February 5, 2018
- 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
Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester.