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Beatrice V. Stem (born Cilley)


Gender: Female

Date of Death: November 21, 2013

Birth Place: Danville, VT

Death Place: Shrewsbury, MA

Beatrice V. Stem, 83

Shrewsbury – Beatrice V. “Bette” (Cilley) Stem, 83, a longtime resident of Shrewsbury, passed away peacefully Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 with her much loved family gathered beside her.

Bette, a sweet, devoted mother and grandmother, who cherished her family, was born in Danville, Vermont, one of six children of Norman and Florence (Perham) Cilley. As a young girl, Bette and her family moved to Barre, where she grew up and graduated from Barre High School. She then entered the Nursing program of the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing with her best friend.

One night, her friend asked her to go on a blind date where she immediately fell in Love with a young sailor, Walter C. “Pete” Stem Sr. They dated, talked for hours and married in 1951. They spent the next 33 years loving and raising their family, building a new home in Shrewsbury until Walter passed away in 1984. Bette then continued to live in the family home they built with her daughter Cindi.

Bette also found the time to care for others while raising her family by working as a Registered Nurse for over 44 years for the Memorial Hospital before retiring. She also became active in the Activities Committee and Memorial Employees Association.

Bette is survived by her large devoted and loved family: Cynthia “Cindi” Stem, with whom she lived, LT Col Walter C. “Chuck” Stem Jr. USAF (ret) and his wife Debra of Panama City Beach, Florida, and Karen Kurtyka and her husband Ken of Greenfield; her four siblings, Norman Cilley of Auburndale, Florida, Donald Cilley of Cheshire, Conn., and Paul Cilley and Mildred “Dolly” Bacon, both of Barre; five grandchildren who were the apples of her eye, Kristyn, Jeffery, Bryan and his wife Jessica, Kane, Kyle, and Christopher; and nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Besides her husband and parents, Bette was also predeceased by her brother, William.

Bette was an active member and attendee of the Mt Olivet Lutheran Church in Shrewsbury, and a co-founder and past treasurer of its Ecumenical Council, as well as a former Girl Scout Troop Leader and member of Women against Domestic Violence.

Walter and Beatrice loved to square dance and were extremely active with the Worcester Area Square dancers, and, in 1984, co-chaired the Worcester Dancers Convention.

Through all her activities and interest, nothing was more pleasing to her than her family. Her husband, children and grandchildren were what made her smile and inspired. Just having them around her at the holidays or family special moments is what pleased her most. No gathering got started without “Grammie.”

Her funeral service was celebrated Nov. 25 in Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church of Shrewsbury, with burial in Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.

Memorial donations in Bette’s name can be made to the Mt. Olivet Church, 34 Prospect St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni, c/o Pam, 18 Eastford Rd., Auburn, MA 01501.

Bette’s children and grandchildren would like to especially thank her caregiver, Sue, for caring for Bette in such a special way when they were not able to.

Published in the Community Advocate (Westborough, MA) – Monday, November 25, 2013

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