Mae Jean Stearns
July 2, 1923 - January 18, 2022
Mae Jean Stearns, age 98, of Bear, DE, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
Born in East Orange, NJ, on July 2, 1923, she was a daughter of the late Otto and Grace (Anderson) Ehrmann. Mae graduated from East Orange High School in 1941. She received permission to start working at Tiffany’s in New York as a key punch operator prior to graduation. During this time, Mae attended secretarial school at night. Upon completion, she became a secretary at Tiffany’s before accepting a secretarial position at Lindy Air Products where she met her future husband, Del Stearns. Mae and Del were married in February 1945 and had their first child, Jean, in December of that year. Jean was followed by Rick in 1947, Rob in 1950 and Jim in 1953.
After living in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia, Mae and her family moved to Newark, Delaware in 1963. That year, she began working at the University of Delaware. After working in the Personnel Department and then the Operations Department, Mae joined the President’s office as Executive Secretary in 1968. She later was promoted to the position of the Assistant to the University Secretary. Mae retired from there in 1985.
Mae had a lifelong love of horses and actually rode competitively in her teens. She also loved all sports, golfing and bowling until her late 80’s. Mae was still rooting for the Eagles in 2022.
Mae loved reading, crossword puzzles and games of all types. In fact, she played bridge, canasta and countless other card games until her vision finally went in 2020.
Mae is survived by her children, Jean, Rick, and Jim; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 12 pm until 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a funeral service will be held at 12:30 pm. Face coverings will be required for all those in attendance regardless of their vaccination status. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mae’s memory to the Food Bank of Delaware, 222 Lake Drive, Newark, DE 19702 or to Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Center, 2nd Floor, Polly Drummond Shopping Center, Newark, DE 19711.