Marie Stebbins, 83, of Longmeadow, MA died on April 30, 2022 after a long illness. Estelle Marie Stebbins was born on September 3, 1938 in the Apponaug neighborhood of Warwick, Rhode Island, to her parents Francis J. McCabe and Estelle McCabe. She arrived just weeks before the hurricane of 1938 when a broken window blew glass into her bassinet. Marie spent her summers in Bonnet Shores, RI cultivating an impressive crop of freckles that came as close to a tan as this fair-skinned redhead would ever achieve.
She graduated from Lockwood High School and Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Newton, MA (now part of Boston College). Marie’s quick wit would often point out that none of her alma maters currently exist in its original form—however, her many friendships from these institutions lived on. While at Newton College, Marie and her red convertible caught the eye of Dick Stebbins, a Holy Cross student she met through her dear cousin, Buddy McManus. After her graduation in 1960, Marie followed in her mother’s footsteps, literally, by teaching second grade at the same elementary school. Dick and Marie wed in 1962.
The couple lived in Yonkers, NY, and Middlebury, CT, before settling into their forever home in Longmeadow, MA. They raised four kids, Laura, Jenny, Greg and Doug. Marie was very involved in the community and the kids’ various school and sports activities, however, she, like her husband, always found ways to give back to the community. Her volunteerism was recognized in 2009, when she received the Pynchon Award from Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts; an honor Dick received a few years prior. Marie served as a board member at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center when in 2006 she helped found the Martin Luther King Jr., Charter School of Excellence in Springfield. She was also a strong force at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Association for Community Living, Sisters of Providence and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Longmeadow, the United Way, the Gray House, and the Drama Studio. She was also a supporter of the former Stage West. She enjoyed making volunteer events a family affair by taking the entire Stebbins entourage to help out at the ABC (A Better Chance) fundraising tag sales. There was always an opportunity to give back.
Family time was spent on Nantucket, along with visiting relatives in Rhode Island and Holyoke. When their kids reached middle school, Marie worked as a market researcher at Milton Bradley where she tested games, TV advertisements, and toys with kids and parents. She loved this work because she could be around kids again, however, she loved her co-workers even more. She was a dedicated member of the Dover, Chatham, and Harwich Road book club. Marie and Dick kept very busy with work, tennis, and grandkid events for many years until Dick’s retirement in 1998. They enjoyed traveling through Europe. Their retirement plans were uprooted when Dick passed unexpectedly in 2000 after 38 wonderful years of marriage. Marie remained involved with friends, family, and the community. She adored her nine grandchildren; six of whom live in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and three in California.
She will be missed by many for her great wit, zest for living, and her interest in everyone and everything around her. She always wanted to be part of the fun, however now it's time that her spirit and spirited ways be reunited with her beloved husband Dick Stebbins, her parents, Estelle and Frank McCabe, her sister and brother-in-law Kay and Sully Sullivan, her brother and sister-in-law Fran and Dottie McCabe, and her nephew Lieutenant E. Joseph Sullivan. She is survived by her daughter Laura Stebbins and her husband Michael Kane of Wilbraham, MA and their children Brent Kane, Emily Kane and fiancé Matt Taylor, her daughter Jennifer Stebbins of Novato, CA and sons Zachary and Christopher Griggy, her son Greg Stebbins and his wife Brooke Luttenberger Stebbins of Holliston, MA with their children Hannah and Carter Stebbins, her son Doug Stebbins and his wife Beth Van Splinter Stebbins of Westwood, MA with their children Carley, Jack and Jason Stebbins, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dr. Roland and Claire Stebbins, and 12 amazing nieces and nephews throughout New England. One recurring comment she usually said softly during a quiet moment on a road trip was “I have such a wonderful family” and she always shed a tear. She was right, again.
A wake will be held Thursday, May 5th from 4-7 pm at Forastiere Smith Funeral & Cremation, 220 N Main Street, East Longmeadow, MA. Her funeral will be Friday, May 6th at 9am in the funeral home, followed by a Mass at 10am at St. Mary’s Church, 519 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow, MA. Burial at Longmeadow Cemetery, Longmeadow, MA. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Richard A. Stebbins Founders Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, 333 Bridge St, Springfield, MA 01103 or https://communityfoundation.org/. To leave an online condolence, visit www.forastiere.com.