Stephen J., 69 of Ridgewood, New Jersey died peacefully at home on May 7, 2013. Born on April 15, 1944 to Nettie and Reuben Lear in Philadelphia, PA, Stephen grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and went on to receive his BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1967. He proudly served our country in the army during the Vietnam War.
A dedicated lifelong real estate broker and incredible salesman, Stephen co-owned Puritz Lear Realtors and was currently employed by Coldwell-Banker of Ridgewood. Anenthusiastic community servant, Stephen was on the Board of Trustees of the YWCA, and served as a past President for the Northwest Bergen Board of Realtors, Kiwanis and Rotary. While president of Kiwanis, Stephen made head lines across the country for being the first member to sponsor a woman to join the club, changing the future of men's clubs everywhere. Stephen will be fondly remembered for his incredible sense of humor, ability to make those around him smile, and for his talent at giving unforgettable speeches. He was a committed volunteer to many causes, including Free the Kids and Community Meals on Wheels.
Stephen is survived by a large and adoring family. He was the beloved husband of Celia Lear, loving father of Christine and Mark Lear, Lauren and Nathan Radcliffe, and Zachary Lear. He was a treasured 'Poppy' to grandchildren Jane, Charlotte, Henry, William and James, and a cherished brother to Arleen and Allen Halpern, Robert and Nancy Lear, Meredith Jones and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Stephen will be missed dearly by his loyal companion Isabella, who never left his side.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations are made in Stephen's name to Free the Kids, Inc. at www.freethekids.org. Private services were held by the family. Arrangements Feeney Funeral Home, Ridgewood.
Published in The Record/Herald News on May 12, 2013