Steven Robert Camferdam died at home on January 1, 2020. He was born on April 12, 1954 in Memphis, Tennessee to Henry Nichols and Martha Jean (Yorke) Camferdam. He was the third of their six children. Steve’s father worked for IBM and as Hank climbed the corporate ladder, the family moved from Memphis to Long Island, Oklahoma City, Flossmoor, Illinois and finally to Moline, Illinois. Steve always considered Moline to be his hometown. He attended junior high and high school in Moline and was a proud graduate of the Moline High School - Class of 1972. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1976 with a B.S. in Actuarial Science from the Department of Mathematics.
Steve headed to Los Angeles after graduation, driving the old family Ford, “The Green Fungus”, to begin his actuarial career at Occidental Life Insurance. While at Oxy, he studied for and passed all ten actuarial exams to earn his FSA designation.
In 1980 he was hired by Hewitt Associates and worked for the company in multiple capacities until his retirement in 2010. He worked primarily in the Los Angeles and Orange county offices but in 1983 moved to Phoenix to open a branch office for the company. In Phoenix, he reconnected with high school friends who introduced him to Mary Ellen Kane, who also was the third of six children. The attraction was instant and they were married in Tucson in 1987. Tales are still told of their infamous wedding reception at the Arizona Inn. A good time was had by all. In 1995 they welcomed a son, Nicholas Steven, truly the happiest day of their lives.
Steve transferred back to Los Angeles in 1986 and returned to his actuarial roots in 1988. He was named a Hewitt Partner in 1990. He became the West Region Actuarial Group Leader in 1997 and continued in that role until early 2009. Steve loved being a part of the Hewitt team and was proud of the quality work that he and his fellow Associates provided to their clients. Co-workers and clients became true friends.
Steve loved sports his entire life. He played football and baseball in his youth. As a leftie he was a decent first baseman. He water-skied on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas almost every summer of his life. It was the family vacation spot and he looked forward to spending time with his extended Camferdam family. He was at the gym every morning and played on the Hewitt softball team. With Tom Sayre as his dive buddy, he earned his Advanced Scuba Diver credential. He coached all of Nick’s baseball teams and together they took up golf and spent Saturdays at the course. He shared season tickets to the Lakers, Kings, and Angels and turned Mary Ellen into a fan as well. He looked forward to annual backpacking trips with George Hansen and Paul Leas, Phi Delt brothers whom Steve loved as brothers. They backpacked throughout the US and Canada and every hike was an adventure.
Steve experienced sudden heart failure in January of 2009, the cause was never determined. He received a heart transplant on March 16, 2009. Steve was forever grateful to his donor’s family for their life giving gift and was always conscious of the fact that someone had died so that he could live. Support during his hospitalization came in many forms but especially from former clients, Jim Lyerly, Peter Vincent and fellow Hewitt Associate, Lee Beecher. He was so appreciative of the many hours they spent with him as he waited for his new heart. After 89 days at USC Medical Center, Steve was released and his first request was a stop at an In-N-Out drive-thru. He went back to the gym and his trainer, Sal Fazio, and they worked to return Steve’s 120 pound frame to its former glory. He was back at work in August of 2009. Hewitt was purchased a year later and he decided to retire after 30 years of service.
In retirement, Steve played a lot of golf, travelled with Mary Ellen to Ireland to visit her relatives, visited family and friends, and checked in on Nick at Purdue University. He loved visiting with his siblings and always enjoyed the hilarious chaos that was a Camferdam family gathering. Steve had a kind and gentle spirit, he was smart and funny and found the good in everyone he met. He was a devoted husband and father and a loyal friend.
Steve’s health declined in recent years and Mary Ellen cared for him at home with the assistance of two amazing caregivers, Aquiles Manching and Farolito Aton. Without them, he would not have been able to be at home for his last few years. Their kindness and compassion are unsurpassed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hank and Jean, and his stepmother, Dana; his sister, Lynn Falkner, and stepbrother and stepsister Roger Menefee and Victoria Wilson; his mother-in-law, Mary Anne Kane, and brothers-in-law, Patrick and Willie Kane.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen, and son, Nick; brother Henry (Christine) Camferdam, and sisters Patricia (Richard) Chappell, Janet Wilson, and Carol (Dean) King; brother-in-law Mike (Christie) Kane, and sisters-in-law Maureen and Jo Anne Kane. Surviving nieces and nephews are Jessica Riley (Nick Domogalik), Zachary Falkner, Ashley McWilliams, Harry, Emmett, Owen, and Mack Camferdam, Sherwood (Andrew) Turnbull, Rick, Michaela, Billy, Logan, and Mackenzie Kane, and Parker and Chad McFadden. Also surviving are his Camferdam and Montgomery cousins and their families.
Rest in peace sweet Steve and look out for us from above. You are so loved.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 17, 2020, 11 am at St. Anne Catholic Church in Seal Beach. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Steve’s name to “Donate Life” or a charity of your choice and sign up to be an organ donor.
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