Wilberding, Stephen Van Cortlandt
Jun. 11, 2016
Stephen Van Cortlandt Wilberding, 74, of Casey Key, passed away June 11, 2016, surrounded with the love of family and friends.
Steve was descended from one of the oldest New York families, his first ancestor in the New World having laid out Wall Street. At 19, he left Yale University after two years in order to work for five years with a nonprofit organization, mainly in Asia and Europe, and with others founded "Up with People." His father didn't approve and arranged for Steve to be drafted into the Army, where Steve stayed for five years, becoming a Captain in the Infantry, Airborne, Ranger, and Pathfinder Officer for the 101st Airborne Division in South Vietnam. He earned 13 awards and decorations, of which several were for valor.
Steve earned his MBA from Columbia University and worked in international investment banking for Merrill Lynch & Co., for 30 years. During this time, he started Merrill's banking business in Japan, managed its European investment banking from London, and managed the Saudi Arabian government's $150 billion of reserves while living in Riyadh for more than five years. He also ran a merchant banking subsidiary dealing with emerging markets in Latin America, did privatizations in Eastern Europe and Russia, and established and ran three joint ventures for Merrill in Mumbai, India.
In 1999, Steve retired to Casey Key and became active on boards of nonprofit organizations, including Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and JFCS of the Suncoast.
Steve also enjoyed playing tennis and golf, bird watching (over 2,000 species on all continents), travel, and collecting. In 2009, he donated a 69-piece collection of Turkoman tribal jewelry to the Ringling Museum of Art to be part of its permanent Asian collection. Other collections include Ming porcelain, contemporary art from India and America, early New York family portraits and miniatures, and military miniatures.
Steve is survived by his wife, Teri A Hansen of Casey Key; son Van (YongHea) of Nigeria; daughter Ashley Balavoine (Olivier) of Princeton, New Jersey; son Beau (Suki), of Sarasota, and daughter Crystal Hansen of Sarasota. He is also survived by six grandchildren (Jacobus, Hannah, Hugo, Theo, Jaxon, and Julian); and first mother-in-law Ann Spaulding. Steve was predeceased by his first wife, Ann "Stevie" Wilberding.
A celebration of life will be held at Selby Gardens on Thursday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Stephen V. C. Wilberding Memorial Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation to be distributed to his favorite causes.
Published in Herald Tribune on Jun. 14, 2016.