Lawrence "Larry" Francis Steffann
September 9, 1952 – July 30, 2018
The World Has Lost One of Its Greats: A Giant Among Us All
Born on September 9, 1952 in Parkchester, NY, Larry was the 3rd youngest of 10 children. Relocating to Hempstead, NY as a small child, Larry attended Uniondale High School and would later go on to graduate from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Larry is survived by his wife of 43 years; Barbara, his two daughters; Bena Medlock (Chris) and Lauren Primato (Philip), his 5 beautiful grandchildren; Jacob, Isaac, Max, Crosby, and Maya - all from Raleigh, NC.
He leaves behind 5 sisters and 4 brothers; Mary Leverich, Claire Vamosy (Steve), Margaret Steffann (Mickey), Ellen McGowan, Elizabeth Roger (Barron), James Steffann (Sharon), John Steffann, Richard Steffann and Peter Steffann (Leigh). He is preceded in death by his parents, Clifford & Joan Steffann, his in-laws, Benjamin & Shirley Meister, and his brother-in-law, William Leverich.
After relocating to Boca Raton, Florida in the late 80’s with his family, Larry joined the former Boca Research as Chief Operating Officer, where he was an integral part of procuring and manufacturing the first modem to be shipped and sold overseas.
Post Boca Research, Larry founded Worldwide Ventures, where as a venture capitalist he continued his 40 year-long career working in the arena of innovation and technology within the community, country, and internationally.
Larry’s accomplishments included a number of startups, from advisor to angel investor to executive/founder. He served in executive roles at two publicly traded companies. More recently, he was GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and VP of Product Development for Consert. Larry was also heavily involved and admired in Raleigh’s HQ Community. One of his proudest professional accolades was as The Founder of NC RIoT (Regional Internet of Things). RIoT has been a front-runner in helping pave the way for IoT. It has grown into a group of 5000+ technologists, engineers, business leaders, academics, policy makers, and entrepreneurs, all of whom have a stake in the Internet of Things industry. RIoT has been a groundbreaking conduit in what Larry commonly referred to as ‘the 4th Industrial Revolution.’
As an esteemed, fiercely dedicated, hardworking, gifted and natural entrepreneur, Larry will continue to be revered as a maven in the technology field as his contributions live on.
He will also be remembered as a mentor, teacher, leader, friend, and social justice advocate. He will continued to be endeared for his quick-wit, brilliant humor, and larger than life presence.
However, Larry’s largest accomplishment was at home. There he was a committed Husband, Father and “Grampy.” He unconditionally loved and cherished his wife, children, and grandchildren. Known for his Sunday morning pancake-making, Grampy and Grandsons walk-taking, and his enthusiasm for adventure-partaking, his grandchildren relished in his tender, boundless love, storytelling & teachings, and enthusiasm that he shared with them each day. The love his family has and will carry on for him is infinite.
Services honoring Larry’s Life will be held at Temple Beth Or 5315 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27612
In lieu of flowers please make all donations to:
•Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
•Temple Beth Or Preschool
Call 919.781.4985 ext.4 or check to:
Temple Beth Or Preschool
5315 Creedmoor Road • Raleigh, NC 27612
•Southern Poverty Law
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
- Funeral Service Friday, August 3, 2018
- Graveside Service Friday, August 3, 2018
Lawrence "Larry" Francis Steffann
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August 9, 2018
I had the honor of meeting Larry when at Consert and later got to work with him with RIoT and the Wireless Research Center of NC. Larry really knew how to put just the right pressure on to get things done but showed genuine appreciation for support, teamwork, and a job well done. Initially, I was intimidated by his hard charging approach but learned to appreciate that he knew how to get things done and discovered the human side of this bigger than life man. He would always say I was the best FAE in the area and it didn't matter that I wondered if he said that to everyone. I knew that he meant it. Larry's "get things done" approach helped many entrepreneurs and companies. It also helped me grow in my role as an FAE. I appreciate the times that Larry included me in RIoT events as a panelist, subject matter expert and exhibitor. Larry had a way of tailoring his message to the occasion and in moving things forward at just the right pace, usually accelerated. He also had an eye for competence and the lack thereof. His relentless efforts as an advocate of technology will be missed as the less serious side and friendship shown to us all. Larry, may our God bless you and keep you and may your life remind us to work hard, make friends, do good, share a laugh, and leave a legacy. Prayers and thoughts are with your family and friends as we mourn, inspire, remember, and celebrate because you helped us see more of what is possible.
August 6, 2018
I have had the pleasure of crossing Larry's path on many occasions over the past 15 years and always enjoyed his genuine comradery and sense of humor, and have routinely benefited from his sage advice. His presence will be missed by the entire community. Condolences to the Steffann family.
CEO, Device Solutions Inc..
August 6, 2018
I first met Larry over three years ago at the CIE in Wilmington when I was just starting my company. It was one of the most exciting times for me. I was young and eager to share my idea with Larry and Gerry as I knew they had so much experience within the IoT space. I wanted to get their approval of my idea's feasibility. It was at this meeting when I saw their true passion for technology and helping others. Larry encouraged me to pursue the patent and gave me the courage to move forward. I did, and couldn't be happier. Throughout the years we all stayed in touch and every time I had an opportunity to see them when we were in the same area, I did. If it wasn't for Larry's encouragement and selfless passion to help others, I may not be where I am today. He will be missed greatly and his contributions to our community will not be forgotten. Very few people have an opportunity to make the impact and legacy that Larry has made. Now, it is our turn to continue paying it forward and keeping his vision alive. Thank you Larry for all your support and encouragement throughout these years. You will be missed dearly. I won't let you down.
