John Anthony Stepanek
March 8, 1947 – May 14, 2020
John Anthony Stepanek (73), a loving father, grandfather, brother and friend passed away peacefully on May 14, 2020. With his family by his side, he gracefully left this earth to be with his Father in Heaven after a recurring battle with prostate cancer. His courage, strength, faith and resilience were an inspiration to everyone around him.
John was born March 8, 1947, in Bayonne, NJ, to John and Susan Stepanek. He graduated from Bayonne High School in 1964 then put himself through night school while working full time. He graduated with a bachelors degree from St. Peter’s College in 1971. He moved to Houston, TX where he worked for Exxon for a short time. He then moved to Scottsdale, AZ where he resided for 43 years. He worked at Sperry/Honeywell for the remainder of his career. He held positions in Supply Management and Production Planning for over 3 decades. He loved his job and made life long friends that remained close to the end.
John was an active, long time member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ. He attended mass daily, volunteered with the St Vincent DePaul ministry, was an active member of the Men’s Club and helped in other areas along the way.
He was a man of faith, and all about family. He could be found hanging out with his kids and grandkids most Sundays, and loved going on vacation and experiencing life with his family. John was preceded in death by his father (John), mother (Susan) and sister (Patricia). He is survived by his daughter Lauren Holder (Jeremy), son Andrew Stepanek (Kristy), his two grandsons, Noah and Owen, his brother Robert Stepanek and other extended family who love him and will hold his memory forever in their hearts. He also leaves many friends of over 30 years that he enjoyed coffee, breakfast and lunch with regularly. To know him, was to love him.
A Funeral Mass will be held at OLPH in Scottsdale on Saturday, 5/30/2020 at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in John's name to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
He will be laid to rest in a private burial at Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery in Chandler, AZ.
- The Society of St. Vincent De Paul
Saturday, May 30, 2020
John Anthony Stepanek
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May 26, 2020
To Andy and the entire Stepanek Family,
Our sincerest condolences on your loss. Know that others continue to mourn with you. All the best
Pat - Dave WPA
May 21, 2020
I and my son, Brian, met John for the first time when our sons were in Indian Guides in the late 80's/early 90's. However, I got to know him best through the Men's Club of Our lady of Perpetual Parish in Scottsdale. John was an active member; holding offices of President, Treasurer et. al. at times from the founding of the Club to the present. He was a faithful Catholic man and will be missed.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE!
May 19, 2020
At age 24, in 1983, John was my first boss at Sperry/Honeywell and we've been friends ever since. We heard about each other's children growing up during daily lunches in the cafeteria. For several years we carpooled to and from work together -- some of those evening drives home resulted in sharing a beer at my house as well. Then of course we helped out with projects around the house; John's sprinkler system for example.
Since we attended the same church, we shared a weekly prayer hour in the Perpetual Adoration chapel -- 5:00 AM on Friday's and we still had time for breakfast and to get to work before the crowd.
John's attitude and behaviors during his fight with prostate cancer were nothing short of inspirational. He was grateful for every day given to him and said that often. He was truly a good man, and that is about the highest compliment I can pay a person.
May 19, 2020
John and I both came to work for Sperry in the 70's, but didn't really come to work together until the early 2000's when he joined the Sensors Product Line team. My background was engineering and John was my lifeline to the real world of supply chain management and manufacturing. Wow! I don't know how I would have survived without John's incredible knowledge, kindness, patience and generosity. When I was overwhelmed or confused or just needed someone to talk to, he was always there with that wonderful smile we all know so well.
And then came his diagnosis in 2004. He confided in me and gave me the opportunity to walk that difficult journey with him. And then in 2005 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. What an amazing blessing John was for me. We were always early birds at work and John was always there for me. Those quiet moments we had to talk before the madness of the day started meant more to me than he probably ever knew; I'm not sure I ever actually told him. I guess that I'll have to hold that conversation for later.
I am a better person for having known John Stepanek. Thanks for being my friend, John.
May 17, 2020
My prayers and thoughts are with John’s family. I had the pleasure of knowing John for many years while we volunteered at our church. He was a gentleman of great kindness and stature. When a dad passes he leaves such a void in his children’s lives. Know that he watching over all of you, especially his grandchildren whom he adored.
May 16, 2020
Less than a year after being hired at Sperry, my then-boss, Mike Hurley, was promoted, and I was assigned to work instead for a guy I had never met before. John Stepanek had recently left to work for another company and (after what might have been a record-setting shortest time ever) had returned to Sperry as Special Components planning manager.
I didn't know John - just saw him as this huge, bearded, intimidating looking guy. The first time I turned in my weekly report to him (which I had been turning in to MIke, who reveiwed/revised it before sending it forward), John called me into his office. He said "Tell me about this report." I was scared spitless, but I explained it to him. He looked back at me and said "Great job - you don't need to send these to me for review in the future - just make distribution."
John knew how and when to delegate.
Years later, John fought off with great effort a terrible case of prostate cancer. He successfully overcame it and was cancer-free for 10 years.
Eventually, the cancer came back. I got to spend time with John several times over the last several years and was amazed and inspired by his positive attitude and relentless faith. He kept a positive attitude and continued to pursue every possible avenue of treatment, always believing it was possible to again overcome the illness.
It was only in the last few weeks of his life that he seemed to surrender to the pain and the effort of fighting. But I will ALWAYS remember John for his positiveness, pleasantness, courtesy and respect for others, and amazing faith.
My condolences to all the friends and family in whose lives there is now a huge hole. I know he would ask us all not to mourn, but this time I'm not going to take his coaching.
I've included a picture of our perennially smiling friend which was taken at my house just a few years ago. It certainly captures the smile he was so quick to share.
May 16, 2020
To the Stepanek family my love, condolences and prayers on the passing of their beloved father and my dear friend John Stepanek. It's too difficult to put into words the many memories John and I shared during our days working at Honeywell and during the many hours we shared during the last 14 years of our retirement. He will be forever in my heart and daily prayers. Perhaps my feeling are best summed up in an old Irish poem and blessing:
"May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."