Stephen R. Stegich III was born on March 17, 1942 in Little Falls, New York. He passed away on August 19th at his home in East Hampton at age 79.
He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Stegich and son, Erich (Diana) Stegich, his grandchildren Joshua, Olivia, Lila, Sophie and Marin, his four siblings, Donna Kauffman, Sharon (Bob) Avery, Alan (Maria) Stegich and Jeffrey (Kay) Stegich and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his niece, the Hon. Louise K Sira. Steve was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served as a combat helicopter pilot with squadron HMM 262 in the Vietnam War and received the Air Medal with 5 stars, a National Defense Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy,” and the Purple Heart. He survived two helicopter crashes, retiring as a Captain in 1969 after being seriously injured by gunfire while flying near Khe Sanh.
Prior to his service, Steve attended the University of Notre Dame on a military scholarship and graduated in 1965 with a BS in Architecture. When he came home from Vietnam, Steve practiced architecture in Syracuse, New York for a year and then returned to South Bend, where he started a family and attended Notre Dame law school and was a member of the Law Review.
After receiving his JD in 1972, he moved to New York and began a 49-year career as an aviation lawyer and partner at Condon & Forsyth. He was serving his clients in the aviation industry until the day that he died and was preparing for an October 2021 oral argument before the United States Supreme Court. He was beloved by many clients, colleagues and friends and was known as a brilliant and passionate lawyer. He was a mentor to many young lawyers and inspired his son and four nieces and nephews to follow him into the profession.
Steve had boundless curiosity. He consumed books, poetry, films, music and news with enthusiasm, and he took an interest in everyone who crossed his path. He loved history, art, opera and seeing the world. He found love again in the last decade of his life, and that brought him and his family great joy. Perhaps because he came from modest means, Steve genuinely appreciated all of the finer things in life and loved sharing them with others.
He celebrated his seminal birthdays with his children and closest friends in locations like London, Cortina Italy, and Barcelona. He was a master gift- giver and expert chef at Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the last 20 years, he enjoyed entertaining his family and friends in his yard in Wainscott, where his expertise in landscaping and green thumb were always on full display. His children and grandchildren were his greatest joy. They were a constant presence in his life.
He attended his daughter Stephanie’s countless marathons and was so proud of her accomplishments in her career and as a mother raising three girls. He was awed watching his son Erich grow his company from one employee into one of the preeminent general contractors in New York City. He loved hearing about Erich’s construction projects, encouraged his adventures and passed along to him a love of skiing, boats, planes, and cars from Stuttgart. He watched his grandson Josh play football from the age of six and was looking forward to watching him play this fall at Denison University.
Steve frequently lectured his four granddaughters that women can do anything men can do, only more efficiently, and he encouraged them to break any glass ceilings. He told them that there was no luck in life, only hard work, and he was the first to cheer on their accomplishments. Steve was a fiercely loyal friend, advocate and most of all father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle who was happiest when surrounded by his family. He was larger than life and will forever be missed. Semper Fi.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated and can be directed to: The Stephen R. Stegich III Veterans Law Fellowship via: giving.nd.edu or mail to 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.
The Stegich Family welcomes all friends and family members to partake in the services honoring the life and legacy of Stephen. There will be a public visitation on Thursday, August 26th, from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at Frank E. Campbell – The Funeral Chapel (1076 Madison Avenue New York, New York 10028).
Following the visitation, there will be a Requiem Mass on on Friday, August 27th, at 10:00 am at Saint Thomas Church (1 West 53rd Street New York, New York 10019).
The interment will be held privately in East Hampton, New York.