Sean Tyler "Binkie" Stem
1989 - 2016
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Sean "Binkie" Tyler Stem

Age: 26 • Burlington, VT

Sean "Binkie" Tyler Stem, age 26, Burlington, VT, passed away on March 29, 2016 after fighting a long, terrible battle of addiction.

He was born in Burlington, VT on April 17, 1989, the son of Kim Palasits and Jeffrey Stem.

Sean was a soft, gentle, kind young man whose presence was felt by all who knew him. He willingly embraced everyone he met. His personality was fearless and inviting; his contagious laugh made him instantly recognizable in any crowd. He would do anything for anyone and was loved by all.

Sean was a passionate and talented skateboarder since he was a kid. He was a local skate fixture at many skate venues in the area and beyond. He loved basketball, dogs, and being everyone's friend. He had more to give others than he could give to himself.

Sean had a particular sensitivity, feeling great pain and, we hope, great love. It is only in retrospect that we can wonder whether he even had the ability to know how deeply he was loved. And love him, we did, unconditionally through the good and the bad times and truly supported his fight for recovery in every way we knew how. We have learned the hard way that no amount of love can cure this illness.

Those close to him can only assume that it was the drugs pulling him away from those who meant so much to him in the last few months. Perhaps the drugs offered him a needed escape from a world too big and overwhelming to manage successfully. Clearly the addiction took over in ways we cannot understand. And perhaps we cannot truly know another's pain, another's journey. We just know that we must keep on trying, keep reaching out, keep asking for solutions to this tragic epidemic. Those in the know about addiction, especially heroin, must share what they know. Families, friends, and the community have to share their pain, their struggles, so others may know and feel less alone, less confused, less shame. Sean's family can only hope that his death will not be in vain. Can we all, please, come together, love each other? Tear down whatever obstacles are in the way of reaching out, obstacles of fear, loneliness, shame, stigma, and join other friends and family members who see the ramifications of this drug and feel as powerless as we do.

Sean is survived by his parents, Kim Palasits of Burlington, VT and Jeffrey Stem of Baroda, MI; step parents Ernie Palasits and Robin Stem; siblings Shannon, Megan, Justin, Erin, Colleen, Nick, Ryan, Holly, Mark, Paul, and Barbara; nieces and nephews Jackson, Anthony, Cameron, Alex, Miley, Judah, Emma, Laura, and Sophia; Eva Stem, step sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and his dear friend Hannah Deene and his huge GFAM.

If you or a loved one is fighting addiction please know you are not alone.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 4 to 7 in the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service South Chapel, 261 Shelburne, Rd, Burlington. A memorial service will be held on Monday morning at 10am at the First United Methodist Church on South Winooski Avenue. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Attorney Norman A. Blais, 289 College Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401. All proceeds will be used to establish a foundation in Sean's name to combat the use of opiates.

Visit burlingtonfreepress.com/obituaries to Express condolences and sign the guest book.




