A photo of Mae Jean Stearns

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.

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9 Condolences for Mae Jean Stearns

  • Jean
    So sorry to hear of your mother’s death. We know she is in a better place but your loss is tremendous. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • We are so sorry for your loss. Aunt Mae was so special and loved by everyone, she definitely was a strong active woman who didn’t let anything stop her. What a life she led, a role model to follow. Grateful for her and the impact she had on our lives. We love you!

  • To the Stearns Family,
    Your loss of Mae is such sad news to all who knew her. Know that she touched many and whichever memories make you smile, hold them close.
    With love and sorrow,
    Tracey

  • Our hearts go out to Mae’s family for their loss. Mae was a wonderful, caring friend. We’ll cherish our memories of her and we’ll miss her.

  • A bright and gentle light has gone from this world. Mae was loved by so many and will be missed. We are truly sorry for your loss and mourn with you.

  • Jean, this is a loss like no other. The bond between a mother and daughter is truly unique. You took incredible care of your Mom– you honored her with your love and devotion. Our thoughts and our deepest sympathy are with you.
    Paula & Bob

  • Mae was a wonderful person and I know she will be dearly missed. I’m also sure she is in a much better place where she can see everything. Condolences to her family who will miss her the most.

  • Dear family members,
    I was saddened to learn of the your mom’s passing. I have enjoyed my times with this most gentle and compassionate person. Mae was an ardent listener, courageous counselor and gave everybody who had the privilege to know her, her undivided attention. Her spirit will remain with me.
    I only hope that the many wonderful memories will comfort you all. Please know that countless others are sharing in your loss.

  • I have such fond memories of Mae. She was a remarkable woman who always had kind, encouraging words for everyone. My heart goes out to her family…a difficult thing, saying that final goodbye.
    Joyce and Bill Denman