Obituary: Steven J. Pfeffer, 69, longtime Wilton resident
Steven J. Pfeffer, 69, longtime Wilton resident:
Steven Jay Pfeffer passed away peacefully early on New Year’s Day with his wife at his side in the home they purchased in 1977. He was a loving husband, devoted father, doting grandfather, and kind friend to all who knew him. He was 69.
Steven had fought cancer valiantly for over two years.
Born in Bronx, New York on March 18th, 1949, Steven excelled in music (clarinet) and science (chemistry & physics). His parents Rose and David, both recent arrivals to America from Europe, instilled the values of Jewish culture and a robust education. Steve had the honor to play at Carnegie Hall with his Junior High band and later graduated with distinction from Bronx High School of Science in 1967. He graduated City College of New York with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1971, and was a member of the Beta Sigma Rho fraternity. He was the first member of his family to attend and graduate college.
In a time of social upheaval, Steven was an outspoken participant in the movement towards a more just society. He participated in several protest and Civil Rights demonstrations in New York City and Washington DC. Throughout college, he worked summers as a waiter in a resort in the Catskills, and his fondest memory of that time was to put in a day’s work and then deliver food to revelers at the Woodstock festival in 1969, where some of his favorite bands were playing.
On a routine trip to the phone company in 1970, Steven was introduced to Christine by a clerk, who suggested they go out for a date. They wed after a two-year courtship on November 18th, 1972, and moved shortly thereafter to a small condominium in Valley Cottage, New York.
Expecting their first child in 1978, Steven and Christine were drawn to Wilton for its commitment to education and for its inclusive environment. They had two children, Michael and Brian — both K-12 graduates of the Wilton Public School system. There wasn’t a Warrior sports event that Steven didn’t attend during this time, often taking leadership roles for the Wilton Football Booster’s Club, coaching Parks & Rec basketball, and facilitating logistics for wrestling tournaments in the Field House. One of Steven’s greatest joys was to provide his children with the tools for success, and then to chase them around town (and later, around the country) to share in their accomplishments.
Professionally, Steven was Vice President of marketing and sales for Gerard Daniel, Worldwide — a company that manufactures and distributes industrial wire mesh. Steven was the consummate salesperson due to his gift for establishing trust through cultivating a personal connection. Throughout his career, Steven travelled to forty-seven states and several overseas countries to open new markets without ever neglecting his longtime customers. Steven spent thirty-five years with Gerard Daniel — he loved his job, he felt tremendous pride as the business grew, and the feeling of family he shared with members of his team.
After his children had completed their college education, Steven and Christine purchased a small studio apartment in Manhattan, and spent their weekends in museums, theatres, restaurants, and holding one another’s hand on strolls through Central Park. The blessings of their careers allowed them to enjoy New York City in a way they never could as children. Like nearly everyone, Steven believed Manhattan to be the cultural capital of the world.
Steven was an avid reader, an expert breakfast chef, a rabid Yankee fan, and a mediocre golfer. His life’s passion was his family; who, while scattered across the country, always remained close.
Steven is survived by his wife Christine, his sons Michael (Kate) of Chicago, and Brian (Katie) of Los Angeles. He has three grandchildren — Will (8), Paige (6), and Nora (1). His sister Ruth Gordon (Melvin) lives in Sayreville, New Jersey; and his niece Lisa Weinman (Joshua) lives in Livingston, New Jersey, and his nephew Paul lives in Los Angeles.
As Steven became ill, Christine captained his clinical care team. The family will be forever grateful for the grace and skill demonstrated by the team at Norwalk Hospital under the leadership of Dr. Richard Frank and Dr. Alan Radin. These two physicians gave Steven what he wanted most: more time on this earth to spend with his grandchildren. The family requests that donations be made in Steven’s name to Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County.
Steven was above all else a kind man, and the world was kind to him. He loved his family, and his family loved him dearly. We are reminded of the words of Winnie the Pooh: how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye this hard…