NEW YORK, N.Y.—It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Steven L. Oreck, M.A., M.D. on August 11, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Kaaren; their two sons, Gregory and Brian; his parents, Paula and David; his brothers, Tom and Bruce; and the multitudes of people whose lives he impacted in his unique and positive way during his life.
Steven happily spent his life both caring for others and in the pursuit of knowledge. He graduated MIT with a degree in History, received his Medical Degree from L.S.U. and more recently, after retiring from medicine, he earned a Masters in History at U.W. and was nearing completion of his Doctoral thesis pertaining to the history of medicine in the military. In the years between, Steven was a devoted husband and father, a career Navy officer, a skilled surgeon, an amateur boatsman, a reluctant handyman, a farmer’s market connoisseur, an avid cyclist and a lover of all things teddy bear, his spirit animal. Quick to a pun or joke, his sense of humor gratefully (and begrudgingly) survives him in his sons, and was renowned for eliciting both laughs and groans, both of which were compliments in his eyes. He took great pride in his Navy service, retiring with honors as a Captain after 37 years, of both active and reserve duty, and having helped countless soldiers who had been injured in battle. As a celebrated hand surgeon, Steven’s meticulous nature served him well as did his kindness as he would often give young patients teddy bears with matching casts or stitches. After 30 years as a healer and a teacher, he eased into his retirement by becoming a student once again. There he learned fluent German, a language he didn’t begin to know until his 60’s, so that he could continue to read and research voraciously on the subject of history, a lifelong passion of his. His greatest passion, however, was and will always be his wife and family for whom he would and did do anything and everything. In a chaotic, entropic world, Steven Oreck was a constant as powerful as the north star and he will be sorely missed.