Steven “Steve” Lloyd Wexler, 59, of Great Meadows, New Jersey, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at home on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
Steven was born December 14, 1959 in Long Island, New York to Harold and Rose (Slep) Wexler. He enjoyed riding his bike to Long Island Sound and sledding on Bethpage Black Golf Course as a child. He was a gifted singer and past president of the John F. Kennedy High School Choir. He graduated in 1977 and started his studies at the University of Massachusetts. There he became an emergency medical technician and helped found a dormitory café including arranging the purchase of a cappuccino machine.
Taking some time to explore what he wanted in life, he returned to New Jersey and began working at Somerville Medical Center in the operating room. One seemingly normal day he was particularly struck by a patient and inquired about volunteering at the patient’s facility. This led him to the Matheny School, where he met Leslie Williams in 1980. He completed his studies at Rutgers College graduating with a degree in economics and minor in finance. During his college time he developed a passion for astronomy. He married Leslie Ann Williams on February 24, 1985. Together they soon settled in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
Steve worked in commercial finance for the majority of his career and especially enjoyed connecting people of varied backgrounds and mentoring new graduates. He was active in his community, serving on the town planning board and town recreation commission, coaching soccer and basketball, and singing and playing guitar at church. He served on mission trips to Appalachia and Haiti with his church. He loved traveling and exploring destinations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania with his family on the weekends. In the summers he would often travel to Maine with his family and extended family, where he would often be found outside traversing the rugged coast and finding the best local seafood. An avid cyclist, he participated in local races as well as a week-long 300 mile ride in the Middle East with his brother, Peter, in 2017. He was a skilled musician and lover of music, reader, sailor and boater, runner, exercise enthusiast, amateur astronomer/archeologist/geologist, and kayaker. In his evenings at home, he most looked forward to “hip time”, relaxing on the couch, resting on Leslie’s hip.
Retiring from finance in 2016 gave Steve more time to spend pursuing his hobbies and visiting his children and family. He traveled to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Israel, Jordan, and numerous destinations within the United States. In the fall of 2018 he sailed with his brother and a friend on a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to San Diego. He pursued advanced sailing certifications in the Chesapeake Bay with his son, Brian, in April of this year. Most recently he returned from exploring Ireland, Scotland and Northern England with his wife, sister Amy, and friends. He had a particular talent for finding the best restaurants and pubs; especially enjoying fresh seafood and lobster. He enjoyed a good red wine, cider, or occasional “icy cold” beer.
Steve will be remembered for his sense of humor, outgoing nature, willingness to help anyone in need, love of learning, and beautiful musical abilities. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Leslie Williams-Wexler, son Brian Wexler and his wife Meghan Wexler, daughter Emily Wexler, his parents Rose and Harold Wexler, parents-in-law Barbara and Duncan Williams, sister Amy Wexler, brother Peter Wexler and his wife Deborah Wexler, sister Sara Wolfson and husband Doug Wolfson, sister-in-law Diana McManus, sister-in-law Audrey Williams, and several nieces and nephews: Aaron Wolfson and his wife Ashley McClure-Wolfson, Naomi Wolfson, Avi Wolfson, Ben Wexler, Courtney McManus, Kelly McManus, Bailey McManus, Christina Donaldson, Elizabeth Swanson, and Brittany Reiger.
Visitation will take place on Friday, August 30th from 6-8 pm at Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. A celebration of Steve’s life will take place at 11 am on Saturday, August 31st at Trinity United Methodist Church, 213 Main Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to honor Steve’s passion for music and love for his dedicated church family with donations to the Folk Project (Mendham, NJ), or to Trinity United Methodist Church (Hackettstown, NJ).
Folk Project donations can be made via donations.folkproject.org or by mail: Folk Project, Attention Chris Riemer, 25 Center Avenue, Morristown NJ 07960. Donations to Trinity United Methodist Church can be made via https://www.catchthespirit.org/ or by mail: Trinity United Methodist Church, 213 Main Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840.
