Steven E. ("Steve") Stiffler
April 15, 1956 – July 10, 2023
Hurdle Mills, North Carolina – Steve Stiffler died on July 10, 2023 at the age of 67. Steve was a deeply loved father, family man, and friend who lived an wonderful and fulfilled life.He was born in California and lived in New Jersey, and Illinois before his family settled in Pennsylvania where he graduated high school.
After high school, he attended the Pennsylvania State University where he earned his B.S in Biology. He worked for several years before returning to Penn State to earn his MBA and embark on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry in Marketing, Product Management, and Global Commercial Strategy. Steve moved to North Carolina in the late 80s and felt he’d found his home. He had the opportunity to spend two wonderful years in the UK, something he would later say was the highlight of his career, and then moved to Connecticut before he settled permanently back in North Carolina.
Steve was a dedicated lifelong learner. If he was interested in something, he strove for mastery. He was musically talented and taught himself to play guitar in high school. He’d listen to guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mark Knoplfler and Neil Young and learn to play along them. He loved antiques and learned to restore them, paying incredible attention to detail and taking care to keep things in their original condition. He had a love of cars, and restored several himself. He learned to make jewelry and crafted beautiful pieces for his family and friends; he was particularly fond of opals. He enjoyed gardening, maintaining a vested interest in heirloom tomatoes and obscenely hot peppers.
Steve loved to drive pretty much anything, whether it was a tractor, 4-wheeler, sports car, or truck. After he acquired a classic motorcycle with sidecar he enjoyed taking rides with his favorite passengers--his son William and dog Hershey (in his “doggles”). His favorite cars to drive were a 1968 Vista Cruiser that his parents had when he was in high school. In the UK he learned to work on MGs by hanging out at the local garage. Back in the US, his Porsche 911 became a cherished favorite.
Steve had a love for animals; and kept company of at least one cat or dog at all times. He would talk to them in funny voices and engage in general silliness with them.
Steve will always be remembered for his love of the outdoors and nature. He had a special passion for birding and had the ability to share his enthusiasm with others, teaching those around him to respect and appreciate our feathered friends. His field skills were remarkable. Steve usually had a bird spotted and identified before his birding companions could lift their binoculars. He planned vacations around bird-watching, particularly along migration paths in the Outer Banks (North Carolina), Texas, and Arizona. Trips with his son, William, were especially important to him.
Steve is survived by his devoted son William, and family: Helen Stiffler, Jerry Stiffler, Perri-Anne and Eddie Sims, Scott Stiffler and KK Kozik, Sherrie and Steve Freilich. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Louise Stiffler and brother-in-law Ed Sykes. Steve’s chosen family include Dee Lashley, Diane Uzarski, Ron & Jen Spada, Jennie & London Ivey and Ed & Ruth Kenney.
The family would like to thank the staff at Duke Hospital and Hock Family Pavilion for their care and compassion.
Condolences may be sent through Walkers Funeral Home, Hillsborough, NC
A memorial service will be held to celebrate Steve’s life during this Fall. Details will be posted on this website.