Mrs. Josephine Mae Catlette Stem (Mrs. James A. Stem, Sr.), 106, went to be with the Lord on April 27, 2015. Mrs. Stem was born October 18, 1908 in the Brassfield parish of Granville County, North Carolina. She was the first born child of James Aldridge and Mary Esther Jones Catlette.
After graduating from Wilton High School, she earned her teaching degree from East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC). Following the Depression years, she taught Third Grade for eight years at Wilton School. In 1944 she married James Stem. They lived in Raleigh where she was a homemaker.
As a faithful Christian, Jo sought to honor and serve God each day. She spoke with joy of the first thirty-five years of her life at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor, NC and Brassfield Baptist Church in Wilton, NC. She was a charter member of Temple Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC and a teacher in the Four-Year-Old Sunday School Class for forty years. In the 1960s, she taught kindergarten at Temple Baptist Church Day School. She joined First Baptist Church in Raleigh in 1994 where she was an active participant in the Livingston Johnson Bible Class. After moving to Winston-Salem in 2001, Jo was warmly embraced by the members of West Side Baptist Church and First Baptist Church.
Throughout her life she was devoted to her family and friends. Josephine was known for the countless pound cakes she baked to share far and wide. Along with a friend, it was her joy to visit for her church. Watching Atlanta Braves Baseball games and Carolina Tar Heels Basketball games filled many hours with pleasure.
Jo witnessed many significant changes in her lifetime. As a twelve year old in 1920, she accompanied her mother to the polls as American women were first granted the right to vote. In 1944 the utility company first ran electrical lines to the farmhouse where she had lived for thirty five years just thirty miles from the State Capital.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, James Stem; her brothers: James L. Catlette and Garland L. Catlette and his wife Carol; her sister: Mary Kathleen Catlette Nethery and her husband Marion; and her granddaughter: Dr. Michelle Stem Cook; her nephew and niece: James L. Catlette, Jr. and Elaine Catlette Key.
Surviving her are her two children: Mary Nell Stem Harris and her husband Arnett, and James A. Stem, Jr. and his wife Bonnie; her four grandchildren: Laura Harris Judy and her husband Charles, Mary Margaret Harris Douglas and her husband Stewart, Angela Stem Mills and her husband Jon, and Ben Stem and his wife Kate; her grandson-in-law: Stephen Cook; and her beloved eight great-grandchildren: Will Judy, Madeline Douglas, Spencer Douglas, Ava Josephine Cook, Andrew Mills, Savannah Mills, Hudson Mills, and Jackson Stem; her nephew and nieces: Paul Nethery, Julia Cowan and Susan Catlette; and many other beloved family members and friends.
The family wishes to thank Heritage Woods Retirement Community and the Assisted Living staff for their wonderful care and support.
A Memorial Service will be conducted at 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 2, 2015, led by Dr. Roger Nix in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in Raleigh. After the service, the family will receive friends and loved ones in the Church Parlor.
Arrangements are by Bryan-Lee Funeral Home at 831 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, N. C.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 99 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, N.C. 27603, to First Baptist Church Television Ministry, 501 W. Fifth Street, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101, to Hospice Care Center, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, or to a favorite charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.bryan-leefu neralhome.com