Cumberland loses familiar face in Stepenski

Cumberland loses familiar face in Stepenski

CUMBERLAND – Marjorie Stepenski was a mainstay in Cumberland, known to many as the woman trekking down Mendon Road to get to McDonald’s where she would hang out for a couple of hours each day.

“Everyone knew her at McDonald’s,” said Charlie Costa, owner of Motors East on Mendon Road in Cumberland, who was Stepenski’s tenant for 22 years. “She affected a lot of people. … Everyone looked out for her,” many stopping to offer her rides.

Stepenski, who died on Jan. 25 at the age of 90, liked to mostly keep to herself, but her biggest excitement, Costa said, was making the five-minute walk from her home to the fast-food chain each day.

“She was one of those real kind, kind people,” said her attorney, Scott Partington, of Cumberland. “She didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.”

Aside from three nieces who Stepenski wasn’t close with, she didn’t have any family, Costa said. She never married or had children.

“I took care of her,” he said, checking in on her every day to make sure she was OK and sometimes bringing her coffee and breakfast. When the weather was bad, he’d drive her to McDonald’s and pick her up a couple of hours later.

Partington said he met Stepenski through his father, the late John J. Partington, former chief of the Cumberland Police Department. They grew friendly and “rarely did a month go by that we didn’t speak or I didn’t go by the house,” he said.

Stepenski, who was born on Feb. 13, 1929, lived in a single-family home one house over from Costa’s car shop and also owned the two-family home between her home and Motors East, Costa said.

She enjoyed doing yard work, cutting her grass with hedge trimmers. “She was original,” he said.

When Costa’s grandchildren visited him, she would color with them.

She was religious, sharp, and liked to read, Partington said, and she didn’t own a TV or radio. “She was quite a character,” he said. “She was very strong-willed and kept to herself a lot, which is the way she preferred it. … She liked the way that she lived.”

According to Costa, Stepenski worked as a hairdresser in New York before moving back to her hometown of Cumberland. She was the youngest of several siblings, he said.

After an infection earlier this year put her in the hospital, Costa said, she died at Grandview Center in Cumberland.

Costa said he misses his landlady and keeps looking out the shop window expecting to see her.

Wendy Buss, a Cumberland resident who often saw Stepenski with the McDonald's crowd, said Stepenski was a light for many people.

"Come rain, snow or clouds, Marjorie brought sunshine and a smile to many who passed her by," she said. "She was the elderly lady bent over her cane as she walked a quarter-mile to Stop & Shop and McDonald's. She did this two times every day.

She added, "McDonald's is not "Cheers," but like "Cheers," everyone knew her name."

- Editor's note: Marjorie Stepenski did not have an obituary, so we wanted to give readers some insight on the life she lived and how she impacted people. We were unable to locate a photo of her.