August 4, 2018
I will always remember Larry as a dear friend and mentor that continually gave of his time and wisdom when he had nothing to expect in return. I first met Larry in the fall of 2010 when I began working for Consert, Inc. Larry was the VP of product development, and he often worked directly with my team and I. Larry was an excellent manager, because he understood that the success of a company depends upon the care and engagement of its people. Larry always put people first, and as a result, results followed. In July of 2014, I moved back to the Raleigh area and had the opportunity to work closely with Larry again. The only thing that had changed was that Larry was a little bit older and a lot wiser. He always had a smile on his face and would do anything he could for you if he thought you needed something. I will miss his smile and his constant, genuine happiness, but I know I'm richer for having called him 'friend'. My prayers are with his family and friends - we will miss you, Larry!
August 2, 2018
I met Larry a couple years ago during a visit to the Wireless Research Center. From there, my company joined RIoT and I had the pleasure of talking to him many times. He was always smiling and had some goofy joke to throw at you. Mostly, I was so impressed at how he took this neat idea of RIoT and made it something great. He surrounded himself with a great team and persistent optimism and constantly drew people in. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family and the teams at RIoT and Wireless Research Center.
August 2, 2018
I was fortunate enough to hear Larry speak at a TechWire event and meet him in person during the RIoT Hackathon in 2015. His warm and friendly personality was welcomed to a nervous and inexperienced beginner, and his insight offered to our team was invaluable and helped us while we worked on our project. I was only 19 at that time, and that hackathon helped not only shape my interest and understanding of the Internet of Things, an interest I still hold to this day, but also reach a better understanding of CS and Engineering as a whole. As he was a co-founder of RIoT, I feel I have him to thank for these gifts.
Thank you, Larry!
August 2, 2018
Larry was the kind of person who could make friends with a rock and then proceed to make it laugh! (... his jokes were a bit nerdy... which made them even funnier with his delivery 😊). The first time I met Larry was at a RIOT event in 2015... At that event I saw his committment and infectious enthusiasm for making our area the destination for IoT innovation! I remember he said that when we help each other, we all win. I think that sums up the success of all of his endeavors. He was a GREAT connector. He will be very much missed in our community and the world. My sincere condolences to his family.
August 1, 2018
Larry never took on any small challenges and I loved watching him build RIoT, however I think I was one of his big challenges and he never gave up on me to be successful, he loved my invention and was always supporting me where he could.. I met Larry at a VC panel talk in RTP where they wanted businesses to do a 1 minute pitch. He invited me to his RIoT meetings and I was so inspired by his ability to speak and make great changes in the Community. He had a gift of drawing people in. He was always full of wise advice that came with a genuine laugh or two, a big smile and wink. I was coming out of retirement with my invention and I was a little uncomfortable with public speaking even though I had owned many successful companies, I was better in the boardroom I was not strong spoken and lacked the skill for an elevator pitch in public. Larry influenced many positive changes in my career and life and now making a pitch on stage and speaking in public is no longer a challenge for me. As a female in this industry we do not always feel so welcome. But Larry did more than welcome me he introduced me to many people and looked out for me and my company if he saw something that did not look right, he also inspired a stronger voice in me to the point of testing my elevator pitch and calling me out in the audience to speak. Today I not only speak on stage and give Key Notes I am on two TV shows. My first pitch in public was because he made me do it. He did this for everyone he met so his accomplishments in life is well displayed in our community and beyond. His legacy of kindness, good deeds and mission for RIoT inspiring our community to aspire to greatness will live on forever as we each pay forward what he aspired and shared with us. Memories of Larry and his warm smile and jokes will live forever in my heart. Tonight I light a candle and raise a glass of red wine to toast what a wonderful person Larry was to all of us. Cheers to Larry
August 1, 2018
I've only known Larry for just under a year but I feel I'm a better person having known him. Larry always had a smile and loved to spin a yarn or tell a joke. He was always friendly and enjoyed talking about the new activities of R!oT and the WRC. He was a wealth of knowledge and loved learning about new things.
I'll miss you Larry!
August 1, 2018
Thank you Larry for your partnership, friendship , camaraderie and shared experiences. You reached out to network with us to help in your efforts with the Wireless Research Center and RiOT. In the process, you took the time to learn about our company and our people, and then passionately introduced us deeper into your community. In the process, you and I learned about how we had so much in common personally, growing up years apart yet not far from each other in the Bronx and Queens, going to the same school, and traveling such similar paths in our youthful years.
It was wonderful getting to know you Larry, but it was almost more fun watching you as you befriended others. You were always the brightest light in the room, and I enjoyed every second I had in your presence.
I wish you all the best in your next amazing and glorious venture.
You will be sorely missed my friend.
President, Simple Com
Indian Trail, NC
August 1, 2018
Founder of NC RIOT. Dynamic Businessman. Caring Father. Connector of People. Evangelist of North Carolina Technology. It's hard to summarize our dearest friend and mentor in just a few words.
You were instrumental in shaping our company and bettering our lives. You will be missed every single day. Your generosity, kindness and help, always remembered. Your smile, humor and wit, never forgotten. Thank you for everything.
Rich Brancaccio and the team at FokusLabs/Revibe