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 1, 2016.
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69 entries
May 5, 2016
Dear Family of Sean "Binkie". My heart is aching for you at the loss of your dear son. He was born one day after my son, Gary and died one day after my son, Gary. Unbelievable they were exactly the same age and died the same tragic death. I am so proud of you for opening your hearts and lives to share his story. My husband and I too, are doing the same and want to reach out to you with love and prayers. May you feel the amazing love and power and strength given from above. We would love to chat with you as to how your are reaching out to others and hope we can all make a difference in changing peoples lives. I can be reached at 754-2500 Ext. 318
Jeannette Birch
April 9, 2016
Thank you for your beautiful and honest tribute to your son. We must all stand together in support of those struggling from this horrific epidemic. My thoughts are with you and all other families sharing this pain and loss.
Maryann Willson
April 7, 2016
Very sorry for your loss. May your son rest in peace and without pain. I also lost my son 1 year ago at age 27 to the same disease.
Mark Cheli
Friend
April 7, 2016
Hello,
Thank you for your beautiful tribute to your son . I know your pain. I to lost a son to a heroin overdose. My boy knew your son and shared so much in common. Your beautiful words truly touched me. Sending love and prayers.
Margery Keasler
Margery Keasler
April 7, 2016
I did not know Sean, but as I read his obituary I felt as if I was reading about my brother. My brother died a month ago today after a long struggle with his addiction, he was 35 years old. It is a tragedy that addiction takes the lives of so many amazing people. My prayers are with you and your family.
Ivy laFountain
April 7, 2016
we are so sorry for the loss of your amazing son. He was a good guy and so helpful. God Bless.
Tracy Hamlin
April 6, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. Your family will remain in my prayers.
Sean looks like such a nice young man. I did not know him. I do know your loss as I lost my son Aaron 12 years ago when he was only 21 from a heroin overdose in his bedroom with his little sister and myself left to find him. I attend GRASP meetings as I find talking with other parents that suffered the same tragedy healing.
You have a lot of courage to be so open and honest. I admire you for that.
Your right that no amount of love can save them, but we love them non the less.
God Bless,
Tony Basiliere
Contact me anytime: tonyroasting@gmail.com
Tony Basiliere
April 6, 2016
Jeff and Stem Family,
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. - Mary
Mary Williams
April 5, 2016
Im so sorry for your loss.
Nikki Cruz
Acquaintance
April 5, 2016
Sean, you will be missed by so many, you were a great friend and I still can't get over that your gone, Kim I'm so sorry Sean was a great and kind person, he was a good friend to me. Rip Sean
Ryan Campbell
Friend
April 5, 2016
Although I didn't know your son but somehow I feel like I did... My 24 year old son is also a heroin addict...I too live with the fear that one day My family will be walking in these very same shoes. May your son Reast in peace.. I will never stop fighting this fight!! You are not alone! My condolences to your family and thank you for sharing your sons story of addiction with all of us. It was a very courageous thing to do!
Tina Smith
Friend
April 5, 2016
I didn't know Sean but I am very sorry that you lost your precious son, brother and friend to this terrible disease. Our family knows about addiction. We have a loved one who has been fighting this battle for many years. I want to THANK YOU for sharing your story with the community. Things need to change in order to help those who are addicted. It's not enough that we have clinics. We need long-term treatment centers and families need support and education about addiction.
~May Sean finally be at peace.
Laurie Barron
April 4, 2016
Please know that you are not alone in your grief. I lost two sons last year, never even knowing of their addiction. The pain is excruciating. Your courage and bravery to face this crisis is admirable. Offering my sincere condolences to your entire family, and to all those that were touched by your Sean, in his life.
April 4, 2016
Kim, Erni and family, My heart felt condolences. I am so sorry for the loss of your son.
Gina Smith
April 3, 2016
I did not know Sean, but want to thank the family for the beautiful and honest obituary they have shared. Opiate addiction is a terrible illness and there is such a need for courage like yours in sharing stories to increase awareness.

Know that many strangers--not just your friends--are feeling for you and wishing you strength as you move forward after this tragic loss.
April 3, 2016
We all loved Sean...his sense of humor, his smile, and especially his loving HUGS. He was a big part of our family and we will miss him dearly. To all his family and friends, we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
Rise up Sean, You will be forever in our hearts.

The Hale Family~
April 3, 2016
J F
April 3, 2016
May Sean forever rest in peace. My heart goes out to Sean's family. Hugs & Love from a sister TAM.
Joy Anderson
April 2, 2016
Kill the pain that you feel by understanding his disease is a hard mountain to climb, always remember the good times, and help those who are still struggling whenever you can.
R S
April 2, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to your beloved Sean. Thank you for opening your hearts and sharing your and Sean's story. He is now resting peacefully.
April 2, 2016
Ernie and family. So very sorry for your loss. May Sean now rest in peace.

