Published: August 11, 2021
NORTH GRANBY, CONN. — Stephen German of Mad River Antiques, LLC, passed away at his home on August 1 after a five-year battle with cancer. He was born in Bronx, N.Y., on November 16, 1948, the only child of Joseph and Sylvia German.
Steve’s father was a career Air Force officer and by the time he graduated college he had lived in six states as well as Italy. One of his proudest achievements was receiving a rare Boy Scout merit badge for completing the original route from Marathon to Athens while at Scout camp in Greece when he was about 11 years old.
Steve spent two years at the University of Hawaii before transferring to UMass Amherst, where he graduated with a degree in Financial Management in 1971. He spent 29 years at the Hartford Life Insurance Company, working his way up to Marketing Director before retiring in 2001.
For Steve, the third time was the charm when he married his wife Lorraine Schultz on October 6, 2000, at his family’s home in Sandisfield, Mass. In the fall of 2001, he and Lorraine began second careers in the antiques business when they established Mad River Antiques, naming their business after the brook that flows through their property in Sandisfield. Steve loved doing antiques shows and the opportunity to see old friends and meet new people. He treasured the time spent with the friends he and Lorraine had made in the antiques community. Although he appreciated a variety of antiques, his true passion was stoneware. Since 2009, he and Lorraine have coordinated the twice-yearly Stoneware Collectors’ Group events in Bennington, Vt.
Steve’s father had been a navigator on a B-24 bomber during World War II. Growing up on air bases, Steve developed a love for planes, especially the B-24 and P-51 Mustang. Whenever possible, he and Lorraine would attend air shows at nearby Barnes Airport and Westover Air Force Base.
Two of Steve’s favorite vacation places were Bermuda and Lake Placid, but his favorite place of all was the family home in Sandisfield, which his grandfather bought back in 1922. He spent every summer there with his grandparents while growing up. The house descended to him and Lorraine in 2015 and he spent as much time there as he could there during the summers.
Steve is survived by his wife Lorraine, daughter Kristin, granddaughter Grace, his mother’s 99-year-old twin sister Rose, and several cousins.
A memorial service will be held at a future date at the Sandisfield Arts Center in Sandisfield, Mass., where Steve had once served on the Board of Directors.
Donations may be made to the Sandisfield Arts Center, Box 31, Sandisfield, MA 01255.
—Submitted by the family
A Tribute To Steve German
The antiques world has lost a fine member and a friend to many.
Charlie and I were fortunate to have a special relationship with both Steve and Lorraine. When doing Connecticut shows, we often stayed with them and they spent time with us on Cape Cod.
We first met at one of the first shows they were doing after they retired and hoped to make a new career in antiques. They were quick to learn and soon advanced into finer shows. They joined the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America and also took part in the online shows.
Steve became a leader in the stoneware field. He acquired many fabulous pieces for his collection and others for the business. He was one of the leaders in organizing the Stoneware Collectors Weekends. The club met twice a year and Steve was responsible for getting first-rate speakers, organizing the small show on Saturday morning and all the Friday evening dinners. He also lectured at many different museums and had a following on Facebook like no one else we know!
We enjoyed traveling with Steve and Lorraine. Among our travels were Canada, Lake Placid, and because we all loved islands, Nantucket and our very favorite place, Bermuda!
Many people pass through all our lives, but somehow each person finds special people to bond with. We were so fortunate to find Steve and we bonded immediately, and both Steve and Lorraine became like family to us. We will really miss him but we are thankful to still have Lorraine in our family!
—Charlie & Barbara Adams, South Yarmouth, Mass.
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