Half Staff – Stephen Vavak

February 5, 2018
ROCKPORT – From up there, you could see all there is. And it looked like there was a reason for everything.Stephen M. Vavak, 73, of Rockport, husband of Beate Becker-Vavak, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Stephen was born in Hartford, Conn. on March 1, 1944 and was caringly raised by his late adoptive parents Leroy J. Vavak and Mary (Mazer) Vavak. He graduated from Shamokin High School in Pennsylvania, and received his diploma with his class while being in the U.S. Coast Guard. During his service, early journeys to Antarctica, the South Pacific and New Zealand taught him to find mentors everywhere and stirred his passion for the oceans, foreign countries and cultures. In his adult years Steve found immense joy in sailing, participating in regattas with friends and exploring many parts of the world with his wife Beate, bringing home memories and inspirations for new adventures. Steve’s amazing intuition for space and architecture flourished in his work as an architect for Polaroid for nearly 40 years, creating inspiring and practical work environments.

After retirement he accomplished aesthetic and functional spaces in private homes in the Boston and Cambridge area from his own architectural office. He thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration and work with others as a volunteer for nearly 30 years in Rockport. Steve served as Chairman of the Police Station Design and Building Committee, the Building Study Committee, as DPW Commissioner, as member of the Community House Management Board, the Board of Pathways for Children and the Board of Thacher lsland Association. No work was too hard for him to shoulder and create something meaningful. With his creative out of the box thinking, loyalty, integrity, dedication and curiosity blended with his good humor and passion he connected easily with people and impacted them. He deeply impressed his German family and friends as an enthusiastic, problem solving, free spirited and warm-hearted American. For many he will live on in their memories as a reliable, inspiring and profound friend. In the heart of his wife, he will remain the most loving, beautiful and thoughtful mind and soul.

He is survived by his wife, Beate, his children Stephen and Scott, his former wives, Paula Rogers and Donna Lewanda, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his aunt Cathy Jankowski, N.J., his cousin, lrene Helms, Fla. His visiting hours will be held in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester, MA on Saturday, February 17 from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by a service at the First Congregational Church of Rockport, MA at noon. Family and friends are cordially invited. His burial will take place in Locust Grove Cemetery, Gloucester. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his cherished memory to: Pathways for Children, 29 Emerson Ave. Gloucester, MA 01930, Rockport Music or Cape Ann Animal Aid, 4 Paws Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930. Online condolences may be given at www.greelyfuneralhome.com Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester.