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Joel "Pete" Stern '48

Stern Joel “Pete” Stern of Westerville, Ohio, died at home September 2, 2013 surrounded by friends and family. He was born August 21, 1921 in Pittsburgh, PA to Lee and Etta Barnet Stern, of Uniontown, PA. He is survived by son, Roger Stern of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and daughter, Carla Stern McVey of San Francisco; his companion, Phyllis Beifuss '49 of Westerville; nephews, Lee and David Stern of New York and Montefalcone, Italy; and “adopted daughters”, Andi Stern and Carolyn Bernstein. Joel was a member of Congregation Beth Tikvah. Joel graduated Uniontown High School in 1938, Antioch College in 1948, and earned Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976. He served in both the US Merchant Marine and US Navy during WWII. He fondly remembers when his ship made anchor in Oran, Morocco to deliver goods to the Allied campaign in North Africa. He was astonished to be greeted on shore by his brother, US Army Capt. Gates Stern, who managed Army port operations. Capt. Stern had noticed that his brother's ship would call at Oran and made it a point to be there when Joel arrived. The two were overjoyed to reunite in the midst of war. On Joel's many convoys during the War, ships ran without lights to be less visible to attack. On duty on the evening of May 6, 1945, Pete saw the ships' lights in his convoy come on one by one. “I knew this was something big”, Pete said. Germany had surrendered. In 2005 Joel was in New York City for a performance by comic actress Dame Edna Everidge. When she called for a volunteer from the audience Pete admitted, “I was dying to be asked.” Joel hammed it up so energetically that Dame Edna had to tell him to “cool it.” Online guestbook at www.epsteinmemorial.com