Stephen Henry Felton passed away unexpectedly, March 20, 2019, in Camden, Maine at the home of his daughter, Mary Kay Felton.
He was born in Camden on June 28, 1934, to Maude Hatch Ingraham Felton and John Willis Eugene Felton. He was the younger brother of John Willis Felton. Stephen grew up at 4 Sand Street beside the J.S. Felton Store, owned first by his grandparents, John Sullivan Felton and Josephine Sivalier Felton, and then by his parents.
As a boy, Stephen was always at home in the outdoors. He loved skiing at the Snow Bowl, skating on Pitcher’s pond, and ice fishing with traps handmade by his uncle. He was friends with everyone on his newspaper route, delivering the Bangor Daily News on Thomas Street and Cobb Road before school. He hunted rabbits in the woods of what was then called the Cobb Ledges, now the Stonehurst subdivision, where he’d been staying with his daughter since December. His youth was spent playing in the woods with his friends from Millville, swimming at Shirt Tail point, picnicking with his family and neighbors at Duck Trap, and combing the
beaches in and around Camden for shells. His interest in the local marine life blossomed when his sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Young, introduced him to fossils. Fossils would become a passion that remained with him his entire life.
Stephen graduated from Camden High School in 1952 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he lived with his brother, John, and John’s family. Stephen’s experience growing up around his parents’ store landed him a job at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A & P).
While home in Camden for his 19th birthday, he met Emma Payer; it was love at first sight when he pulled into the drive at Chatfield’s with his buddy, Herbie Young, and saw her standing on the porch waiting for a ride to the birthday party of another Chatfield employee. Emma worked at Chatfield’s in Maine that summer to earn money to pay back her Uncle for her ship’s passage to the United States. Born in Harkau, Hungary, she was a displaced person during WWII. With her uncle’s assistance she, along with her parents, Sam and (Anna) Marie Payer, and siblings Frida, Ernst, and Fritz (“Freddie”) immigrated to the U.S. in 1950. Emma worked for the Chatfield’s in Cincinnati before working for them in Maine. When Emma returned to Cincinnati,Stephen sold his car, bought an engagement ring and hitchhiked out to Ohio. They were married in Cincinnati on
April 30, 1955 and had four children: Linda Maria Felton Brenner, Mary Kay Felton (Roger Hurley), Deborah Sue Felton (David Gonzales) and Carol Ann Felton
Krimmer (Paul), thirteen grandchildren: Katherine Marie Felton Brenner (Dan Hart), Hannah Elizabeth Felton Brenner (Seth Cooper), Joshua Justice Felton Brenner, John Felton Shives (Cassy Burkett), Simona Gabriela Radu Shives (Michelle Jacobe), Anna Mari Ingraham Felton, Emma Whitmore Felton, Ellison Ingraham Felton, Amanda Renee Felton Galloway (Brian), Stephen Phillip Hollingsworth, Christopher Kendrick Hollingsworth (Cordelia), Samuel Nash Krimmer, and Ruby Marie Krimmer, and nine great-grandchildren: Henry Hatch Hart, Toby Sullivan Hart, Asher Ian Shives, Lander Jovan Kruz Shives, Juniper Josie Kaydee Rubianna Shives, Makayler Ashlan June Shives, Skyler Ray Osborne, Draken Kingery Walker Shives, and Emma Marlene Galloway.
In 1955, Stephen was drafted into the United States Army. After basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, he was stationed in San Fransisco as an order clerk, where once again his experience ordering supplies for a store came in handy, keeping him stateside. At the end of his service, Stephen, Emma, and Linda (born in San Francisco) relocated back to Cincinnati to live near Emma’s family. Stephen recognized the importance of keeping Emma’s family together after they were separated during the War. He took a job with Langenburner Construction, having learned a little about masonry tools watching a neighbor when he was a boy. Six months later, Langenburner made him foreman. A year later he started AFK Brick and Stone Company with his brother-in-law, Nick (Frida) Aller and friend, Bernie Klaine. Numerous Hamilton County area houses and masonry walls, public and private, testify to their outstanding craftsmanship. One of the jobs Steve was most proud of was the work he did for Trammel Fossil Park in Cincinnati,where the stone walls are built in the shape of a giant edrioasteroid. The park, a collaboration between R.L. