WILMINGTON — It is with sadness that we announce that Stephen Patrick Sheffield, Sr. (Steve) passed away at the age of 69 on August 5, 2021 in Wilmington, NC with his children by his side. He is, and will continue to be, greatly missed.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (class of 1974), Steve was a lifelong Tar Heel. If you aren’t a Carolina fan, he would have forgiven you with a quick acknowledgement that “Nobody’s perfect.” Through his career as an insurance agent, he formed innumerable lasting friendships with clients and willingly shared his expertise with friends and colleagues. His deep faith led him in many directions over the years, including his volunteer work with Good Shepherd Center in the 1990s and early 2000s, during which he was instrumental in the creation of the Second Helpings food collection program and the Sgt. Eugene Ashley Center transitional housing program for Veterans experiencing homelessness.
Without question, Steve would have wanted to have a conversation with you. He would have greeted you with a firm handshake and eye contact meant to convey your importance to him; getting to know people, and helping people, meant a great deal to him. Steve will be remembered fondly for his quirky sense of humor, which he employed to connect with kindred spirits. “How do you catch a unique rabbit?” he might ask you, with a twinkle in his eye. “You nique up on it!” he would inform you with glee. If you laughed or smiled, he might follow up, “How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way!” If you got to know him well enough, he might let you know, with fondness for loved ones gone before him, that his mama always told him that he had his granddaddy’s sense of humor.
In death, Steve has met his Heavenly Father and been reunited with his mother, Mary Emma Herring Sheffield, and his father, Charles Johnson Sheffield, Sr. Steve is survived by his wife, Susan; son Stephen and his wife Kelly; daughter Sarah and her husband Adam; two granddaughters; loyal dog Molly; and many friends whom he counted as brothers and sisters, including his Cornerstone Baptist Church family. The family extends special thanks to Steve’s much-loved sister Lynne as well as her son Michael and his wife Tori for their support during this difficult time. A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
As Steve tried to help his body recover from COVID-19, he said, “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.” To honor Steve’s memory, protect yourself from COVID-19 through vaccination if you’re able. And then hold your loved ones close; our time on Earth is short. As Steve used to say, “Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.”
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Steve’s honor to any of the following organizations: