Our good friend and a member of our Friends of the Museums Board has left us for her eternal home. Her leaving has created a hole in our hearts as well as a vacancy on our actual Board of Directors.
Eleanor Van Hook Stephenson has served on the Friends of the Museums Board since our first election at the 2010 beginning of our organization. Currently, she was Vice President for this administrative year. In that role, she rushed to meetings at 8:30 a.m. so she could be ready to open David Anthony’s at 10:00. For special projects, she often came after her closing at 6:00 p.m. But our greater debt to Eleanor lay in the many things she did in support of the Friends of the Museums.
Her service actually dates from the Centennial Year when she provided us a venue to sell History of Fuquay-Varina, our Centennial Calendars, Notecards, and our T-shirts and sweatshirts. Never taking a penny for her efforts, Eleanor often lost money when customers paid by credit card . When a design was accepted for Centennial T-shirts and sweatshirts, she sold them in competition with her own merchandise.
Beginning with our first order of 1000 books and our second reorder of 500 books to the Centennial Commission, Eleanor never complained and always pushed the sales of items to support the museums. We should add that this was true of Elliott’s Pharmacy, S & K, and other establishments who supported the F.V. Centennial Commission with enthusiasm.
Continuing with subsequent re-orders of books by the Friends of the Museums, Eleanor continued to handle sales along with the museums until her shop closed. Her store featured a section for F. V. history, the museums, the Woman’s Club, and more! . She had a knack for knowing for whom these would be “great gifts.”
Eleanor was a cheerleader for our Fuquay-Varina Museums! She promoted the museums at every occasion. Visitors often came directly from her store, or as a result of her suggestion to them. Daily, Eleanor was a one woman spokesperson for Fuquay-Varina! What would happen if we all emulated her life of giving: 100% support no matter at what cost to ourselves?
Eleanor in center of Board of Museums Officers, 2010
Eleanor Van Hook Stephenson at Centennial Gala, 2009 with Docents & Questers Betsy Johnson Gunter and Frances Poe Tindal