September 2nd, 2019 10:47 am
Leslie, I am so sorry to hear this horrible news! Steve was a wonderful, thoughtful, loving man, and I will always fondly remember all the good times in the Praise Band when he sang with us. I am truly sorry to learn of this terrible tragedy. Gather strength from your Trinity family. May God give you the strength to endure this.
September 1st, 2019 9:44 pm
On angels wings...love and prayers and peace to his family.
September 1st, 2019 9:43 pm
On angels wings...love and prayers and peace to his family.
August 31st, 2019 7:37 am
Even though I haven’t seen Steve in many years his warmth and friendship will always remain as a never ending memory of my youth.Starting out as a couple of Old Bethpage kids playing sports in the streets and hanging out with friends(he was the only guy friend at my bar mitzvah).all the way thru high school singing in choir.We shared many great memories with our neighborhood and school friends like choir,prom, and even intramural basketball(“The Golden Throats”: that white boy could jump!) Unfortunately I got the same pain I felt recently when our old friend Bobby Halpin passed away when I heard about Steve. Not only was I sad that Steve had passed, but I was incredibly sad that I’ll never have the chance to reconnect with him and share memories and laughter. Sending my love and sympathy to Steve’s family and friends.Keep his beautiful memories in your hearts and minds. Love, Gary Bernstein.”I wish I could see the angels faces,when they hear your sweet voice sing” V.Gill
August 31st, 2019 3:23 am
I am so sorry for your loss and my deepest condolences are with you at this difficult time.
Denise Farley Burnell
August 30th, 2019 11:35 pm
Leslie and family, what devastating news. I am so sorry. I pray that your faith and your family and friends will help you through this time. I still remember our camping trip to Maine thirty-six years ago. Steve and you transformed from competent hikers to elegant dinner goers in a tent. Steve had a zest for life that I still admire.
Sowmya and Sampath Kumar
August 30th, 2019 7:34 am
Steve was one of the most physically fit and active people and his loss is shocking and incomprehensible. His warm smile, love for his family and friends, and strong sense of purpose will be remembered. Even though we didn’t see each other a lot, our nearly four decades of friendship, makes this loss difficult to bear. Lots of love and hugs to Leslie, Brian and Emily.
August 29th, 2019 2:36 pm
It is such a shock to learn that we have lost one of gentlest, kindest and most caring people I have ever met. Leslie - I think often of our many fun times together and some of the adventures we had. Please know that Steve will be with us always........ Linda
Bruce and Gail Howell
August 29th, 2019 5:17 am
We were shocked and saddened when we heard the news of Steve's passing. We send our love and support to you at this most difficult time. God and your church family will surround you with our love and care.
August 28th, 2019 7:23 pm
Gloria and I met Steve through The Folk Project and found him to be a caring human being who always was ready to contribute to the community and be an active participant. Our condolences to Leslie and family.
August 28th, 2019 5:27 pm
My heart breaks for you. Steve was one of my most favorite volunteers and a wonderful man. God must have needed an angel but he left all of us way too soon. Your are in my heart. The pain is unimaginable.
August 28th, 2019 4:10 pm
I was so saddened to hear this news. Steve and I were close friends growing up and I have many great memories from our childhood. I remember playing basketball in his backyard, sledding down the hills in our neighborhood and helping him with his stamp collection, although that was more him than me. Rose, Hal, Amy, Peter, Leslie and family, please accept my sincere condolences. Rest in peace Steve.
August 27th, 2019 7:53 pm
I am so sorry to hear of Steve's passing. It's hard to believe that such a wonderful human being has left us so early. I knew Steve from singing in the Kennedy Choir and spent time with him in subsequent reunions getting to know him even better. This reminds us of how short life can be so enjoy every moment you can. My thoughts and prayers go out to Leslie and the entire Wexler family. Sara, whom I attended high school with and also sang with in the choir, I am so sorry for your loss.
August 27th, 2019 4:33 pm
A beautiful guy and a pleasure to be with. Condolences to Leslie, the kids, and all of us.
August 27th, 2019 3:41 pm
We will miss you so much. I loved seeing you at Folk Project house concerts and parties.
May you rest in peace
August 27th, 2019 2:39 pm
Rest in beautiful peace, Steven. My sincere condolences to the Wexler family.
