Sarah Stedman

Obituary of Sarah Stedman

     Sarah White Stedman passed away Sunday, August 6, 2017. Sarah was born in Statesville, NC on August 21, 1921. She was educated in the Statesville City Schools and graduated from Mitchell College in 1940. She transferred to Woman's College of The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, to concentrate on the sciences in preparation for working in the medical field. While there, she was President of the H. E. Club and was elected to be a Cornelian Society Marshal.  After graduating in 1942, she taught in the Gastonia and Charlotte City Schools.


In 1943, Sarah married W. David Stedman of Asheboro. A devoted member of the First United Methodist Church, she served on many committees, including several years on the Administrative Board.


One of Sarah's loves was Girl Scouting, where she served in succession as a Brownie Scout leader, a Girl Scout troop leader for ten years, Chairman of District IV of the Greensboro Randolph Girl Scout Council, member of the Board of that Council, and was awarded the Girl Scout Statuette for her outstanding contributions to Girl Scouting. Under her leadership, 22 scouts earned the highest award in girl scouting, the coveted Curved Bar.


In later years, while accompanying her husband to Duke Hospital board meetings, she conceived the idea and persuaded Duke University Medical Center to establish a new Center for research, clinical studies, and education in the field of nutrition. Her idea generated from her observation that most doctors really were not very skilled in this most important field, and medical schools did very little in the way of educating their students in nutritional science.  As a result of her efforts, a new Center was established at Duke in 1988. It became known as the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center. This Center is currently among the top five world class facilities in its field, and since 2002 has published over 1000 papers in prestigious medical journals, several of which have been featured on the covers of the journals.


The Center's work was recognized and honored by a major front-page article in the Raleigh News and Observer. This article reported that the Center's researchers had discovered that tiny molecules called metabolites can predict "with great accuracy the onset of diseases including such ailments as heart disease and diabetes... they could also predict who was likely to suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening event - something no stress test or expensive catheterization can now do." The Duke Med Magazine has reported that the Center has built "...what is today one of the world's most sophisticated metabolic labs..." and "collaborates with researchers all over the world."


Sarah Stedman was a member of the Board of the Stedman Corporation (textiles and apparel) and Stedman Mills Inc. (ladies' hosiery) and the Stedman Foundation.  She served on numerous boards, including The Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University, the Center for Living at Duke, the Human Environmental Science Foundation at UNC-G, and the North Carolina Museum of History Associates in Raleigh. She was a member of the Board of Advisors of the Presbyterian Home in High Point, and a member of the Advisory Committee at Hospice of Randolph County.  In recent years, both David Stedman and his wife, Sarah, were honored by the North Carolina Bankers Association's award for Outstanding Public Service.


Sarah and David were married for 73 beautiful years, living their last years as residents of the Arbor Acres Retirement Community in Winston-Salem.


Surviving are her husband, David, and three daughters: Sarah Elizabeth Stedman, PhD of Marietta, Georgia, a former faculty member at Northwestern Graduate School of Music, and a former Miss North Carolina; Nancy Jane Stedman Calloway, PhD, Therapist, of Winston-Salem, and her husband Tom Calloway; and Anne Louise Stedman of Greensboro; four granddaughters: Dr. Hollin Calloway, Elizabeth Riss, Sarah Wingo and Lindley Worley, and seven great-grandchildren.


Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 224 North Fayetteville St., Asheboro, NC 27203, or Centenary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 658, Winston-Salem, NC 27102, or Arbor Acres, 1240 Arbor Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104.


A private service will be held.


Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the family.