My mom always wanted a website, to show off some of her art. She planed to call the site “Stuff is My Name” and even had me mock-up a couple of logos for her. As I get the chance, I am hoping to photograph and catalogue some of the things she made, and share them here.
Debra McDade Stuff
August 2, 1955 – September 15, 2015
Debra McDade was born on August 2, 1955 to Rena Maxine Pearcy Sutcliff and Raymond R. “Sonny” McDade in Charleston, Illinois. She attended high school in Aurora, IL and received a BS from Western Illinois University, majoring in pre-med and microbiology.
Debra married Mark Andrew Stuff on September 18, 1976. In their 39 years of marriage, they explored many parks and beaches, spent many hours at ice rinks around the country with their daughters, and visited many craft and book stores.
Debra’s passion was folk and visual arts. She studied with various teachers from around the world, learning many different techniques across a variety of mediums. Early macrame and crochet projects mixed with an interest in tole and decorative painting. When Debra and Mark moved to Ann Arbor in 1985, Debra joined the Ann Arbor Embroiderers’ Guild and later the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. During this time, she created many quilts, as well as smocked embroidery and art dolls. Later, she expanded her interest into knitted socks and beaded jewelry creation, becoming a member of the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. Taking a job at Findings bead store on Jackson Road, Debra was able to both learn and teach many creative jewelry-making techniques. In the last five years, Debra had started experimenting with mixed metal jewelry creation and lampwork bead-making.
Debra was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, her older sister, Julie Pearcy of Mahomet, IL, two daughters, Caitlin Anne McDade Stuff and Margaret Rose McDade Stuff, and two cats, Bella and Sophie. Other surviving family includes Caitlin’s and Margaret’s partners, Leah Velleman and Jeff Hamilton, nieces Brandy Kelley and Melanie Pearcy and their children, nephew Dale Pearcy Jr., and aunts Kathy Bennett and Patricia Gebhardt and their families.