Lydia Stevens Gustin, 81, of New York City and Guilford, CT, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2023, after a two-decade struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. The eldest of six children, Lydia exemplified devotion to her family, kindness to others, and service to her community.
Lydia Beebe Stevens was born on August 19, 1941, in New Haven, to George Cooke Stevens and Lydia Hastings Stevens, and grew up in Greenwich, CT. She graduated from Rosemary Hall and Hollins College, where she majored in French literature and studied in Paris at La Sorbonne.
Inspired by President Kennedy, Lydia joined the Peace Corps in 1963 and taught English, French, and Latin in Nigeria for two years. After serving as a Peace Corps recruiter, followed by a stint in the travel industry, Lydia worked as a faculty assistant at Yale, where she met and married Yale professor Bernard Gustin.
After moving to New York in 1975, Lydia devoted her life to raising her two sons and serving her community. For more than 30 years, she was a volunteer in the emergency department of New York Hospital, where she also served as a rape victim advocate. A longtime member of the Pediatric Support Committee, Lydia was an unfailing supporter of the hospital, among other community organizations.
Lydia inherited her lifelong love of tennis from her father George, who had captained the Yale team. She also enjoyed sailing with her family on Long Island Sound near Sachem’s Head Yacht Club, where she was a fourth-generation member.
Beloved by her family, Lydia is survived by sons Sam Gustin and Andrew Gustin (Bracken); grandchildren Spencer and Calvin Gustin; siblings Priscilla Goldfarb, Fred Stevens (Ramelle), Elizabeth Stevens (Norman MacLeod), Ruth Stevens (Tom Stellard), George Stevens, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Feb. 24 at St. James Church on Madison Ave.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation, God’s Love We Deliver, or Sheltering Arms.