Jean Stinson



Jean Elizabeth Varven Stinson, 58

OCT. 3, 1952 — DEC. 8, 2010

Jean Elizabeth Varven Stinson, 58, died December 8 at Meadowood Health Pavilion in Bloomington, after living 39 months with plasma-cell leukemia, a rare form of multiple myeloma. Jean was born October 3, 1952, in Long Beach, California, to Mary Marguerite (DeNovo) Varven and Dr. Claire Arnold Varven. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1972, and a Master of Arts in marriage-family counseling from Azusa Pacific University in 1981. She was employed as a production editor by Wiley/Hamilton and Goodyear Publishing, and as Associate Editor by Softalk Publishing, one of the earliest publishers of magazines for personal computer enthusiasts. She married Craig Stinson in March 1986.

While raising her own two children, Jean became a passionate advocate for children on the autism spectrum. She also became a playwright, collaborating with her son, Russell, in the creation of musical theatre. Their original musical “The Token,” with book and lyrics by Jean and music by Russell, was performed at Bloomington High School South in 2005 as a benefit to raise funds for autism resources. Jean’s one-act play “Grandma Magic” was a semi-finalist in the Eileen Heckart Senior Theatre Competition at Ohio State University. The play was recently performed by Monroe County Civic Theatre and broadcast on WFHB.

In 2007, Jean worked for the College Internship Program as an academic tutor and social mentor for college students on the autism spectrum.

Keenly observant, Jean collected overheard conversations, exotic accents, and peculiar names. She was funny, wise, and incredibly patient, and she helped to impart those qualities to her students — and to her children, whom she loved dearly. She was a connoisseur of good literature; her bumper sticker invited drivers to honk if they loved Jane Austen. She especially enjoyed children’s books, and her husband and children loved to hear her read aloud.

Jean was predeceased by her mother, Marguerite Varven. She is survived by her father, Claire Varven; her husband, Craig Stinson; her two children, Russell and Miranda Stinson; two sisters, Jan Varven and Ellie Aidells; one brother, John Varven; two nephews; and one grand-niece.

All are welcome to attend a memorial service on Saturday, December 18, at 10 a.m., in the Bloomington Hospital Chapel. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation,