Andrea Casner StephensSeptember 5, 1953 ~ June 11, 2017 (age 63)
Andrea Casner Stephens, 63, passed away at Sedgewood Commons, Falmouth, Maine on June 11, 2017 following a long battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease. Andrea was born on September 5, 1953 and raised in Belmont, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, received her BS in Early Childhood Education from Syracuse University in 1975 and was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority.
From a young age, Andrea knew she wanted to teach young children. After many years of working for others, she and her former husband, Joseph Stephens, opened the Shenandoah Children’s Center in Newnan, GA. From 1982 – 1998, Andrea and Joe managed, taught, nurtured, fed and loved as many as 70 children at a time ranging in ages from infants to teenagers. After closing the Children’s Center in 1998 when the state of Georgia introduced its Head Start program, Andrea started teaching in the local school system first as a pre-kindergarten teacher and then in the Early Intervention Program helping first and second grade children with reading and math.
In 2001, Andrea moved to Portland, Maine to be near her mother where she continued working with children in the Portland Public Schools as a Special Ed Tech working with individual and small groups of students based on each child’s special needs. Consistent with her own desire to learn, Andrea trained as a small group tutor for a pilot program called Fundations, a systematic phonics, spelling and hand writing program structured for K - 3 students. Andrea was described as having great teaching abilities with children of special needs and being dependable, compassionate and firm. The children were always happy to learn from her and she was lauded for her excellent rapport with all of her children.
In addition to her varied and challenging teaching positions, Andrea worked at Walmart stores in Georgia and Maine to supplement the meager income that most teachers suffer. Andrea would fondly remember the many people she greeted at Walmart despite always being cold standing by the door on mid-winter nights. With the beginnings of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and much to her frustration, Andrea had to stop teaching in 2006 and stopped working at Walmart in 2010.
Andrea loved gatherings of family and friends, particularly around any holiday. Her infectious laugh made everyone laugh with her. An accomplished cook, she worked side by side with her mother preparing traditional family recipes that we all enjoyed every time. Andrea, also, loved good music and was well known for happily dancing to it. She also loved her many cats and dogs, especially Sybil, a basset hound, and Daisy, a beagle. As Andrea’s condition got worse, Daisy would lead her around the block on vigorous walks and safely bring her home. When she could no longer manage in her home, she was accepted at Sedgewood Commons, a short distance from her mother who cared for her until the end.
Andrea was predeceased by her father, Andrew J. Casner, Jr., her brother, John E. Casner, and her step father, Edward B. Babcock, MD. She is survived by her mother, Nancy Casner Babcock, her brothers and sisters-in-law James and Elizabeth Casner and David and Julie Casner, her nephews and niece, A.J., Noah and Samantha, her half-brother, Andrew Ward Casner, step brothers and sisters, Brit, Ted, Hannah and Christopher Babcock and John, Michael, Jeffrey and James Potter and many other relatives and friends whom she always cherished seeing and visiting.
Andrea’s family wishes to thank the dedicated staff of Care Givers at Sedgewood Commons and a special “thank you” to Priscilla DiMastrantonio for her love, devotion and care of Andrea over these past years.
A private family service will be held in Saratoga Springs, New York in the fall. Those wishing to make a donation in Andrea’s memory are encouraged to send one to Memorial Dept., Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871