- January 1, 1952 - January 11, 2017
- Warren, Michigan
of Stephen's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“My heart goes out to you, Diane, & to Sarah & Stephen 2, & all the rest of the family Steve loved so well.I know he will be missed. It`s been such a...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Eleanor Bittner - Warren, MI
“Diane, Courage and grace definitely describes Steve, especially in his stature and profession. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you and your...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Carol McIntyre - Clawson, MI
“really looked forward to playing golf with you the last few years on mondays and thursdays i am heartbroken over your loss-a really grear guy and i...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: stanley levine - lake worth, FL
“I only knew you for a few years but enjoyed the rounds of golf we played together. All of us in Ted's group will miss you. Happy trails buddy.
4 of 12 | Posted by: George Black - Hypoluxo, FL
“With a Heavy Heart to Diane and the entire family, Steve will be greatly missed. Though out of town at this difficult time our thoughts and prayers...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Jerry "Bear" Podgorniak - Warren, MI
“I met brother Steve when he first started his career as a cadet with the WPD. Worked with him and followed his career. So sorry to hear of his...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Ron Muschong - Punta Gorda, FL
“I worked for Steve for several years on the Midnight Shift at Warren PD. Steve was a good supervisor. He was fair, supportive and pretty easy going....Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Mike Anderson - Sterling hgts, MI
“so very sorry to hear about steves passing.i met him when he was 12 years old and he will always have a special place in my heart.i will always...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: helma neumann - shelby twp, MI
“What a shock. We are so saddened to hear of Steve's passing. We will always have wonderful memories of our good times together. Even though we can...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Duane and Sharon Schlosser - OH
“You made a mark on my life that I will never forget. It was always a special time when we saw each other. I'll never forget you Steve. You were like...Read More »
10 of 12 | Posted by: Craig Garwood - Warrensp, MI
“I want the Materna Family to know how sad I was to hear that Stephen passed away. Although, I have never met him in person, I know what a kind,...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Wendy Sommariva - Macomb, MI
“Sending our heartfelt sympathy to you, LLLDiane, and the whole family . So sorry to be so far away at this difficult time. Our dear brother-in-law...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Norah and John Cimaglia - Willis, MI
Stephen Joel Materna, age 65 of Warren, died Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was born January 1, 1952 in Detroit, son of the late Arthur and the late Sara Nell (nee: Burns) Materna.
Born and raised for a bit in Detroit, Stephen and his family decided to join the throngs of suburbanites making their way to the new and burgeoning city of Warren,…so they picked up stakes and headed north. Stephen enjoyed his youth and the schools he attended in Warren, and was ultimately a proud graduate of Lincoln High School's Class of 1969. Not long after graduation, he was taken by many of the current events and America's involvement in Vietnam, so he joined forces with the National Guard in an effort to do his part from the patriot that lie within.
The next big step in Stephen's life came when he entered the Police Cadet Academy with the goal and aspiration of becoming a police officer and another of our finest to protect and serve. His hard work and strong desires paid off when the Warren Police Department came calling and offered him a position on their force. The year was 1971 and he was beyond eager to make an impact on his community. As Stephen's career marched on, 1996 brought increased training and equipping when he attended and graduated from the FBI Academy, a stepping stone to bigger and better things as he climbed the ladder to success. And that ladder served Stephen well as he would ultimately achieve the rank of Lieutenant, spending the last years of his career as the Cities Emergency Manager. He also worked undercover for the police department and, in the process, became great friends with many of his fellow officer brethren on the Sterling Heights Police Department. He retired in February of 2002 after 31 years of loyal and dedicated service.
Stephen's second big step came when he watched his beautiful bride, Diane take her walk down the aisle on their wedding day. The date was October 28, 1972 and the place was St. Clement Catholic Church in Center Line. The location was of utmost importance as Center Line is where Diane was born and raised, and attended high school with Stephen's cousin. Cousin Mitch would play an integral role in getting these two lovebirds together, even though the "lovebird" label was yet to come. Their initial dates were enjoyed at the Roller Rink. Though Stephen never strapped on the skates, he thoroughly enjoyed spending time watching Diane circle the floor,…which obviously led to that special day in October of 1972. They would go on to share another 44 wonderful years together as husband & wife.
When work wasn't calling his name, Stephen liked to keep himself busy which often took place in the ultimate Man Cave,…his Garage. Whether he was tinkering, creating, wrenching or simply playing, there was no mistaking that Stephen's Garage was his domain.
He was also known for being a Sportsman in the "D" who loved to hate the Detroit Lions. A season ticket holder since the year 2000, Stephen was always their Best Fan,…and often their Worst Critic. The irony in his sporting relationship with the boys in the Silver & Honolulu Blue this past season,…they'd win if he was in attendance, and lose in his absence. Go Figure?
Another of Stephen's sporting pleasures was the game of golf. But before we go further, there needs to be a mention that "boating" came before golf. Obviously being a Great Lakes Enthusiast, spending time on a boat never ceased to provide him a world of fun and exciting "Mitten Memories." Then the magical day came when he held a golf club in his hands,…and his boating days were pretty much history. Stephen ultimately became an avid golfer. He enjoyed at the Maple Lane Golf Club in Sterling Heights, to the plethora of golf trips he participated in over the years, to assisting with the annual police golf outing, each opportunity to swing the clubs and enjoy a sunny day on the links with friends had Stephen's name written all over it.
Yet this tribute would be terribly remiss if not to mention his other nickname, "Stubs"…and the story behind it. On a fateful day in 1976, just 5 years into his police career, Officer Stephen Materna was shot in the line of duty by a barricaded gunman hold up in a residential basement. As he stood above the gunman on the floor above, the perp opened fire,…a bullet hit Stephen's hand,…and it took the middle finger on his left hand with it. Stephen just happened to be holding a shotgun with his left hand, and that ended up being a blessing in disguise as the shotgun helped to defray the path of the bullet so it didn't do further damage. That gun saved Stephen's life and gave him a story to share for the rest of it.
But of all that brought Stephen definitive joy and pleasure, it was truly his treasured family,…especially his precious grandchildren. They were the light of his life, like the sparkles in the snow,…ever so delicate, but radiant in their being. Together, Papa and his cherubs enjoyed countless warm & wonderful moments as they created memories to last a lifetime. A life gone far too soon from our presence, may God fill our absence with glorious memories of the life, love and laughter that Stephen infused in each and every person that was blessed to meet and know him. He touched a multitude of hearts and lives along the way and leaves behind a storehouse of precious moments to cherish with each reflection shared.
He will be missed immensely and loved eternally.
Stephen was the loving husband of Diane. Beloved father of Stephen J. (Brenda) Materna II and Sarah (Trevor) Schleicher. Cherished grandfather of Charlotte, Stephen III, Anna, and Audrey.
Visitation for Stephen will be held on Friday, January 13th from 3 - 9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009continued...