MERIDEN - Warren McVicker Stephan, 91, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and patron of the arts, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, having spent his last days in the loving company of his family and friends.
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Warren was born on July 10, 1922, to Joseph Peter and Mathilda Connor Stephan and was a lifelong Meriden resident. Having lost his father at an early age, he worked as a paper carrier, an orderly and at factory jobs to help support his mother. In the 1950's, Warren purchased the Kandy Kettle and ran the business out of the Upham's, Ives and Rand Department store. It was during this time that he met his beloved wife, Almira Forster, who worked by his side as his "candy maid." Together they raised four daughters. Warren was well known throughout Connecticut and New England for his beautiful singing voice. He appeared on radio, TV and many local venues, and enjoyed his tenure as Cruise Director on the Carla C cruise ship. He also had a successful career as a sales agent for the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance company in Hartford, earning many top sales awards for his outstanding efforts on behalf of his clients. A man of strong faith, Warren Stephan was a devoted and lifelong member of the First Congregational Church in Meriden. Here he served as a trustee, Deacon, soloist in the choir, and, along with his wife, an active member of the Merry Mates. Warren loved the community of Meriden, and he showed his commitment to the city through his active participation in civic and political affairs. His greatest contribution, and the one which will be his lasting legacy, is his founding of Meriden's Castle Craig Players. Now in its 21st year, the Castle Craig Players, under Warren's leadership, has provided Meriden with professional quality theater. He was proud to have given so many performing artists, both young and old, the opportunity to shine as part of the "jewel in the crown" that was his beloved Castle Craig Players. To honor Warren for his many important contributions to the City of Meriden, he was inducted into the Meriden Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2012, he was again honored by the city with a special citation and recognized with the designation of "Warren Stephan Day" on June 8, 2012.
Warren and Almira are survived by their four daughters and their sons-in law, Wendy Lee and John Manciagli, Tracey Dee and Michael Koff, Melanie Ree and Michael DelSole, and Tammy Bee and Dion Nettleton. Warren is also survived by nine grandchildren, of whom he was so very proud, Matthew and Adam Manciagli, Sarah Koff Focarile and husband, Mark, Nicholas Koff, Timothy, Caitlin and Jennifer DelSole and Taylor and Tessa Nettleton. He also leaves a great-grandson, Benjamin Focarile; and his dearest friend, Marlene Chambers. A true gentleman, Warren will be missed by all those who knew and loved him. He was often known to quote a line from his favorite scripture, which stands as a living testament to his core values: "Faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love."
Friends may pay their respects on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 N. Main St. Ext. Wallingford. A celebration of Warren's life will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 62 Colony St., Meriden, with a fellowship reception following the service. A private interment will be held for the family at a later date. If friends so choose, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Warren's honor to Castle Craig Players c/o Mark Laucella, 124 Old Farms East, Middletown, CT, 06457.
Wallingford Funeral Home
809 North Main Street Ext. Wallingford, CT 06492
Published in The Record-Journal on Sept. 17, 2013