After a valiant battle during the past several years with Multiple Systems Atrophy, Detra passed away peacefully at her home in Bethany Ct at the age of 68 on Tuesday January 15th, 2013. She is survived by her husband Erwin Steward, her mother Allena T. MacDougall, her brother Kevin B. MacDougall and Predeceased by her sister Marlee L. MacDougall. She was the loving Aunt to Adrenna D'Orlando, Andrew Paolillo, Dominic Paolillo, Kevin B. MacDougall II and Corrine DeVincentis as well as 3 great nieces and 1 great nephew. Detra was born in New Haven, Ct in 1944. She quickly found her home at The Yale Divinity School where she served as the Registrar for 45 Years and became a 'rock' and mentor to her students until her retirement in 2008. During this time she was heavily involved in and passionate about all things 'UCC' and the progression of the Women's Liberation movement. She was a life long member of The Whitneyville Congregational Church and a graduate of Quinnipiac College. She served for over a decade on the board of the New Samaritan Organization which managed elderly and community housing. A treasured time of year was the first full week of August when she made her journey northward to the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee to Camp 'Winni'. She cherished that community and always used the time spent there as her 'refueling' for the year to come. One of her favorite lyrics from camp was 'Bring me a rose in the wintertime, when its hard to find, bring me a rose in the wintertime I got roses on my mind, for a rose is sweet most anytime and yet. Bring me rose in the wintertime how easy we forget.' To know her was to love her and never forget her. Calling hours, in remembrance of Detra, to be held Friday, January 18, 2013 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home at 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden CT. A 'Celebration of Life' memorial service will be held later in the spring with date and time to be determined. In lieu of flowers send donations payable to 'Geneva Point Center' to Geneva Point Center, 108 Geneva Point Road, Moultonborough, NH 03254.

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  1. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Detra when I started at YDSL in 1999. Her kindness and patience helped with my transition in a new job. May God comfort your family and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding in the days ahead.

  2. Love you my Dee Dee,my cousin you will always be in my heart, in my prayers and of course in my pocket. My love and prayers are with all of you. Remember the many wonderful and loving memories that you made together. I know that she has a special place in heaven.

  3. I am writing in behalf of my mom, Polly Parmelee. Thank you to Detra for all her kindness over the years, and the many rides to Hartford to work with the UCC women. Mom will miss her dear friend Detra very much. My prayers are with her family in your time of loss.

  4. We remember our days with Detra at Yale with fondness. Our condolences to all of her family and friends. David and Karen Lull

  5. Detra was one of my favorite people while I was at YDS and on my return visits! She lightened me up, offered wisdom and much encouragement. I think of her as a true saint of the church! Thanks, Detra, for all you gave us!

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