Sara Worthington Clucas 1918-1983
Charles Steele "Skiddy" von Stade 1920-1945
Sarah Worthington Clucas, was born on October 29, 1918, in New York City, the eldest daughter of Edward "Ted W Clucas and Frederica Bull Clucas of New York City. She had a younger brother, Edward W "Teddy" Clucas, Jr, born in 1920.
Sarah was the granddaughter of Charles and Mary Clucas and Mrs. Robinson Bull and Frederic Bull, all of New York City. She was the niece of Henry W Bull, president of the Turf and Field Club of New York City.
She attended the Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey and was introduced to society in September, 1936, at a large dance given by her parents at the Essex Fox Hounds Hunt Club in Peapack, near their home.
from the New York Times, 30 June 1941.... “MISS SARA W. CLUCAS TO BECOME THE BRIDE OF CHARLES STEELE von STADE, POLO PLAYER”
"Mr. and Mrs. Edward Welch Clucas of White Oakes, Bedminster, New Jersey have announced the engagement of their daughter, Miss Sara Worthington Clucas, to Charles Steele von Stade, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Skiddy von Stade of Westbury, Long Island, and Aiken, South Carolina.
Miss Clucas is a granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clucas and of Mrs. Robinson Bull and Henry W. Bull, president of the Turf and Field Club. The prospective bride attended the Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey, and was introduced to society in September, 1936, at a large dance given by her parents at the Essex Fox Hounds Hunt Club in Peapack, near their home.
Mr. von Stade, though his mother, the former Miss Kathryne Steele, is a grandson of the late Charles Steele, who was a partner of J. P. Morgan & Co., and the late Mrs. Steele, and is a nephew of Mrs. Devereux Milburn and Mrs. Hall Clovis. He is the brother of Miss Dolly von Stade, F. Skiddy von Stade, Jr., and Frederick H. von Stade.
The bridegroom-elect belongs to families long prominent in polo and racing circles, and himself is one of the most promising young polo players in the East. He has a six-goal handicap and is a member of the Meadow Brook team with Stewart B. Iglehart, Peter Grace and Michale Phipps.
His father long has been actively identified with the game and at present is chairman of the handicap committee of the United States Polo Association, and also is well known in racing. Miss Clucas’s fiance attended St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire."
Bronze Statue of Skiddy von Stade, by Charles Cary Rumsey.
from the New York Times, Jan 24, 1942…
MISS SARA CLUCAS MARRIED IN CHAPEL. She Becomes Bride of Charles S. von Stade on the Cutting Estate in Gladstone, New Jersey.
"The private chapel at Hamilton Farms, the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Suydam Cutting here, was the setting this afternoon for the marriage of Miss Sara Worthington Clucas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Welch Clucas of Bedminster, New Jersey, to Charles Steele von Stade, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Skiddy von Stade of Westbury, Long Island and Aiken, South Carolina, and a grandson of the late Charles Steele, who was a partner of J. P. Morgan & Company and the late Mrs. Steele.
The ceremony was performed by Msgr. William McKean of Bernardsville, godfather of the bride, and the Rev. William J. Lannery of St. Elizabeth’s Roman Catholic Church, Far Hills.
The bride is a granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Clucas and of Mrs. Robinson Bull and Frederic Bull. She is a niece of Henry W. Bull, president of the Turf and Field Club. Mr. von Stade, a member of families long prominent in polo and racing circles and himself a polo player of note, is a nephew of Mrs. Devereux Milburn and Mrs. Hall Clovis. His father long has been identified with polo and is chairman of the handicap committee of the United States Polo Association.
At her marriage yesterday the bride wore a white satin gown made with long close-fitting sleeves and square neckline bordered with heirloom lace and a veil of rose-point lace fastened in coronet effect. She carried a white prayer book with a floral marker. Miss Dolly von Stade, sister of the bridegroom, was the maid of honor and the bridesmaids were the Misses Catherine Mellick, Alice Whitney of Boston, Julia Scribner of Far Hills and Stella Richardson, a cousin of the bride.
