|BARBARA STEINAU, 93|
NORTH EASTHAM —
Barbara Steinau, 93, of North Eastham, died on Dec. 2, 2013.
She and her husband, Mort Steinau, moved to the Outer Cape in 1990 and loved their new community immediately, immersing themselves in local goings-on, in justice and peace-making efforts, hiking, charades-playing, volunteering, camping, and local politics, while marveling at the natural splendors of Cape Cod, and befriending many folks. Mort Steinau died in 2004.
Barb worked for racial and social justice through teaching, writing, marching, sitting at vigils, speaking, meeting and organizing. She was a teacher of pre-school children and a highly-respected teacher of teachers, who published a book, Raising Peaceable Powerful Children, in 2000. She believed in speaking out and acting up when she saw injustice, and, inevitably, she did. She was active in Cape Codders for Peace and Justice; a local bartering group; a life-long charades group; Common Voices, an outer-cape singing group; tennis and exercise at Willy's Gym; the NAACP; a weekly anti-war vigil at the Eastham green of several decades standing; the Barnstable Human Rights Commission; the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; the Eastham swap shop; the teaching with Pancheta Peterson of anti-racism work, and many other groups.
Barb was an organizer at heart, be it things, ideas, services or people, and could match folks with whatever or whomever they needed. She had a good life and a good death; she worked hard and she appreciated being alive.
She leaves behind three children (Joan Steinau Lester and wife Carole Johnson, Pete Steinau and wife Connie Jopek Steinau, and Mardi Steinau and partner Nancy Massey); three grandchildren (Casey Steinau and partner Tim Dickman, Malcolm Lester and wife Hilary Cairns, and Jody Lester and wife Sue Beddoe); three great-grandchildren (Page, Teddy, and Grant Lester); her brother, Pete Hill and wife Marty Zinn (and Pete's children Viki Sayrs, Brian Vander Velde and wife Nancy Vander Velde, and Lance Vander Velde and partner Mary Kintaro); her sister, Karen Safford (and Karen's children Rich Hartogensis and Wendy Hartogensis and husband Jim Lloyd and daughters Ella and Anna); her two ex-but-beloved children-in-law, Barbara Park and Julius Lester; plus countless friends and admirers. In addition to Mort, she was predeceased by her parents Zip and Ralph Hill; her brother Mickey Hill; her brother-in-law Rick Safford and her sister-in-law Alma Vander Velde. She influenced many people in her teaching life. Some of those for whom she was a model count her as among their most profound influences, and are close friends today, notably Joan Stone, Rob Cole-Whiffen, Merle Thompson and Randy Griffin.
Her family and friends deeply thank the remarkable group of people who surrounded her these last few years and helped her to live such a vibrant life in old age, a group too numerous to list in full but including David Johnson, Liis McKenna, Jan Kubiac, Peter Tighe, Lynn Hiller, Doug Lyon, Sheila Stackhouse, Paige Riley, Deb Giza, Cynthia Franklin and Kristin Forrester, and many loving friends and neighbors, including her special friends Mary Zepernick and Katherine Stillman. Outer Cape Health Services and the VNA Hospice stand out as marvelous health-care professionals to whom we give deep thanks as well.
Barb spent five mornings a week during her last few years at chair exercise classes at three different Councils on Aging — Eastham, Wellfleet, and Orleans — and received invaluable assistance from them and from the Truro COA.
A celebration of her life will be held in May or June on Cape Cod, and a suitable announcement will be made.
The organizations to which she contributed include the ACLU, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the Eastham UU Fellowship.