Friday, Jul 12th

Remembering Kenneth Weiser and Stephen Seward

Weiser3Scarsdale recently lost two members of the community. Here are remembrances for Kenneth Weiser, a 70 year Scarsdale resident and Stephen Seward.

Kenneth David Weiser

Born December 1, 1924, died June 6, 2024.
Adored husband of Carol (nee Kane) who was the love of his life for over 74 years. Beloved father of Robert (Susan), Betsy (Eric Karp) and Ned (Nancy). Loving grandfather of Jeffrey Weiser, David Weiser (Jessica), Emily Karp (Derek Miller), Andrew Karp (Danielle), Jenna Karp, Kate Weiser, Chloe Weiser and Phoebe Weiser. Extraordinary great grandfather of Zachery, Matthew, Zelda and Olympia Weiser and Lucas Miller. Cherished brother of Marcie Blauner.

He graduated from Columbia College in 1947 and Harvard Business School in 1949. While serving during WWII, he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Purple Heart. In 1949, he joined his father’s CPA firm M.R. Weiser & Co. and was instrumental in its growth and success. He was a man of fine judgement, character, and intelligence. He headed Federation’s Distribution Committee, was President of WJCS, and was Treasurer and Board Member of Montefiore Medical Center for many years.
His varied interests included world travel, reading, organic gardening and sports. He was an inspiration to his family and will be remembered with admiration and love.

Stephen Seward

Stephen Clark Seward died on June 14, 2024, surrounded by family at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. He was 75.

Steve could connect with anyone he met, and usually did, always eager to engage, debate, and learn about other people’s lives. He turned that gregarious personality into a long and successful career as a charitable fundraising coach, advising countless non-profit organizations in the course of his life, from the Jewish Child Care Association and The Boys’ Club of New York to Educate! in East Africa. His work helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for causes important to him and society.Seward

Serving others was important to Steve. He was a branch director in the Union City Public Library system; executive vice president of the John O’Donnell Company, a fundraising consultancy; director of philanthropy for the Nature Conservancy in New York; and executive director of the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation; among other roles dedicated to public service. He gave much of his free time to non-profit work, as well, most recently serving as president of the Litchfield Hills Rowing Club (LHRC).

Born in Queens, New York, to Phyllis Clark and Rossiter Seward, “Stevie,” then Stephen, and then Steve grew up there and in Wayne, New Jersey, and Hillburn, New York, with his siblings Doug, Dave, and Cindy. He was student council president and captain of the tennis team at Suffern High School before going to Amherst College, where he studied political science and dedicated much of his time to political organizing and opposition to the Vietnam War.

After graduating, Steve worked for the progressive newsweekly The Guardian. He then got a master’s degree in library science from the University at Buffalo and ended up at the Foundation Center in New York City, where he met a coworker, Sherry Moses, whom he fell in love with and married in 1982. Their early years in the city were filled with theater, which Steve continued to enjoy his entire life.

Sherry and Steve moved to Ardsley and then Scarsdale, New York, to pursue careers in philanthropy and raise their son, Zach, whose love of journalism owes to the newspapers and magazines that Steve stacked on the kitchen table. In his suburban years, Steve was a Little League coach, synagogue advisor, and of course fundraising consultant to many local charities.

Dave Shuster of Scarsdale said the following, "I’ve been with the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation from its beginnings, having been its treasurer. I worked closely with Steve. Steve was a consultant to SSEF before becoming its executive director from 2013 to 2018. He was highly knowledgeable and experienced in the 501c3/non-profit space, and an invaluable resource. Without him, SSEF could not have moved as fast and efficiently as it did to raise the funds and thereby provide the $2.25 million of grants that it made to SUFSD for the fitness center and design lab at the high school. Steve was always a pleasure to work with, a true gentleman. He was a great credit to Scarsdale. He will be missed, but his spirit and legacy lives on in what he helped bring to the Scarsdale Schools."

Beth Zadek added, "Steve became involved with the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation in 2012 and became its Executive Director in 2013, steering it from its founding until the completion of its capital campaign in 2018. His deep experience in the non-profit world guided us every step of the way. His input was invaluable and he brought a depth of knowledge about process and fundraising that has been integral to its success. More important, Steve was optimistic and thoughtful, ever the cheerleader in all circumstances. He continued to be in touch after his retirement, always generous with his time to answer questions. The Foundation would not have achieved its success without his wisdom."

When he and Sherry began spending more time in Roxbury, Connecticut, they became active in the local organizations like the Connecticut Community Foundation, where Steve was a board member for six years. He also took up rowing and came to relish early-morning practices on Bantam Lake and weekend regattas with LHRC teammates, who recently honored him by naming one of the boats “Seward’s Folly.” He proudly rowed The Head of the Charles in 2022.

Steve is survived by his wife Sherry Seward; his son Zach Seward and daughter-in-law Kate Lee; his grandchildren Hugo and Nicholas Seward, who were the center of Steve’s universe in the last decade of his life; and his siblings Doug, Dave, and Cindy Seward.