Deceased March 11, 2013
Steve Paine, an English major who earned a master’s at Duke University and went on to acquire a mixed doctorate of English, philosophy and American studies, passed away March 11, 2013, in Houston, preceded in death by his ex-wife Katherine Paine. A memorial service was held March 16, 2013, at the Claire Brothers Funeral Home in Houston. According to daughter Lacy Paine Michelbach, Steve’s death was dementia-related.
After Duke, Steve taught English at a Midwestern women’s liberal arts college and then at Bradley, a private university in Peoria, Ill. He shifted to freelance writing, at first ghostwriting training materials on a variety of subjects. That led to the major work years of his career, the design and application of interactive videodiscs, in effect writing specifications for training programs and persuading people to adhere to them. Most of this work was done for the Maritz Corp. Steve retired from Maritz in 1994 and moved to Freeport, Texas.
Steve came to us from Manhattan and the Millbrook School. He earned a cross-country “A,” edited for Context Magazine, served on the Debate Council and was a member of the Philosophy Club. He had strong opinions on the notion of a liberal arts education. When pushed, and eyeing his own experience, he came out on the plus side. To paraphrase Steve: The kind of thinking we were trained to do at Amherst, the transfer of ideas of ideas from one field to another, the juggling of points of view and ideas by my high-tech colleagues, confirmed to me that the liberal arts are alive and well, and perhaps the most useful part of an education. It’s good to know that Amherst did it right.
Steve is survived by two daughters, Lacy Paine Michelbach of Morgantown W.Va. (mother of Harry and Jane and wife of Philip), and Kate Michelbach of Baton Rouge La. Both daughters are in successful high-tech careers.
Philip W. Ransom Jr. ’53