Stephen Edward Schiller (Steve) of Pearl River, NY passed away on February 27, 2022, at the age of 87. He was born to Stephen and Alice (Banks) Schiller and raised in Dix Hills, Long Island. He graduated with a degree in landscape architecture from Farmingdale College, where he was a varsity wrestler. He met his soulmate Judith Anne Horstmann (Judy) while attending a school dance at Farmingdale. As the story goes, Steve chased away five other men who were pestering Judy to dance by saying "Hey, why don't you leave the girl alone." He then asked her out for a cup of coffee, and the rest is history.
Steve made his living in landscape design as well as real estate brokerage. His specialty was building beautiful rock walls, woodland gardens, and waterfalls. He could identify all plants and trees, including in their Latin names. Steve was one of the founders of the Dix Hills Fire Department and proudly served in the U.S. Marine Reserves. He was a devoted congregant of Nauraushaun Presybterian Church for 40 years, and a thoughtful supporter of others in need, including volunteering for the Midnight Run to serve the homeless in NYC, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, and spending many hours helping to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. He was also actively involved with the Rockland County Democrats and was known for his passionate love for his country.
Steve enjoyed growing plants in his garden, reading presidential biographies, sharing food and drink with friends and family, motoring around the mountains in the Catskills, and spending time at Pine Nook, the family cabin. Over the last fifteen winters, Steve and Judy enjoyed spending time in Fort Myers, Florida where they made beautiful memories together with Steve's sisters Alice Blachly, Mary Fondacaro, Frances Fondacaro, and Veronica Makovic.
Steve was a uniquely positive person with a disarming, jovial personality who always had a new joke at the ready. He will be remembered for his kindness and being a master storyteller who loved to make people laugh and smile. Most importantly, he was an unconditionally loving man who could not have been prouder of his family. His legacy will live on through generations of family and friends whom he taught to celebrate life.
He is survived by Judy, his "beautiful bride" of 60 years, daughters Holly (David) Gallet and Andrea (Chris) O'Meara, son Matthew (Maura Ayling) Schiller, and 12 adoring grandchildren: Chloe, Alexander, and Emma Gallet; Colin, Billy, Taylor, and Ashley O'Meara; and Madeline, Grace, Matthew, Samuel, and Faith Schiller.
A celebration of Steve's life will be held at Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church on June 11, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Steve’s memory to Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, 51 Sickletown Road, Pearl River, NY 10965 (www.nauraushaunchurch.org)
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