CARMEL, CA – Lewis Di Stefano passed away on April 1, 2014, one week after his final bike ride.
Lew grew up in South Pasadena, California and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1957. Deciding against a career in forestry, he moved to Carmel in 1959 and spent his career at Carmel High School, where he taught algebra and trigonometry. He was respected by his students for his fairness and his colorful ties, many of which were sewn by his wife, Joan.
Lew married Joan Elisabeth McCarthy in 1963. In the early years of their marriage they toured Europe by bicycle, and wrote an account of the trip that was published in Bicycling magazine. They also enjoyed countless camping and hiking excursions.
Joan and Lew had two daughters, Anne Marie born in 1969, followed by Diana in 1971. Family trips took them to Los Gatos and South Pasadena to visit grandparents, as well as throughout the western states, Hawaii and Europe.
Lew loved the outdoors and was a lifetime member of the Sierra Club, but his greatest passion was bicycling. He bought a Rafael Geminiani in the early 1960s and never looked back. His riding included every high mountain pass in the west, several trips across Nevada, centuries (100 miles in a day) and double centuries. Carmel, Tahoe and Moab were among his favorite places to ride. He was on his bike every single day, and his hill climbing prowess is legendary. He celebrated his 80th birthday by riding to the top of Mount Hamilton, a 4,216-foot peak near San Jose.
Lew was fit and strong until the last week of his life, when he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. He spent his final days surrounded by family in the home where he lived for 50 years.
He is survived by sisters, Marian and Rose Marie; daughters, Diana and Anne Marie; sister-in-law, Delia; brother-in-law, John; a large extended family and many wonderful friends.
A memorial gathering will be held at his home from 3:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014.