Deceased October 22, 2021

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In Memory

Steve died at his home in Danielson, Conn., on Oct. 22. Steve was a lifelong scientist and musician, a proud family man, a friend to many and a warm and loving person. He cherished his time and friends at Amherst and was deeply hurt by his temporary exclusion from our class discussion group following some heated political exchanges, but he was too proud to request reinstatement. He was a physical adventurer and a plain speaker, saying exactly what was on his mind, whatever the social cost. Steve was provocative to the end.

Steve visited our home in Vermont, played music with us and met our neighbors. His instruments were the mandolin, fiddle and viola da gamba, as well as a fine singing voice. On a number of occasions, Steve had encouraging words for me. When I expressed self-doubt, he would assure me that my career, music and family were enough. It might not be too strong to say I loved him for that.

I first knew Steve as a freshman floormate in Stearns, where he challenged me to wrestling matches and shadowboxing—somewhere I got the idea he had been in Golden Gloves—and we socialized a bit with some area college women. I appreciated his knowledge of country music.

In more recent times, he sent me photographs of minerals whose properties he had been studying and writing about—going far beyond my meager knowledge of geology—and sent me music he had arranged and transcribed. His devotion to scientific exploration and his wholehearted embrace of life’s wonders were, I think, a spiritual quest worthy of our College's admiration. More than that, I miss him, and I wish I had more time to enjoy his company.

Andy Leader ’63