YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Reverend Stephen Palmer Pressey, 88, passed quietly into the arms of the Lord on Monday, February 19, 2018 with his loving family around him.
Stephen was born March 5, 1929 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker, Oregon to his parents, The Reverend Hebert E. P. Pressey and Alma Husted Pressey.
He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1947 in Long Island, New York and from Trinity College on June 17, 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut with a bachelor of arts degree. While in college, Stephen belonged to a fraternity and on December 6 of the year he graduated he joined the armed forces as CPL USA – CIC Agent – Paratrooper Division and served in the Korean War. In 1958 he graduated from Kenyon College-Bexley Hall Seminary, Ohio.
Stephen comes from a family of five clergy, including his grandfather, father, great-uncle and uncle. His ordination to priesthood was held on December 19, 1958 at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Shelby, in the Diocese of Ohio.
He served in the parishes of St. Mark Episcopal Church, Shelby, Ohio, as assistant minister at St. James Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio, as Rector at St. Rocco Episcopal Church in Youngstown, Ohio, at St. Katherine Episcopal Church in Williamston, Michigan, St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Jackson, Michigan, St. John Episcopal Church in Temperance, Michigan, back to St. Rocco Episcopal Church in Youngstown, Ohio, then at St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Youngstown, Ohio. His present Bishop in the Diocese of Ohio is Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, Jr. and he retired from the Diocese of Michigan under Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.
Stephen was a student paper carrier and had a certificate for an airplane spotter in St. Augustine, Florida.
He was a master mason at the Shelby Lodge and the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
Stephen was present for the civil rights movement in Alabama in 1983 and the Counter-Revolutionary War in Nicaragua in 1984. He also served as a special agent for Prudential with Mission Against Poverty. He began a Dr. of ministry program in Detroit in the 1980s, received a certificate for the 26th Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day 1983, received a Diploma for Bachelor of Square Dancing in March 1984 in Williamston, Michigan and made a trip to Ireland with a group from the Diocese of Ohio.
Stephen studied with a Rabbi in Mansfield for three years, was an avid reader, having many books and many on the Mastery of Life, wrote skits and plays for many churches he served and loved to write Haiku, poetry and sonnets. He taught yoga and tai-chi at the Senor Center in Temperance and also tia-chi in Youngstown. He constructed several labyrinths at churches including two at St. Rocco and one at the Villa Maria Spirituality Center in Pennsylvania and enjoyed being a mentor to several young people. Stephen had a green thumb and planted a lovely home garden of red and yellow roses and his favorite sunflowers.
He received his master gardner certificate at Fellows Riverside Garden and quoted “Like a rose opens, look to the next moment. We have stopped and looked at the flow of our lives.”-SPP He would also say “If I could hang with my hips, I would have been a better pole-vaulter.”
Stephen is survived by his wife, the former Constance M. Jeswald, whom he married December 27, 1970; his children, Stuart T. (Belinda) Pressey, Allegra (Roger) Andersen, Christopher Y. (Beverly) Pressey and Joseph (Mary Theresa) Bellino; sister, Lois Crowley; grandchildren, Kristen Pressey, Kara (Josh) Smith, Hilary Andersen, Noah Andersen, Zoey Pressey and Kai Pressey; great-grandchild, Briella M. Smith; sisters-in-law, Rose Anita Jesweld and Angeline D. (Walter) Foltz and many loving nieces; nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joanne Palmer Pressey.
Family and friends will call from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23 in Schiavone Funeral Home and from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 24 in St. James Episcopal Church.
A funeral mass will follow with the Rt. Reverend William D. Persell officiating. Co-Celebrant will be the Reverend John Wigle.
The family wished to express their appreciation and thanks for the loving support from the VA Akron Office, Hospice-Southern Care, Almost Family, First Light and all the Caring Givers, and to David who was with the family during this difficult time. Stephen always said he moved 33 times, not counting the one from heaven and so my dearest, you have made your 35th move back to Heaven.
A television tribute will air Thursday, February 22 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.