My Brother Bob
June 5th 1949 ~ July 1st, 2014
My brother Bob, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 1st, 2014. He was my younger brother, born on June 5th, 1949 to our parents Bernice and Henry J. Stein. We moved around when he was younger, leaving Ecorse Michigan (suburb of Detroit) in 1961 when he was still attending St. Francis of Assisi elementary school. My Dad, who worked for National Steel, accepted a position at the metal building division, Stran Steel in Terre Haute Indiana. Bob was enrolled in St. Patrick elementary school and he later attended Paul C. Schulte high school.
My father was again transferred and accepted more of a sales position on the East Coast and they settled in Springfield Pennsylvania where Bob completed his high school education. Bob attended St. Bernard Academy in Cullman Alabama where he graduated with a degree in education.
Bob began a lifelong career as a coach first and teacher second. He began at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, where he taught and inspired countless young children. He took the football team, when he arrived just a token athletic program, to new heights never anticipated by the children, their families and especially not by the school administration. He campaigned and gained his team's rights to compete in the local area Football League against 'normal' kids and whipped their butts! It was an amazing feat and accomplishment that truly astounded and impressed everyone. Watching kids who were previously discounted, set up at a scrimmage line it TOTAL SILENCE while Bob would 'sign' (using ASL - American Sign Language) calling the plays when needed from the sidelines. NO ONE had a clue what was going on and a totally silent 'snap' always took the opposing team by surprise. He won the local championship one year!
Bob never lost touch with a lot of those kids and they followed his career and escapades wherever he went. Many would drop by and visit and Bob would surprise his local friends as he immediately started signing to his previous students; again, in amazement to all those who witnessed the meeting of old friends.
Bob continued to inspire children with active sports programs wherever he went. After an astonishing 30 year coaching career, Bob completed his coaching assignments at Colleton Preparatory Academy in Walterboro, South Carolina as Athletic Director and head football and baseball coach.
Never one to sit idle, Bob, who loved Walterboro and its citizens started a landscaping business called "Coache's Landscaping". He built the company from the ground up, not just managing it but being out in the field daily, working side by side with those who worked for him. From mowing the grass, landscaping and sprinkler systems, nothing was too daunting for Coach. He made friends from clients and employees alike. He hired local kids for summer jobs providing a way for them to earn some money, get some exercise and fresh air; all the while demonstrating his strong moral and work ethic he was able to build a business that became a model for successful entrepreneurship.
Bob loved to socialize and was a 'scratch' golfer. He almost went on the professional circuit but opted to stick with his first love, coaching! He loved to travel and took every opportunity to visit family and friends.
He is survived by his loving wife Mona (Miss Mona to the local residents), his beautiful daughter Jennifer Stein Sibila of Glen Arm Maryland and sons Robert (Robby) Stein of Holly Springs NC, Tyler Pinckney of Grover SC and Justin Pinckney of Greenville SC. He leaves behind, our Mother Bernice K. Stein of St. Petersburg FL, well me, his older brother, our sister Marie Stein Giancatarino of Vidalia GA and Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel (baby brother) Thomas (Tom) G. Stein of Orange CA. His adoring grandchildren will miss him: Matthew, Jacqueline and Christopher Sibila, Sophie Grace Stein and Jackson Pinckney.
His service in Walterboro in the chapel of Parker-Rhoden Funeral Home was packed to overflowing with friends and family. Several close friends told some funny stories to help remember the great guy that Bob was and how he will always be remembered as 'Coach'.
Love you Bob, say hi to Dad, Mim & Grandpa and Mum & Grandad for us all!