Chris Gilbert
April 2, 2016
My condolences for your loss. I don't know your son personally but I do remember the times I used to see him at Talent, years ago. I was a rollerblader, which isn't often accepted by the skateboard community. He was always friendly and supportive and that meant something. Thank you Sean.
Joe B
April 2, 2016
Fond memories of a lovely man will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, sweet man. You will be in Charlie and my heart always.
Kyle Smith
April 2, 2016
Although I did not know Sean personally, I want to extend my condolences to everyOne. Thank you for the love you express and for opening your hearts in sharing your story. It is key to face what be and to offer up unconditional love. Maybe this is all a bad dream, and one day we will wake up and see that we never left home. (Heaven)ONE Love. Soul hearts unite for infinity, where nothing bad or sad ever happened because only love is real. Again, thank you, and shine on....All Love, your sister in light.
Phoenix Love
April 1, 2016
God Bless Sean and his family. THANK YOU for being brave enough to share your heart breaking story about your beloved Sean and his addiction. I know of other parents that have lost children to this terrible drug.......May he rest in peace and may you find peace in your hearts. Jen Cortez
jen cortez
April 1, 2016
Deep condolences for your loss!
C Ellis
April 1, 2016
As many have written that don't know the family or Sean. I am one of those to join in.
What a beautiful obituary. More need to read what you wrote. I completely understand your feelings.
I know you have lived life on a roller coaster for a long time. God bless your family and Sean too. RIP SEAN your now in a safe place , at peace and now maybe your family will be able to live in a peaceful world now they know your sitting at the right hand if God.
My sympathies to you all.
BW B
April 1, 2016
Dear Kim, Ernie, and Stem Family,
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember Sean at Edmunds Elementary, and the energy he had, he was carrying a skateboard even then. I bet he was a great skater. May he be at Peace and skating in the heavens above. God Bless You All.
Wendy Traquair
April 1, 2016
Lindsay
April 1, 2016
I did not know Sean or his family. I do know the pain that opiate addiction causes to not only the addict but their families and friends. I am fortunate my family member is currently in recovery. It took more than ten years and nearly tore our family apart. While those that make that first choice to try drugs have a choice- the slope becomes slippery quite fast and that person and their body are addicted. I hope that everyone remembers that each addict is someone's family member. Calling them names, wishing them death is not helpful. We need to be supportive and help them recover. It is possible. We should never give up. It sounds like Sean's family never gave up.
May God Bless you all and grant you some serenity during this tragic time.
S F
April 1, 2016
I don't know your family but I know the feeling of the hopelessness of addiction and the high cost to our families...I'm so sorry for your loss, and that your family is one of many in our country... Please share your story in meetings, schools etc so Sean won't have died in vain..Addiction is a disease..not to be punished but treated..God bless you from Penna.
April 1, 2016
as a mother with a son in recovery we have battled this diease for many years also i feel your pain as your heartbreaks for them but there is nothing as a parent we can do but love and support through recovery i pray that god wraps you in his loving arms and brings you peace as Sean is now with him and at peace prayers
April 1, 2016
Love you little brother. GFAM
April 1, 2016
All our most heartfelt condolences to the whole family. We are just crushed by this sad news...the words of the obit are so true...it's impossible to understand the "draw" of opiates unless you've been there...
Diane and Jupiter Horstmyer
April 1, 2016
Sean, you will be missed by all that had the blessing to have met you. We hadn't known you long , but you were loved and will be always the funny snoring son asleep on my couch
Darci and Brenda Deo
April 1, 2016
Thank you for your honesty and openness about the cause of Sean's death. You are doing something so important and valuable to help decrease the stigma and increase understanding. I am on the Board of the Turning Point Center of Chittenden County where we provide a safe and supportive environment for those in recovery. We also run support groups for those who have lost a family member to addiction. Please get in touch if we can help in any way. -Lisa C.
Lisa Cannon
April 1, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. My fiancé is a recovering addict, and as you said, it needs to be talked about to break the stigma. This was a beautiful obituary. Stay strong, we're all in this together.
Kandice Ogarek
April 1, 2016
Always loved and forever in our hearts and memories
C B
April 1, 2016
What a brave and loving way to recognize this loss. May you all be at peace.
April 1, 2016
I did not know Sean, but he was a friend of my son's who has also struggled for many years. I want to say what a beautiful and powerful obituary. I applaud you for your courage. Prayers for Sean and your family.
T B
April 1, 2016
Although we never met, I too lost my son Jesse to the disease of addiction. I am so sorry for your loss. What a brave and beautiful tribute to your handsome son.
Michele Walton (Jesse's mom)
April 1, 2016
Dear Kim and Ryan, If there was words that I could say to take your pain away I would say them out loud for the world to hear. I am truly sorry for your loss and can only imagine the pain you are feeling from losing some one who was so dear. Please find strength in all those who surround you and have come together to show the love the have for your son.. for your brother. Its okay to allow yourselves to cry, to hurt or lean on another. May you find peace during this time knowing how many lives that Sean had touched and how special he was to everyone... wish I could have had the chance to meet him myself.. My thoughts and prayers are with you..
Brandi Bigelow
April 1, 2016
My heart goes out to you, as a parent of a young man, who much like Sean, has fought and struggled to overcome addiction. Thank you for your courage and your honesty in writing such a beautiful memorial. He obviously had a shining, sensitive, beautiful, fun spirit and was so much more than his addiction. I'm sure he felt your love and struggled every day with this terrible disease. Thinking of him and of your words, we all need to fight even harder for all the young people in the terrible grip of addiction. Sean, may your love shine on in the hearts and memories of those around you.
SB
April 1, 2016