The bridegroom had his brohter, F. Skiddy von Stade Jr., for his best man. The ushers were Frederick H. von Stade, another brother; Edward W. Clucas, Jr., brother of the bride; John Le Boutillier, Jess Andrew, Louis E. Stoddard Jr., James Watriss, William Warner, McGhee Tyson Gilpin, John Irving, Thomas Clarke, Thomas Higginson, Paul Pennoyer Jr., H. Clay Frick, Antonio Villa, Henry H. Webb and John H. Milburn.
After the ceremony a reception was given at Whiteoakes, the Clucas home in Bedminster."
WORLD WAR II TRAGEDY
Sara and Charles, like so many young couples married in 1942, were soon to be separated by "Skiddy's" service to his country during World War II. A son, Charles Steele von Stade, Jr was born the following year.
In Januray 1945, Lt. Charles S von Stade was sent to Germany on overseas duty. The following April, his parents and wife received word that their beloved son and husband had been killed instantly when his Jeep ran over a land mine.
from The Troy Record, Troy, New York, April 26, 1945….
“POLO PLAYER KILLED IN ACTION” “Lt. Charles Von Stade, ranking polo player, has been killed in action in Germany. He had been overseas since January. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. Skiddy Von Stade, live in Westbury, Long Island, and Aiken, South Carolina.”
Sara, living in New Jersey was 8 months pregnant with the couple's second child. She would give birth to a daughter, W Frederica von Stade on June 1, 1945. Frederica was born 6 weeks after her father's death. She would never know him.
LIFE WITHOUT HER HUSBAND
According to Frederica von Stade's biography, her family traveled and periodically lived abroad in her youth because her mother worked as a secretary for the Central Intelligence Agency. This included extended stays in Italy and Greece.
At one point after she was widowed, her mother ran a combination restaurant and catering service with the help of Flicka and her brother.
An engagement announcement for her son Charles, Jr., in the New York Times on 26 March 1972 states that she has not remarried and is living in Ballytore, County Kildare, Ireland.
A DAUGHTER HONORS THE FATHER SHE NEVER KNEW
A daughter honors the father she never knew -- premiere recording by Richard Danielpour
American composer Richard Danielpour's Elegies is a new work built around love letters that soprano Frederica von Stade's father wrote to his wife before he was killed in World War II. The piece is coupled with Danielpour's Sonnets for Orpheus, a cycle of poems from Rainer Maria Rilke featuring soprano Ying Huang.
Frederica von Stade was born 6 weeks after her father Lt. Charles von Stade was killed in Germany when his Jeep ran over a landmine in the spring of 1945. She grew up fascinated by the love letters her father wrote her mother, which served for her a window into the soul of a man she loved and revered, but never knew. Von Stade and baritone Thomas Hampson are the soloists in Elegies with Roger Nierenberg conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sonnets for Orpheus was commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and premiered in 1991. Scored for soprano and chamber ensemble, the poems are from Rainer Maria Rilke's Sonnets for Orpheus, in translations by Stephen Mitchell.
CHILDREN OF SARA AND CHARLES von STRADE
Charles Steele von Stade Jr (1943) and Eleanor Fisher Trevor (1945)
W Frederica "Flicka" von Stade (1945); Peter K Elkus (1939) and Michael Gorman
Charles and Sara's children both had very successful careers.
Charles von Stade was an account executive with WE Hutton & Company, Stockbrokers in New York City. He graduated from Yale University in 1967 and married Eleanor Fisher Trevor of New York. Records in 1998 show him living in Boulder, Colorado. (Picture above taken in 1963 when, as a freshman at Yale, he was awarded a vocal scholarship).
Frederica von Stade became one of America's best loved sopranos. Her body of work is extensive, mostly in the classical and operatic genres.