Richard "Coach" Stepanian

6 July, 194029 December, 2020
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In loving memory of Richard Stepanian, also known as Coach and Steppy to many, who passed away December 29, 2020 after a 3 week battle from complications due to Covid 19.

He was recently living in Calabash, NC, where he retired and formerly of Denville, NJ and Bergenfield, NJ. Rich was a devoted Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Pitcher and a whole lot more too so many people.

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

Rich was born in 1940 to Ralph and Anne Stepanian. He was a longtime Phys. Ed teacher and legendary coach at Thomas Jefferson School in Rockaway Boro, NJ, 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 Mens Softball League and played well into his seventies. 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 and 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 Monday, January 4, 2021 at eleven o'clock in the morning at White Funeral and Cremation Service, 3660 Express Drive, Shallotte, North Carolina. You may view the service live on Facebook. Once on Facebook, "like" the page White Funeral and Cremation Service Shallotte Chapel. When the service starts, you will be able to view.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.

You may offer online condolences at

White Funeral and Cremation Service, 3660 Express Drive, Shallotte, North Carolina.


  • Funeral Service

    Monday, 4 January , 2021


Richard "Coach" Stepanian

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Keating

30 January 2021

I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Rich. I coached the boys basketball team at Harding Twp. School for many years. I looked forward each year to our games, either regular season or with Rockaway Boro as part of our annual Holiday Tournament. His teams were always well coached, very disciplined, talented, and they always played hard. He would have it no other way. He had high standards for his players and he always coached the same way. I enjoyed making sure each year he had a few cokes for his private use as tournament director.

I always enjoyed talking with him-we both coached numerous sports as most middle school coaches do. We would share coaching tips and shared stories of our players and how we dealt with all the different personalities and skill sets we ran into on a daily basis.

He will be surely missed. His influence on the lives of his students and players are countless. Many of them are better people, parents, friends today because of his influences in their lives. One of my favorite coaching phrases is no matter where you go there I am. Wherever his students/players go he will always be with them-always by their side.

Rest in peace my friend.

Patrick Goncalves

9 January 2021

I have great memories of Richard. Not only was he my neighbor for many years, he was a great friend and always treated me like family. He will be missed.

George Doudoukjian

8 January 2021

A great uncle who will be missed.
Mary Stepanian Doudoukjian, my grandmother, was sister to Ralph Stepanian, Richards father,
and I will always remembered the great times we all had in Bergenfield, NJ.

Karen and Bill Berg

4 January 2021

To the family of Rich, our deepest sympathies for the loss of a great man. We only knew him for a short time, but he always had a smile on his face and kindness in his heart.
Karen & Bill

Carol Johnson

4 January 2021

All week I have been remembering Rich. I first new him when I was a new teacher. I have been remembering many funny and happy times
Good memories.

Jody. & Anna Gearing

4 January 2021

From the day we met Rich, he welcomed us with open arms. We we're family. He opened up his home and his heart to us. A happy
easy going and kind person. A smile to last forever. We had lot of good times and conversations. Jody and I Love you and miss you. RIP Pops!

Dena Moscola

4 January 2021

A couple Steppyisms to add to Rich's list.... We'd say, "So" and Mr. S would say, "Sew buttons on an old man's coat". We'd say, "See" and Mr. S would say "I see said the blind man!"
No matter what, he always brought smiles, genuine kindness & helpful lessons!
My most significant memory is the love between Mr. S & Bev. Their wedding was the best I ever attended in my life. Yes it was a blast (as all Stepanian parties were!!) but that wasn't the best part. What struck my heart most, to this day, was how their love radiated through that room. It was so intense. Before, during and after the wedding, the love they shared was undeniable, so beautiful and inspirational.
Experiences I am grateful for. He will always be remembered.

Christine Figueroa (Hortian)

4 January 2021

We offer our deepest condolences to Aunt Beverly and the entire Stepanian family. There really are no words to tell you how sorry we truly are. Uncle Rich will be missed by so many. We will always remember how much he loved Aunt Beverly and the rest of the family..... Please know we are praying for comfort during this difficult time.

With Loving Prayers,

-- Steve & Alice Hortian
-- Angel & Christine Figueroa

Julie Masick

4 January 2021


Diane Reizovic

4 January 2021

Bev, to you and your family, my prayers and thoughts are with you all. Even though I didn't know him personally, I knew him and you through Monica......may his memories live forever in your hearts to warm and comfort you all.
With prayers and love.

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