To Sean's Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I know how devastating addiction is for a family and especially for the person. You have written a beautiful tribute to your son...it's too bad more people don't view addiction as it truly is. I want you to know you are in my thoughts & prayers, and have my deepest sympathy.
April 1, 2016
i am very sorry for your loss. I hope your brave honesty in sharing his life story will benefit others.
Mary Jane Crouse
April 1, 2016
Thank you for sharing this, for the honesty. Until we can approach this illness, WITHOUT SHAME, the suffering will grow and grow. I am truly grateful to those who are willing to speak the truth. I am so sorry for your loss, I'm grateful for your words and I have hope for a future with more help and less stigma.
Camille M
April 1, 2016
i read with a very heavy heart about the death of your son. i also lost my 38 year old daughter - last march - to addiction. Only those who have lost a child can truly understand the depth and breadth of grief that it brings. if you wish, please contact me: llmulley@gmail.com. We're involved now in the same struggle and need one another.
April 1, 2016
I do not know Sean or any family member, but want to send my sincere sympathy. A most beautifully written obituary.
K. W.
April 1, 2016
I am so very sorry for your loss. I did not know Sean, but know people who do, and as a person that works with individuals who have addictions, I just wanted to say how thankful I am that you are casting light on this issue in the wake of such a tragic loss. It is truly a horrible and chronic struggle. If more people felt they could open up about it, such as your family is, I believe that it would really help people. Thank you for your honesty and I hope you can find some peace in the midst of all this. Sean sounded like an incredibly positive and loving person.
Meghan Brooks
April 1, 2016
Jaw dropping switch heelflips
A. T.
April 1, 2016
GFAM. I love you so much Sean.
Dana Weston
April 1, 2016
Mary ann Johnson
April 1, 2016
My prayers to the family and friends of this beautiful young man. Though I only met him and talked briefly to him a couple times....his smile was contagious and his personality was charming warm and caring. God has taken him to be by his side and to be at peace from what ever struggles he had on this earth. May we all join together in his name and help others who may be struggling..... God bless you all. Do not grieve but laugh. Love and rejoice in his memories and how the world was a much better place since the day he was born into it
Mary Ann Johnson
April 1, 2016
Sean, I will always remember your great smile and happy spirit!
Christina
April 1, 2016
I was saddened to hear of your loss. Please know how very sorry I am.
Susan O'Brien
April 1, 2016
Thank you for your courage in writing such a beautiful and honest memorial to honor another beautiful spirit lost to this disease. We hold our breath every day as our daughter also fights this disease. Our hearts break for you and your family. God bless you.
Paula
April 1, 2016
Your light will continue to shine through all of us that loved you so much. May the fighting have stopped and warmth and comfort surround you. I will always love you Sean-y.
Hannah Deene
April 1, 2016
There are no words... just sadness. I pray that he has found comfort and peace.
Hannah Deene
April 1, 2016
We are so incredibly sorry for the pain you are going through right now. Losing a family member is one of the toughest losses anyone can endure. Know that you are being thought of and we are praying for you all.
Barb and Jeff Fullerton
April 1, 2016
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My daughter has fought this same demon for many years. She has been clean for eight months after we almost lost her.
You are right, we will never understand the why but never forget to love.
Hugs to you all as he is now in a peaceful place where his pain is gone.
Tina Nichols
April 1, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. Sean sounds like an amazing person. Thank you for being brave enough to tackle this issue in his obituary. I believe Sean will be watching over his family and friends and that his legacy will be a more open conversation about addiction.
April 1, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. Sean sounds like an amazing person. Thank you for being brave enough to tackle this issue in his obituary. I believe Sean will be watching over his family and friends and that his legacy will be a more open conversation about addiction.
Pam Sheppard
April 1, 2016
Sean was a dear friend to me. I can't believe he is gone. He was definitely family. I also can't help regretting not spending more time with him towards the end based on my own lack of courage. I'll always miss him and wish he was still here. Gotta remember all the good times we shared. GFAM.
David Budnick
April 1, 2016
To the family I'm so sorry for your loss you all are in my thoughts and prayers I'm here when you need me I love each of you
Jordana Racine
April 1, 2016
To Sean's family,
Our thoughts are with you at your time of loss.
Sean had a way about him that you could not help but love him, always polite, could make you laugh, his smile was one that made you smile even on a bad day! Sean, I'm happy that we got to chat in the mall that night as always you brought a smile to our faces and it was nice to catch up.
Buddy you will be missed,
RIP Sean.
Tony and Theresa Olio
Theresa Olio
April 1, 2016
We will miss your beautiful Soul Sean.
Love
Lisa & JP Provost family
April 1, 2016
My heart aches reading this. Though I admittedly have few memories of Sean as I was only in his "circle" for a very short time around 2000/2001 - he was just a kid, hell, he was still just a kid. I was merely a tourist in his world but was acquainted with his older sisters (super cool girls) through a job I had and can say without doubt there was a lot of love in that family so I can't even imagine the tremendous sense of loss and I am sending whatever little glimmers of light I may have up North to all those caught in the murky haze of this tragedy. Praise to whoever wrote the obituary as it was very poignant and moving. I am so sorry and pray that healing is swift, gentle, and all-encompassing. Peace, Love and Light to you ALL.
Matthew Brothers
April 1, 2016
Forever blessed, forever changed, forever remembered.
Robin Stem
April 1, 2016
I didn't know Sean very well, met him through a friend, but we had the chance to hang out a few times. There was one summer day where we went to the beach and he showed me some really great tunes. When I worked at Panacea pizza he would always walk by with a smile and a wave and the occasional chat. He was an extremely nice person and I enjoyed that I got to meet him. Rest in peace Sean. Condolences to your family. Hope you are in a better place now. Xo
Liz Watson
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