Gardening 03

M. Winnifred (Hayden) Stearns

January 5, 1911 ~ May 2, 2020 (age 109)


          M.  WINNIFRED HAYDEN STEARNS  109,  affectionately known as "Peg" passed away on  May 2, 2020  at The Life Care Center of Wilbraham.  She was born in Clyde River, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia on January 5, 1911 to Jessica and Harry Hayden.  She became a registered nurse and graduated from the class of 1932 from Springfield Hospital.   It was at this time she met the love of her life,  Donald A. Stearns.  Upon completion of her training to be a registered nurse Don and Peg were married on June 13, 1932.  They had two sons, Frederic D. Stearns and Ronald A. Stearns.  She was predeceased by her husband Donald, her son Frederic, her daughter-in-law Joan Stearns, her granddaughter, Joanne Gancarcik,  her granddaughter-in-law Tracy Stearns, her grandson Keith who died in infancy,  her sister Dorothy, her brothers, Cecil, and Harry Hayden.  She was active in her church, the Federated Community Church, Hampden, MA for many years.  When she was 104, Peg had published her very own book "My Journey of a Century" with the help of Susan Waters, Ed,D., RN.   Peg always marveled at the work of the Shriner's hospital, therefore, had all proceeds of her book go to the Shriner's Hospital for children.  Often many of the Shriners visited her, at the Life Care Center, which made her light up with joy.  An old song lyric that Peg always reflected on for many years was Young at Heart.  She would love to recite "Don't you know that it's worth, every treasure on earth to be young at heart.  If you should survive to a hundred and five look at all you'll derive out of being alive."  This is how she lived each and every day, young at heart.  Peg was an inspiration to all who knew her.  Left to carry on her memories, her smile and her greatness are her family, her son Ronald Stearns, and his wife Carol Stearns, her daughter-in-law, Nancy Stearns ,  grandchildren, Cathleen Arnold and her husband James Arnold,  David Stearns and his wife Amy Stearns, Brian Stearns, and his wife Leigh Stearns,  grandson-in-law ,Andy Gancarcik,  great grandchildren, Taylor and Matthew Stearns,  Mackenzie and Spencer Arnold, Lily and Amelia Stearns.  She also leaves many beloved nieces and a nephew.  For those of us who were lucky and fortunate enough to know Peg, to have her in our lives as mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, she was the Sun that came out each day in our lives.  Many thanks to all the staff at the Life Care Center for the wonderful care given to Peg and all her faithful and devoted friends.  They kept Peg young at heart.  In memory of Peg, donations may be sent to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, Springfield, MA , one of her great loves.

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