Stephanie (Webber) Brewer, 43, of Lititz, PA, passed away on November 2, 2020 from breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 2012 and bested the disease for more than 8 years. She knew her years would be fewer than we know she deserved, so she made every one of them count.
Stephanie was born in Albany, Georgia, to George and Cathleen Webber, now of Wescosville, PA. She was the third of four daughters. She graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School, where she also played tennis, was a cheerleader,, and served on the the Student Council. She developed a core group of friends during those years who were forever close.
After high school, Stephanie went to Syracuse University where she found her calling to fight for social justice. She earned a BA in Public Policy and was a member of the dance team. Again, she connected with a tight group of friends who are close to this day.
At Syracuse, Stephanie met John Brewer, who became her husband in 2003. Their mutual devotion started young and never wavered. John gave everything he had to ensure Stephanie was always well cared for, happy, and comfortable. Those who love Stephanie will be forever grateful for this.
After college, she joined Teach for America, an organization that helps educate children in low-income schools. She started her teaching career at Belmont Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, and went on to earn a Masters degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University.
John and Stephanie have two daughters, Alison and Ryleigh, and the family moved to Lititz, PA, where they found many more wonderful friends in their neighborhood, through their work and activities, and in the St. Anne school community. Stephanie and John created a happy home, filled with a menagerie of pets, where neighbors, friends, and family were always welcome. They encouraged their girls to focus on academics but also helped them follow their passions – giving Alison every opportunity to dance and supporting Ryleigh’s soccer and friendships.
Stephanie continued her work in education everywhere she went, with a focus on vulnerable children. Most recently, she was an academic coach at King Elementary School in Lancaster (SDOL).
Stephanie made sure to spend quality time and do special things with the family and friends she loved, creating so many happy memories. She loved spending weeks at the beach, especially in Lewes, DE, where she vacationed every year since she was a child with her parents, sisters and their ever-growing families. In recent years, she travelled with John, the girls, or other family and friends to places like Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Australia, New York City, California, a horse ranch, and numerous times to her favorite place in the world: Disney!
When she was at home, she was often cooking up something new from cake pops to bath bombs to an Instant Pot creation. Shopping for beautiful clothing, home decor, or shoes. Or planning a party for her daughters’ birthdays or other special occasions, like the annual-ish Brew Year’s Eve. You could count on a fabulous spread, stunning decorations, jars full of color-coordinated candy, and Steph in a sequined dress. Christmastime was her hands-down favorite – she made endless batches of addictive “Christmas crack” to give away and always came up with the perfect present for everyone on her long, long, long list.
She even made use of her downtime after surgeries and through difficult chemotherapy and radiation regimens. She read one book after another, streamed great TV series, and shopped online for her family’s needs. She exercised hard for as long as she could, including distance running, P90X, and swimming. During one recovery period, she joined a retirees’ tennis group. And she was a regular at the dog park with Duncan, and then Cosette.
Despite her illness, Steph did not mope around. She had more important work to do. She volunteered to teach Saturday school to help struggling students and personally shouldered the at-home education of a child who was too ill to attend school. Until her cancer finally stopped her in October, she was still working full-time to help children who needed her expertise and her dedication.
Stephanie went out of her way to do the hard work to take care of others. Her husband, parents, sisters, other family and dear friends, and her care team at Johns Hopkins did the same when Stephanie needed help – and her loved ones are deeply grateful for that.
Her final wishes were for everyone to take care of her family, and to work to make the world a better place.
Survivors: Husband; two daughters, Alison and Ryleigh (at home); parents; three sisters and their husbands, Pamela and Tolga Ilhan of San Francisco, Rebecca and Peter Matthes of New York City, and Kristy and Andrew Blom of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; parents-in-law, Dave and Sharon Brewer of West Chazy, NY; brother- and sister-in-law, Mark and Tammy Brewer in Orono, Maine; seven nephews and one niece.
Public Calling Hours: Walk-up or drive-through on Thursday, November 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at DeBord Snyder Funeral Home on Orange St. in Lancaster.
Memorial Contributions: In lieu of flowers, consider furthering Stephanie’s devotion to helping children. Contributions may be made to her daughters’ college funds by visiting www.Ugift529.com (Alison’s code is 489-B2R and Ryleigh’s code is R17-Y4J). Or continue her efforts to make the holidays joyful for children in need at the school where she taught. Send gift cards or check contributions in memorial (made out to Martin Luther King Elementary PTO) to:
King Elementary School
466 Rockland Street
Lancaster, PA 17602