August 27th, 2019 8:46 am
I'm so sorry. Steve was a regular performer at the Folk Project OpenStage. He'll be missed.
George TW Naumann
August 27th, 2019 2:01 am
Dear Amy and family: I met Steve in Salem at the Choir reunion and had the great pleasure of rehearsal and singing with him in the tenor section. Instantly likable and a joy to sing with, I’m terribly sad to hear he has left us all. My sincere condolences to you all, may you cherish his memory always.
David Van Wess
August 27th, 2019 12:48 am
I am very saddened to hear of Steven's sudden passing. We were childhood friends. We sang together in the Howard B. Matlin Jr. High School Chorale and then in the John F. Kennedy High School Choir under the direction oh Mr. Ronald Cohen. Steven was a very talented and gifted tenor. I was and still am a baritone. I must admit I was jealous when he was chosen to sing "Kiss Today Goodbye" from "A Chorus Line".
Steven, you were a good friend. I never heard you say an unkind word about anyone. Thank you for your friendship, your compassion and your love. May you rest in peace. Love and Blessings, David Van Wess
August 26th, 2019 7:23 pm
I’m so sorry Leslie and family of Steve.
Steve was an amazing New Jersey Hall of Fame board members. A steady hand, and a consummate professional.
He will be missed, but never forgotten by so many whose lives he touched in NJ!
August 26th, 2019 6:46 pm
I knew Steve back when we were fellow students in junior high and high school. We both graduated JFK HS in Plainview, NY in 1977.
Steve was a great guy. We were friends.
I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
I wish to send his family my most sincere condolences on the loss of this good man.
August 26th, 2019 8:31 am
I will always remember the good times we had when I was growing up .you will be greatly missed uncle Steve rest in peace until we meet again. Love always your noece
August 26th, 2019 8:29 am
I cannot tell you how sorry I am to hear of the sudden death of your husband. From what I am to understand he was quite fit and athletic, as am I. That just makes it all the more shocking. From reading the obit, I see he was a wonderful man and you will miss him a lot.
We are thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
Pat and Joe Bristow
August 26th, 2019 8:29 am
We were deeply saddened to hear about Steve's passing. We wish to extend our sincere condolences to you Leslie and the Family. Steve will be truly missed by all of us who knew him. He was a "True Gentleman" and extremely helpful to many of us. Steve will always have a special place in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire family. Your Trinity Friends, Pat and Joe Bristow
Bob and Rhea Scott
August 26th, 2019 8:28 am
Sending our deepest sympathy and love to Leslie and family.
August 26th, 2019 8:27 am
Leslie and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Steve was a very special man and he will be missed terribly.
Laura V Iacampo
August 26th, 2019 8:26 am
Words cannot begin to capture how much I enjoyed singing with Steve at church while he played the guitar so beautifully. He was a talented man with a lovely soul. May he be resting in eternal peace. Our family sends you love and prayers as you process all that has happened and grieve the loss of such a special man. God bless you all.
August 26th, 2019 8:25 am
Leslie, I can not imagine what you and your family are going through. Steve was a wonderful, caring, special person and will be greatly missed. My thoughts & prayers are with you.
Vinnie and Terry Fiedler
August 26th, 2019 8:24 am
We are saddened by Steve's sudden passing. We will hold fond memories of him in our heart. May God bless and comfort Leslie and the family.
Michele and Jim Risley
August 26th, 2019 8:24 am
We are at a loss for words. We know there is nothing for us to say that will make your loss easier but know that we are sending you our love and support. We hope you can understand wha we can't put into words. We will treasure our times together and hold those memories forever in our hearts. Prayers and thoughts for you and your family
August 26th, 2019 8:23 am
Steve was a close and beloved friend to me and Carmen Ministries. He and Leslie were are compassionately hands-on in demonstrating love for people. I pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding for all family and friends.
August 26th, 2019 8:22 am
So sorry Leslie! Steve was a fantastic guy and one of the kindest and friendly person. Always loved our time at Trinity and praise band. Always in a good mood, always smiling.
I am glad he lived life to the fullest and provided for his family so well.. I just saddens me that life can end without warning.
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