Stephen G. Waters
Stephen Gardner Waters, age 84, passed away after a long illness on April 5, at home. Born in Bridgeport, CT, the son of Dorothy Gavitte Waters and Everett Oyler Waters, he grew up outside of New Haven in Mt. Carmel, graduated from Mt. Hermon School (now Northfield-Mt. Hermon, Northfield, MA) – Class of ’52, received a BA from Yale University in 1956 and a MALS from Wesleyan University in 1963. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Steve began his teaching career at the Fay School (Southborough, MA) 1956. From 1959 to 1970, he taught English and Social Studies at the Englewood School for Boys (now the Dwight-Englewood School, in Englewood, NJ), became Principal of the lower-school, and Assistant to the Headmaster.
From 1970 until 1991, Steve served as Headmaster of St. Andrew’s School (Barrington, RI). The school was founded in 1893 to serve disadvantaged boys. During Steve’s tenure, he introduced programs to help kids with learning differences. In 1982 he introduced co-education.
Steve was interim Headmaster (1991-92) at the Oakwood School (Poughkeepsie, NY).
From 1992 to 1997 he served as Headmaster of the Charles Armstrong School (Belmont, CA), a school for the dyslexic learner. Steve’s “whole child” approach added arts & physical education to the curriculum. This introduced self-expression to the students as well as a sense of community.
In 1997, he and his wife, Jane, returned to New England, to their beloved farmhouse in Deering, NH. Although retired, Steve remained committed to education and to his community. In 1997 he became a consultant for the administration of St. Thomas-Moore (Oakdale, CT). He became Vice-President of the Hillsborough Historical Society and was elected to two terms on the Hillsboro-Deering School Board (2000-2006). In 2007, Steve, along with his wife, Jane, was honored to be chosen as Citizens of the Year. Other contributions included: Youth Diversion Program (2005-17); Duncan-Jenkins Trust, Grant Committee (2000-006); Deering Foundation (Eleanor Campbell Charitable Fund), Board Member, and Emeritus. Steve also served the State of New Hampshire on several educational boards where he especially enjoyed mentoring student teachers for Plymouth State University as a Clinical Faculty member. Closer to home at LINEC (Learning Institute at New England College) he enjoyed attending classes and served as chairperson for its 25th-anniversary celebration. A life-long learner, Steve often said: “I never left school!”
In 2000 he joined the Deering Community Church where he had responsibilities as Moderator and as a member of several committees including the choir. He also was a leader of the planning committee for the UCC “Prepared to Serve”.
An accomplished pianist and downhill skier, Steve was a gifted writer and public speaker with featured editorials in the Concord Monitor. He enjoyed traveling, the annual “mini-reunions” with his classmates from Northfield-Mt. Herman, and weekly outings with friends known as the “Knights of the Roundtable” whose motto is “Often in error, never in doubt”. Steve was a member of the AMC for fifty years, spending many memorable summers with his family at Three Mile Island Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.
Steve is fondly remembered for his kindness and respect for everyone, his listening skills, his enduring faith in people’s better angels, his humility, generosity, wry sense of humor, and ever-ready smile. Perhaps most important in his life was his wife, Jane, married for 54 years. They were known for their coordinating and matching outfits!
Preceded in death by his parents, sister, Deborah Waters, and daughter, Carolyn Maren Waters. He is survived by his wife Jane; son John and his wife, Tracy, their children, Turner, Jack, and Greer; his sister Hope Waters Thomas; nephews, Jim Hattstaedt, Bill Thomas, James Thomas, Peter Thomas, Ben Thomas, and niece, Martha Quigley, and their spouses.
Donations may be made to the Deering Community Church, 763 Deering Center Road, Deering, NH 03244, or The Stephen G.Waters Scholarship Fund, St. Andrew’s School, 63 Federal Rd., Barrington, RI 02806.