People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive.
Joseph Campbell

Stephen Silverstein

April 23, 1954 - January 11, 2017

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive.
Joseph Campbell

Stephen was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life.

He married the love of his life, Marta Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 30 years ago, with whom they had two girls Amanda and Alison. He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes.

He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on.

As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Stephen was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined “I am not running for political office or trying to get married” when he was “speaking the truth.” He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal–just like Napolean, as he would say.

Stephen took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam’s on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.

Stephen traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.

He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words “veranda” and “porte cochere” to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil’s Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.

Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him a golf-themed funeral despite his hatred for the sport, his family will hold a private, family only service free of any type of “theme.” Visitation will be held at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for their library. Stephen retired as Dean there and was very proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught thousands and thousands of Mississippians during his life. Finally, the family asks that in honor of Stephen that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time.

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    This is my favorite pic of you and Marta from when we went camping that one summer. I remember when my son Burke was six years old he broke his leg. The doctor at the ER set it the wrong way. My husband was out of town and when we woke the next morning my son was in excruciating pain. Like the good neighbor and friend that Steve was, he came to the house helped me carry my son out to the station wagon and hung in there while I drove like a maniac to the orthopedist who told us if would get to his office in fifteen minutes, it was a thirty-minute drive, he would reset Burke's leg. Steve was a calming presence despite the 85 miles an hour we were driving and a shrieking hysterical 6 year old. I couldn't have with been the foxhole with anyone better than Steve Silverstein. He was my hero.
    Mary Greene | Friend
  • I first met Steve at a gathering for hard of hearing people. I was considering coming to Fairmount University to work, and had some concerns about how I might be treated, given my upbringing as a hard of hearing/oral deaf person. Steve took the time to answer all of my questions with candor, despite my being a graduate student, and encouraged me to come to Gallaudet. I made the decision to try it for a year -- each time I saw Steve on campus, he would take the time to check in with me and made himself available as a resource and a hard of hearing mentor. Even after I had been on campus for a while, he continued to check in and offer his listening eyes as a resource and "sounding board". I decided to come to Gallaudet in part because of his encouragement and his high regard of the university as a place that changes lives. We at Gallaudet were privileged to have him as a colleague -- his dry wit and kindness are much missed.
    Adam Fairchild | Friend
  • Uncle Stevie you will be sadly missed but never forgotten ever since I was a child.
    Lil Tracy xoxo | Family Member
  • My sincere condolences to the Silverstein family. Steve was a wonderful human being who will be missed by all.
    Kim Rosenthal | Friend
  • This news breaks my heart, I know you all must be devastated. Here's a video of us kayaking that one time during sunset. Stephen was such a wonderful man, he had a warm heart and a great big smile. He was much too young for this to happen. Hold onto your memories of him, and know that one day you will see him again. I pray for your strength in this difficult time.
    Fredrick Swann | Friend
  • I am so very sorry for your loss. We love you all so much and will miss Stephen deeply. Our love and prayers are with you during this time. Stephen was an incredible person who always showed me such kindness. His good heart and presence will be miss always. I know there is nothing that can make up for your loss but our deepest condolences and thoughts are with you at this time. We love you so much.
    Naomi Gracen | Friend
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    As we make our way through the journey of life, we meet all kinds of people. Most we never or seldom see again, some become acquaintances, some become friends, a few become close friends. Every now and then though, a few times at least and a handful of times if your lucky you meet a man like Steve. I met Steve 16 years ago just days after my wife and I bought the property across the street from his. I knew with in a few minutes of the introductions and the firm hand shack along with the look you in the eye get to know you conversation, I was meeting one of the truly good men in this world. He treated my wife and I like he knew us for years from day one, you easily feel the same for a person like that. Steve was a honest, hard working, give a hand up, be there when you needed kind of man who loved his family with all of his heart. It was a privilege to meet you and a pleasure to know you Steve. You truly will be missed. You are not alone during this time of sorrow and pain. May God give your family strength and comfort to help you endure this loss. As you remember your beloved one, the God of peace give you comfort and peace in every way. May you find Strength from the love and care that surrounds you and comfort in the memories that you shared. Please accept my sincere condolences. My condolences to his beautiful family. Thank you for sharing such a kind soul with us. I met him when we were both starting with kayak lessons. A few years ago he gifted my baby boy with a pair of the cutest socks, knowing my struggle and always offering his love and support. Thank you from my boys Tio, as he called himself. God bless your family and may He carry them with His peace and love. I will never forget the impact you had on me during my time camping. You called me before I started and made me feel welcome and we shared a love for baseball, especially Mike trout. You truly made every person feel special and important. You will never be forgotten.
    Greg Holman | Family Member
  • My sincere condolences to the Hahn family. Steve was a wonderful who will be missed by all.
    Kim Berlinger | Friend
  • I am so very sorry for your loss. We love you all so much and will miss Stephen deeply. Our love and prayers are with you during this time. Stephen was an incredible person who always showed me such kindness. His good heart and presence will be miss always. I know there is nothing that can make up for your loss but our deepest condolences and thoughts are with you at this time. We love you so much.
    Naomi Gracen | Friend
  • Stephen was a very intelligent man. I've known him since he was seven years old. Grew up as a neighbor to he, and his brothers. Paul was in my class. The last time I was saw Stephen, was when I visited him a few weeks prior to his passing. It was only February 14 of 2017, that he and Pat attended a Valentine's dinner with some of our church members. He and I reminisced about the "good ole days", and he actually remembered a lot of what we did, especially pertaining to cars.
    Jerry Henderson | Friend