Maurita E. Stueck Profile Photo
1922 Maurita 2020

Maurita E. Stueck

August 18, 1922 — March 24, 2020

Maurita Fay Estes Stueck lived a long, rich life of hospitality and service to her community and family. Her devotion to others was an inspiration to all who knew her. She will be fondly remembered especially by her four children Linda Mahan (John) of Fort Collins, CO, Lawrence Estes Stueck (Kathleen McQuiston)of Watkinsville, GA, Katie McNeil (Michael) of Oxford, OH and Sara Elrod of Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Through her long life she also left many memories with seven grandchildren Bridget Kennedy McNeil (Darren Kennedy), Brenden Estes McNeil (Karen Culcasi), Laura McNeil Desmond (Quinn), Peter Mahan, Wesley Mahan and Hannah Rebecca Brannan(Mitchell). Known as GiGi, she was blessed with four great grandchildren Ayla and Milo McCasi and Iris and Arlo Desmond. Betty Estes Gnaegy, her only sibling, predeceased her. She will be deeply missed by her niece Dr. Suzanne Gnaegy and nephews Michael and David Gnaegy.

She was born in St Louis, Missouri on August 18, 1922, to Wellborn and Fay (Ostner) Estes. At an early age her family moved from the rural woodlands of southern Missouri to the St. Louis suburb of University City. There she flourished, enriched by activity in Girl Scouting and a strong education. She attended Lindenwood College (where she later served as a board of trustee member) and graduated from Washington University. Her appreciation of the importance of higher education for women led her to gift endowed scholarships to both institutions. She also established the Stueck Distinguished Lecture Series for civil, architectural and environmental engineering and an endowed scholarship in the name of Neil Stueck at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Following graduation in 1943, she bravely left her home and family to relocate in Charleston, West Virginia where she worked as a professional for the Girl Scouts of United States.

Maurita married childhood classmate Cornelius Frederick Peter (Neil) Stueck on October 18, 1946, in University City, MO when he returned from the Army following World War ll. In 1950 they built a home in Webster Groves, MO. Maurita and the family were active members at Webster Hills United Methodist Church, in Scouting and community leadership while the family was growing up.

She channeled her lifelong passion for plants as a volunteer docent at the Missouri Botanical Garden. She also served on the Board of the St. Paul Theological Seminary in Kansas City, as well as many others including Girl Scouts of Greater St. Louis, American Association of University Women branches in St. Louis and active in the Wednesday Club of St. Louis and the St. Louis chapter of Phi Beta Phi.
In 1982, shortly after Neil retired from Stupp Brothers Bridge and Iron Company, they purchased a chalet - Pine Winds- overlooking the valley of Estes Park, Colorado. Her days spent surrounded by the natural and rugged beauty brought her deep joy and peace. Hiking the Rocky Mountains with family and friends well into her eighties she also enjoyed fellowship at the Estes Park United Methodist Church and volunteering with the Estes Valley Land Trust and Rocky Mountain Conservatory. Part of her legacy is the gift of written memoirs.

Her love of international travel led her to many countries where she appreciated the diverse cultures, people and history. After Neil's death in 1992, she continued her travel with friends, often taking one of her children with her - to Italy, China, Costa Rica (granddaughter), Chile, Guatemala, India, Bhutan, Austria, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Ireland. These journeys are lovingly remembered by her children.

At the fifty- fifth reunion of University City High School Class of 1939, she reconnected with Joe Burch, a classmate whom she had not seen since graduation day. They married in 2000 in Estes Park, Colorado. For five years they lived in Redlands, California and Estes Park. Following his death she returned to the St. Louis area. She moved to Ohio in 2016 and lived at Mt. Pleasant in Monroe and the Knolls of Oxford.

Maurita passed quietly at the home of her daughter Katie, amidst the loving care of her children, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Per her wishes, she has been cremated and will be interred at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis with her husband. A memorial service will be held later this summer.

In lieu of flowers please consider gifts in her memory to organizations mentioned above or Hospice of Cincinnati.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maurita E. Stueck, please visit our flower store.


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