Steven Ira Launer
LAUNER: Steven Ira Launer, age 66, of Fairfield, Conn., affectionately known by many as “Pops,” passed away on Friday, March 20, 2015. Steven, a man of many passions, lived life to the fullest. He had a commanding presence and those who met him will never forget him.
Steven was born on April 29, 1948, to parents Edith and Leonard Launer in Bridgeport, Conn. He was the youngest of four children, survived by his sister Judy Palkovitz of Pittsburgh and brother Michael; his second brother Joel sadly passed in 1970. Steven lived most of his life in Fairfield, graduating from Andrew Warde High School in 1966. He received his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the Environmental School of Science and Forestry at Syracuse University in 1971. In 1976, Steven married Merryl Lisbeth Kohn and they had two wonderful children, Josh in 1980 and Lindsay in 1983. Although they divorced in 1996, Steven and Merryl remarried in 2008. Throughout his lifetime, he designed many beautiful landscapes. One of his proudest professional accomplishments was a two-year project designing Battery Park in New York City, which once was home to the Twin Towers. Steven spent the final years of his career as lead landscape architect with the Ceci Brothers Inc. in Greenwich.
Steven loved travel, drive fast cars and motorcycles, and avidly read The New York Times cover to cover. He spent many a night with friends and family debating world events and politics. He was also a rabid New York Yankees and Jets fan, rarely missing an opportunity to watch a game. Steven had the most generous heart and was loyal to those he loved. Friends became family: He was a “brother” to many more than his siblings and “Pops” to many more than Josh and Lindsay.
Amongst Steven’s greatest joys were his son Josh and daughter-in-law Oksana, daughter Lindsay and son-in-law Chris Gale and his two adoring granddaughters Maya (4) and Julianna (2), who affectionately called him “Pop Pop.” Steven is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Despite Steven’s strength, in 2006 he was stricken with a rare, terminal neurological disease known as Multiple System Atrophy. He fiercely battled his illness for more than nine long years, defying the medical odds. When he passed, Steven was surrounded by his closest family and finally came to peace without pain.
A memorial service in Steven’s honor will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 in Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center, at 2 p.m. Friends may greet his family from 1 p.m. until the time of service. A reception will immediately follow at the Gaelic American Club, 74 Beach Road, Fairfield (directly behind the funeral home).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Steven Launer memorial page at the MSA Coalition Inc., firstgiving.com/fundraiser/StevenLauner/multiple-system-atrophy-memorials — an organization dedicated to medical research striving to find a cure for Multiple System Atrophy.
For travel directions, or to sign his online guest register, please visit LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com.