Richard ‘Coach,’ ‘Steppy’ Stepanian, 80, longtime physical education teacher and legendary coach

Richard ‘Coach,’ ‘Steppy’ Stepanian

CALABASH — In loving memory of Richard Stepanian, 80, also known as “Coach” and “Steppy” to many, who passed away Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, after a three-week battle from complications due to COVID-19.

He was recently living in Calabash, where he retired. He was formerly of Denville, New Jersey, and Bergenfield, New Jersey. Rich was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, teacher, coach, mentor, pitcher and a whole lot more to so many people.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Eloise; and son, John.

Rich is survived by his wife, Beverly Stepanian; sister, Roseanne Saxenian; sons, Richard D. Stepanian and Robert Stepanian (Patty); daughter, Laura Stepanian; grandchildren, Heather, Kyle, Jason, Richie, Alexis, Thomas, Ethan and Emilee; and nieces, nephews and cousins.

Rich was born in 1940 to Ralph and Anne Stepanian. He was a longtime physical education teacher and legendary coach at Thomas Jefferson School in Rockaway Boro, New Jersey, where he taught and coached basketball, baseball and cross country for over 45 years.

He was an active member of Denville Little League, where he served on the board as equipment manager and manager/coach. He was an avid softball player and pitcher and was proud of his many championships. He founded the Denville Rockaway Men’s Softball League and played well into his 70s. He had the chance to play with and against his sons and some great people.

He also ran a T-shirt uniform business called B&R Sports. He served on the board of the Morris County Junior High Coaches Association and ran the annual tournament for many years.

The most important thing to Steppy was his family, extended family and friends. He cared greatly for his former students, players and friends, as if they were his own. He was the kindest, warmest person you will ever meet, and it is truly amazing how many lives he touched.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at White Funeral and Cremation Service, 3660 Express Drive, Shallotte.

Share online condolences with the family at White Funeral and Cremation Service.

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