anne's Sodality and St Anne's Choir. She held and attended bible study meetings and lived her life helping others. She will be remembered for her strong faith, love and devotion to her family and friends.

She is survived by her six children, Jean Ellen Cruise and her husband, Mike, of Lakeville, MA; John Stenstrom Jr of Littleton; Anne Marie Tarca and her husband, Paul, of Littleton; Mary Grace Yow of Littleton; David Raymond Stenstrom and his wife, Michelle, of Brookline, NH, and Barbara Jean Rzezuski and her husband, John, of Littleton. She also leaves behind fifteen grandchildren, Patrick, and Sean Cruise; Shane and Devon Tarca; Shannon Michaud, Kirsten and Brandon Yow; Erin Skinner, Kelci Winch, Dalton, and Dustin Stenstrom; Cory, Shanelle, Dylan and Falynne Rzezuski; sixteen great-grandchildren and many loving cousins, nieces, and nephews. Mary is also survived by her dear sisters-in-law; Mariana Vorce of Dover, NH and Barbara Griffith of Hollywood, FL.

Mary's family is thankful for the loving, compassionate care she received from the staff at Bridges by Epoch in Westford. The family would also like to thank all their friends and family members for their condolences and kindness during this difficult time.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be a private graveside service for the family at the Westlawn Cemetery, Littleton. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mary's name to: The Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 Or online at:

Arrangements under the care of Badger Funeral Home, Littleton. To share a memory or offer a condolence visit:

View the online memorial for Mary Lee (Vorce) Stenstrom

Published by Lowell Sun on Jan. 10, 2021.
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17 Entries
Stenstrom Family: My thought and prayers for all of you at this time. I remember your mother very well and went to a few horse shows with all of you. She cared about everyone who came to the house and treated everyone like family. It is because of her I loved horses even more. I will cherish her memories always. Linda Eannuzzo McCray (formerly of W. Concord, Littleton, and Acton, MA).
Linda McCray
Family Friend
May 16, 2021
Jean & family, my condolences for the loss of your Mom. As a child I loved going to your home. Your Mom's smile lit up a room and she was so very nice. A life well lived. God Bless
Laurie Lewis
April 14, 2021
I knew Mary when I was a kid me and john were cub scouts together and she was scout master she was a great person she taught me about horses and many many other things. I haven't seen her in decades but I always think of her and her family they are wonderful people.
Gregory Rockwell Burns
Family Friend
February 16, 2021
Dear Dave and family, Heartfelt thoughts go out to you and your family in this time of sorrow. Mary sound like a wonderful woman, she had many adventures for you and your family to keep in your hearts and she will be with you forever.
June Selover
February 11, 2021
Dear Dave and family, Losing a loved one is never easy. Your mother has left a wonderful legacy. She certainly had an amazing life. You will think of her often, and it will make you smile. May the many memories you have shared with her bring you comfort. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Denise Venne
February 11, 2021
The Foundation..My heart is heavy as many are from the loss of Mary (aka Gaga) and as you read her much worded obituary you can clearly see what an amazing woman she truly was. I have been blessed to have been able to spend time with her whether it was from her kitchen table, poolside, at a family gathering or celebration and the many telephone conversations whether in concern or just the normal chit chat often walking down memories lane , recherishing the moments passed. So often in life we are brought to the attention of the many gifted, accomplished and famous for what ever their talent may be and sadly we miss out on the so many others who have made a clear and most remarkable impact in our world. As you've read the many achievements in Marys life whether you knew them all or not, one stands out more than the rest which was her high regard to be a good person and morally correct. It has and will continue to carry on and impact the many lives she touched by her many years of example. It is admirable , it is strong, and Im sure it was hard during difficult times but she stood by it consistently never giving up or into it what was considered acceptable by anyones eyes other than Gods. It shined through her day after day and she gave it freely to all. Ive seen its action during these years of her needed care when our life changes switch the care givers roles. Theres no doubt Marys forever home in heaven and her work here did not go unnoted, her good works admired , and highly celebrated . The foundation she laid was strong , still stands, is still working through others .Mary did as she was called to do, for His love will live on for many generations and be shared to so many. A true blessing.
Cynthia Sullivan
January 18, 2021
I'm so sorry Grace. I know how much she meant to you and how much you were there for her. My condolences to you and your family.
Deana Puleo
January 12, 2021
Mary made my life so enjoyable while we lived in Massachusetts. She was a good friend. My children missed them so much when we were transferred to another state. They still talk about the time we lived in Massachusetts. She was an amazing woman and will be missed by everyone.
Jane Baudino
Family Friend
January 5, 2021
To the Stenstrom Family, My heartfelt sympathy to you all. The town and her neighborhood are poorer without Mary. I always admired the flowers in her yard. Her work with the Scholarship Trust Fund, Nashoba Tech's Booster Club and the 4H Hack and Tack Club, etc. , and her enthusiasm for sporting events revealed her belief that one can enhance one's education in a variety of ways. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you reflect on her legacy and celebrate her life.
Rev. Cynthia Wilder
January 5, 2021
"Rest in peace Mary. I will always cherish the memories of my childhood spent at your home and barn. Such a wonderful lady. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Rhonda Lane
January 5, 2021
I will always remember sitting in the kitchen with her after riding or just visiting the horses. One of the nicest people I ever met. susan conefrey
susan conefrey
January 5, 2021
So sorry about your Mum. Many fun memories of summers past. Mary treated us all like family. Thinking of you all. Laurie Taylor
Laurie Taylor
January 5, 2021
What an amazing lady, so glad I got to know her. May she rest in peace. Hope the family can spend time together and talk about the good times.
Susan Cummings
January 4, 2021
Rest in Peace Mary, you were a lovely lady!
Martie Palm
Family Friend
January 2, 2021
What a wonderful accomplished life and lovely family
Dana Thibeau
January 2, 2021
As my heart is breaking please be at peace that your mum was loved by many of us from the neighborhood. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Peggy Lankowski Sager
Peggy Lankowski Sager
Family Friend
January 3, 2021
On behalf of St. Anne & St. Catherine's Sodality our heartfelt prayers to Mary Lee's family. She was much appreciated for all her hard work over the years to our Sodality Ministry. Jonell Boroski, Co Prefect & Mary Sorraco Co Prefect.
Jonell Boroski
Family Friend
January 3, 2021
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