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Julia Clement

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Julia Vandivort Stein Clement, 98, died Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, in Kirkwood, Mo.

She was born Aug. 4, 1909, in Jackson, daughter of Clyde A. and Julie Adele Sanford Vandivort.

Julia Sanford Vandivort Stein Clement grew up in Cape Girardeau before automobiles, household appliances, penicillin, women priests in the Episcopal Church, a woman's right to vote and the civil rights movement.

During her lifetime she witnessed more changes than at any period in our nation's history and welcomed most of them with gracious acceptance and flexibility.

A tall child for her generation, Julia loved to read and hated to practice the violin in her family quartet or participate in sports with her six brothers and sisters. The love of reading may have been a contributing factor to her graduation from college at age 19, and success in teaching school in St. Louis to children only slightly younger than herself.

Julia married her boyhood beau, Harry Arthur Stein, at the age of 21 and had her first child, Paul Arthur Stein (wife Marjorie) at age 28. Being a stay-at-home-mom did not preclude Julia from being a founder of the Fort San Carlos Chapter of the DAR, a PEO, and countless volunteer positions in the local school system.

Despite bearing another son at age 31, Ronald Forrest Stein (wife Lucinda Stein), and a daughter at 36, (Harriett Stein Smith (husband Whitson Smith), Julia found time to be the hub of a huge social network in Webster Groves, Mo.

Reading everything in print about current events, actively attending her life-long Episcopal Church, dancing at the Webster Groves Monday Club, fishing, bowling, playing bridge at a championship level into her late 90s and nurturing a vast group of friends and family through crises and triumphs were accomplishments for which Julia Vandivort Stein was widely known.

Indeed, she believed her grandmother's admonition "If you can't say something nice about someone, say nothing at all" and as a result was beloved by all who knew her.

Julia hated aging and losing her ability to drive at 90. She loved aging and seeing her beautiful grandchildren Julia Koenig (John), Alex Smith (Sheri), Leslie Korte (Kevin), Kathryn Stein (Steve Palley), Valerie Mendizabal (Lorenzo), Paul Garwood Stein, and beloved great-grandchildren Emma, Harry, Julia, Hannah, Alex, Olivia, Paul and Ethan, living happy lives. An interview with every single one of Julia's relatives -- living and dead -- would convince any listener she is the finest example of womanhood they knew.

Handling graveside service Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cape County Memorial Park is Ford and Sons Funeral Home (334-1313). The Rev. Robert Towner will officiate.

The family will receive visitors from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the home of Ronald Stein, 858 Twin Pine Drive, Des Peres, Mo., 63122.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 1551 Bennett Avenue, Glendale, Mo., 63122, or Christ Episcopal Church, 101 N. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701.

cq Ford