Stedman Matthew
1950 - 2020
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Stedman F. Matthew
December 25, 1950 – July 30, 2020
Stedman Fitzroy Matthew, loving brother, uncle, and friend, and devoted elder of the St. Dominic's Catholic community, died on July 30th, 2020, at the age of 69.
Born in 1950 in Montserrat, West Indies, on Christmas Day, his mother's birthday, Stedman was a precocious and industrious student at Montserrat Secondary School. Upon graduating, Stedman took a job as a broadcaster for Radio Antilles and later Radio Montserrat, where he read the news in his deep, resonant voice and played his favorite composers across the airwaves.
In 1972, Stedman moved to New York City to attend Fordham University, studying philosophy, the arts, history, and religion, his lifelong interests. He spent five years after Fordham as an account manager for public relations firm R.C. Auletta , whose founder and president remembers him as a unique human being who touched all those who knew him. They remained friends throughout Stedman's lifetime.
Taking a month to travel cross-country by train and bus, Stedman moved West to San Francisco in 1981. He spent his first 15 years there as a distinguished fiduciary, first at Sanwa Trust Company (formerly Lloyd's Bank), where he was a vice president and trust officer, and later at Assist Fiduciary Services, a private fiduciary firm.
In 1995, Stedman began his career in service to St. Dominic's Catholic Church, the Western Dominican Province, and the national St. Jude Shrine. Stedman became the organizational backbone of St. Dominic's, first as Finance Manager and later as Parish Administrator for more than a decade. Stedman's presence and leadership extended well beyond these roles, however. It was common to find him both at morning mass and at vespers in the evening. At night he led his various committees—Finance, Development, Parish Council—or practiced with the choir. He was a regular at most Parish functions and was especially fond of sharing a glass of wine, tasty food, and good cheer with other parishioners. With his wealth of interests and knowledge and his immense, pure heart, he found delight in everyone.
Since 2008, Stedman served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the national St. Jude Shrine, a role that allowed him to show his compassion for the less well-off and suffering. In his work there he relied on the skill and dedication of Rosa Pinto.
Beyond his life of service, Stedman traveled extensively, often with companions. From Rome and Africa with Fr. Reginald, the Holy Land with Fr. Xavier, Mexicali with Fr. Martin, London with his sister Annette, Jamaica with his niece Alison, California camping with Olivia and Gary, or 4th of July in Montana with Molly and Mark, Stedman indulged his love of culture, adventure, and cuisine. Stedman relished his regular dinner gatherings hosted by his friend Kathe, and cocktails with Linda, Dan, and Ellen at the Thai Stick, where he could enjoy intimate conversation and share a hearty laugh. He was a regular patron around Fillmore Street, memorable for his lanky 6'7" frame and kind, formal mannerisms.
A solemn funeral mass was celebrated in Stedman's honor on Friday, August 7, 2020. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, it was a small gathering of friends and former colleagues: Fr. Xavier Lavagetto, O.P., served as the celebrant and homilist; Simon Berry directed the liturgy and music; Mark Lizama and Sister Anne Bertain read the scriptures; Patric Powell arranged the altar orchids and forsythia; and a dozen local friends and parishioners formed the congregation. A digital recording of the service is available. A graveside service followed at St. Dominic's Cemetery in Benicia, California.
Stedman was predeceased by his parents, James Matthew and Catherine Jeffers Riley. Beyond a wealth of sad friends and acquaintances, he leaves to mourn his sister Annette and her husband Bob, Kevin his nephew, niece Alison and her husband Jason, and great niece Laylah in the U.K.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Arrangements are under the direction of Passalacqua Funeral Chapel, Benicia. Please visit the online tribute at

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17, 2021.
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