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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Staples Science Teacher Dies at 43

UPDATE Stephen G. Roberts, a science teacher at Westport’s Staples High School, died Sunday in New Haven while undergoing a routine procedure in a hospital, Principal John Dodig said today. He was 43. WestportNow.com Image
Stephen G. Roberts: “looked forward to meeting new students.” Contributed photo

In an e-mail to Staples parents, Dodig said: “I received very sad news over the weekend that science teacher Steve Roberts died while undergoing a routine procedure in the hospital.

“As you may know, he was very ill last year with cancer but worked diligently with his doctors to put up a good fight. He returned to us last year to complete his teaching assignment and to be with his students.”

Dodig said Roberts taught summer school for four weeks “and looked forward to meeting his new students this year.”

Dodig added: “He leaves behind a wife and four boys who will miss him dearly. We have made plans to have qualified teachers in his classes while we search for a permanent replacement.”

Roberts, who taught physics and aerospace, was a resident of Branford. A cancer survivor since the age of 23, he had previously taught at East Haven High School.

The Staples Science Department is planning to create a science award in Roberts’ memory, according to school officials.

The following obituary appeared on the W.S. Clancy funeral home of Branford Web site:

In New Haven August 29, 2010, Steve (Stephen) G. Roberts, beloved husband, soul-mate and best friend of Debra Giordano Roberts of 31 Buena Vista Rd., Stony Creek. Father of Nicholas E. Roberts, Alexander J. Roberts, Jacob T.E. Roberts, and Samuel S. Roberts, all of Stony Creek. Son of Earl G. and Janne Breer Roberts of Middletown. Brother of Gregory (Norma) Roberts of Houston, TX, Lisa (Wayne Woods) Roberts of Lexington, MA, and Julie (Jim) Hipke of Manchester, NH. He is also survived by his maternal grandmother, Kathryn Breer of Barre, VT, in-laws Tom and Pat Giordano of Bloomfield, Peggy Maier and Joe DaGrosa of Guilford, sisters-in-law, Suzanne Giordano of Meriden, and Lori (Rick) Bennett of East Haddam, CT, and several nieces and nephews.

Steve was an amazing and involved dad to his four boys - Always there for them while embracing and celebrating their uniqueness. Steve was a phenomenally dedicated Physics and Aerospace teacher at Staples High School in Westport (previously at East Haven High School).

A proud Vermonter and Creeker, lover of life - really living, adventurous, hated red tape, unnecessary rules, forged his own paths, believed in the power of education and expected excellence, but was very easy going and forgiving.

He loved rock climbing, sky diving, SCUBA diving, traveling, yoga, hiking, board games, and was a member of MENSA and a big foodie. To Steve, far more than titles, stuff and activities was the importance of people.

He was a very empathetic person having genuine conversations with everyone from high powered executives to the homeless. He was like a magnet, constantly surrounded by a diverse people. Family, friends and community (Stony Creek) were the most treasured thing in his life.

Deb and Steve met in 1981 on a joint Middletown High - Wilson High crew team. They remained close friends, began dating in 1986 and married in 1989 in the midst of Steve’s first encounter with cancer.

They finished college in Philadelphia. Steve graduated from Drexel University and then went on to get his Masters in teaching from Southern CT State U. Steve and Deb moved to Stony Creek in 1999 to make a home and raise their family.

They were soul mates and best friends, walking side by side through the trials and joys of life. Having faced cancer at such an early time in their relationship helped prepare them not to take life for granted.

Friends are invited to a graveside service Thursday at 3 p.m. in Stony Creek Cemetery and to a memorial service at 4 p.m. in Church of Christ, 192 Thimble Island Road, Stony Creek, with a reception to follow immediately after in Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Roberts Boys Trust c/o the funeral home, or the American Cancer Society, 538 Preston Ave., PO Box 1004, Meriden, CT 06450.

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Posted 08/31/10 at 09:33 PM  Permalink



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he was an amazing teacher

Posted by Paul Van Zanten on September 01, 2010 at 05:56 PM | #