Julianne "Jolly" Steffens

June 5, 1924April 17, 2019

"We would not be us without her" Generous of spirit, with unabated energy and laughter. She welcomed all at her home, a central figure in an extended family of artists, intellectuals, writers, diplomats, engineers, environmentalists and community builders. Born in Hartford, CT to parents Ruth Chittenden Reid and Rev. Raymond Cunningham, minister of Christ Church in Redding, Ct and of Trinity Church, Hartford CT. She is survived by her husband of 64 years Charles Steffens Jr. of Glastonbury CT, son Richard Steffens (Cynthia) and children Katie and Carl, daughter Barbara Steffens (Mark) and son Colton as well as her loving nieces and nephews and her sister's extended family. She was inclusive and built a caring community around her while serving as President of Connecticut Valley Girls Scouts, establishing the Audubon Center in Glastonbury (1981), and as founder of the Red Hill Coalition preserving open space on the Connecticut River (1985). Dedicated to saving farmland as a natural resource she served on the Glastonbury conservation commission and the League of Woman Voters. With her husband she flew seaplanes and pursued an adventurous life of exploring from Alaska to the Ukraine and Europe. With her brother Rev. Raymond Cunningham she taught children on a Navajo reservation and volunteered with the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains. She attended Kingswood-Oxford, then Vassar and Boston-Bouve (Tufts) earning a degree in Physical Therapy class of 1947. She worked at Newington Children's Hospital and the new School for Physical Therapy at University of Connecticut (1952-55) with Dr. Frances Tappan. She sang with the Hartford Chorale and at South Congregational Church of Glastonbury, served the Town of Glastonbury Mental Health Services, the School Board and Youth Services. She attended Camp Mudjekeewis in Lovell, Maine and later ran Winding Brook Girl Scout and US Pony Club Camps with the same spirit of raising children to be citizens of the world and participants in community. A Memorial service will be held May 4, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 915 Main Street, South Glastonbury, CT. In lieu of flowers, she wished to celebrate her life with donations to Audubon Society of Glastonbury at 1361 Main Street Glastonbury CT 06033 ( and to the Land Heritage Coalition of Glastonbury at 136 Tall Timbers Rd, Glastonbury, CT 06033 (


  • Ruth Chittenden Reid and Rev. Raymond Cunningham, Parents
  • Charles Steffens Jr., Husband
  • Richard Steffens (Cynthia), and Barbara Steffens (Mark), Children
  • Katie, Carl, and Colton, Grandchildren


  • Memorial Service Saturday, May 4, 2019


Julianne "Jolly" Steffens

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