Stephen Lewis Mesteller

BROOKSVILLE — Stephen Lewis Mesteller, 94, passed away Oct. 10, 2010, following a brief illness. He was born May 12, 1916, in Abaujvar, Hungary, the son of Stephen and Susan (Vargo) Mesteller.

Steve immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 with his family, settling in Phillipsburg, N.J. Following graduation from Bloomfield College and Seminary in 1939, Steve worked for Crucible Steel in Harrison, N.J., before entering naval officer training school. A member of the Greatest Generation, Steve proudly served his country during WWII and the Korean Conflict as commanding officer on the minesweeper, A.M. 101, USS Herald. While stationed in Norfolk, Va., the purchase of a camellia corsage for his young bride, Jean, served as the catalyst for the newlyweds to open a florist business following the war. A lifelong passion for gardening and a natural eye for landscape design coupled with Jean’s artistic ability, led to the opening of Pine Florist of Verona, N.J., which the couple owned and operated for 35 years prior to moving to Brooksville in 1982. Steve never forgot those who helped him as a young immigrant and aspired to help others in similar situations reach their goals, mentoring and inspiring many former employees to open their own businesses. From 1982 until his death, Steve gardened with a passion, participating in farmers markets in Blue Hill, Brooksville, Ellsworth and Stonington as well as running a small vegetable stand – retirement was never an option for Steve! While living in New Jersey, Steve was an active member of the Verona United Methodist Church and upon moving united in membership with the West Brooksville Congregational Church, UCC, serving both congregations in various capacities over the years. Steve served his community through membership in local Rotary, Masons and Odd Fellow organizations.

Steve is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Jean Holloway Mesteller of Brooksville; daughters, Susan Smedal and husband, Harald, Pamela Capurso and husband, Paul, all of Brooksville; special daughter, Pauline Mundy and husband, John, of Independence, Mo.; grandchildren, Matthew Smedal, Katrina Smedal, David Rackliffe and Jody Rackliffe, Pamela Sue Dudley, John Mundy, Brian Mundy, Allen Mundy and families; a sister, Bertha Andrews, of Alpha, N.J. Steve was predeceased by his parents; sisters, Ilona Mesteller and Irma Nemeth; and brother, James Mesteller.

A celebration of Steve’s life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, at the West Brooksville Congregational Church, with the Revs. Allen C. Myers and Harald A. Smedal officiating. Gifts in memory of Steve may be sent to the West Brooksville Congregational Church, c/o Joyce Leck, P.O. Box 295, Brooksville, ME 04617. Condolences may be expressed at

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