Stephen B. Pauley, loving husband, father, brother, grandpa and friend, died Saturday after a valiant struggle with Covid pneumonia. He was 73.
Steve had many names — Uncle, Dad, Bad Santa and, to his grandchildren, Big Daddy — and he embraced each one with great love and humor.
Proud of his (South Charleston) West Virginia roots, Steve was a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy on the destroyer USS Douglas H. Fox from 1967-1972. After the war, he worked for UPS and then founded and ran Automated Gates and Access Systems (AGAS) for many years in Central Florida and New Smyrna Beach.
Steve, a graduate of the University of Central Florida School of Business, was proud of his service in Vietnam and his successful career, but love of family and friends were always front and center. Work was a means to an end — his main purpose being to enjoy life to the fullest and to spread love and good cheer wherever he went.
Part Jimmy Buffett, part Steve Martin, part Santa Claus, he made people laugh and enjoy the magic of each moment. Steve was a lover of music — especially Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson and Bob Seger.
Steve leaves one simple thought behind to the rest of us: “Do the right thing.”
He is survived by his devoted wife, Cathy; children Erin Burke (Chris Burke), Stephen Booth (Julie Booth); sister Clara Young; brother Thomas Kelly Pauley; stepchildren Kristen Smith (Melissa McGuire), Ashley Recchi (Brian Recchi), Sarah Williams (Taylor Williams), Sam Smith (Danya Dochterman); and six grandchildren Kendall Recchi, Graham Recchi, Christopher Smith, Quinn Smith, Connor Booth and Anastasya Booth.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) and Camp Boggy Creek (boggycreek.org).
Services will be held at Saint Peter the Fisherman Episcopal Church in New Smyrna Beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 1 pm. In honor of Steve, please wear a mask and get vaccinated to help others who are immuno-compromised, as Steve was.
Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home (386) 428-2424 is in charge of arrangements.
I’ve lived my life to the fullest
And done the deeds I thought best
I’ve experienced life’s joy and sorrows
And touched on all the rest.
I’ve had good friends and relations
Which meant the world to me.
I’ve followed a path different
Than some would have liked to see.
Don’t mourn my passing on.
Don’t try to understand.
Just know that I loved you all
And that was my life’s plan.