Tirzah Elaine Stegmaier, neé Hendrikx, passed away on November 15, 2020 at the age of 97.
Elaine, as she was known, was born March 10, 1923 in Mt. Pleasant outside Port Angeles, Washington to Clara Dorr Hendrikx and Johannes Hendrikx. She graduated with honors from Lincoln High School in Tacoma in 1941 and worked briefly as a welder at Vultee Aircraft Corporation in Long Beach, California before enlisting in the U.S. Women’s Army Corps in 1943. Elaine was stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C. before deployment to the European Theater of Operations in the 2010th WAC Detachment from 1945 to 1947, where she served in the first women’s unit in Occupied Berlin, Germany, and was promoted to Unit First Sergeant. After being honorably discharged, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she met and married Louis Turner Stegmaier in 1950. Elaine and Louis eventually moved to Plainville, Connecticut, where they raised their sons, Carl, Craig, Cory, and their late son, Clark. Elaine worked as a secretary at the Congregational Church and Episcopal Church in Plainville. A long time town resident, she was active in Cub Scout Pack 49, Broad Street School PTO, and was a Plainville High School Band Mother. An avid amateur genealogist, Elaine loved to research family history for practically anyone. An adventurer at heart, she regaled family, friends, and strangers with vivid stories about her travels, history, and her incredible life, including riding in a jeep with then-General Eisenhower in Berlin, and taking walks with President Truman in D.C. Even at 97, Elaine was sharp as a tack, filled with wit, and a bold sense of humor. She loved her family dearly and will be sorely missed.
She is survived by her sons Carl and his kids Kay and John; Craig and his wife Jennifer, and his children Craig J. and wife Kristen, Eric and wife Heather, and Rebecca and husband Rob; Cory and his sons, Nathaniel and Alexander; her adopted son Tom Sharr and kids Andrew and Christianne; and 11 great-grandchildren and several spouses, nieces, and nephews. The last member of her generation on either the Hendrikx or Stegmaier side, she was predeceased by her son Clark, her husband of over 55 years Louis, her siblings, Vic, John, Ruth, Wilma, Helen, and Mary, her parents, and life-long Army friend, Jane DePuy.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Plainville Community Food Pantry, PO Box 233, Plainville, CT 06062.
Family and friends may gather on Friday, from 5-7 p.m. at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad St, Plainville. Words of remembrance will be shared at 7 p.m., followed by military honors. Guests are asked to attend in accordance with CDC guidelines, wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Interment will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Kingston, Massachusetts at the convenience of the family. For online expressions of sympathy, please visit www.PlainvilleFuneralHome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tirzah Elaine (Hendrikx) Stegmaier, please visit our floral store.
Plainville Community Food Pantry
54 S. Canal St, Plainville CT 06062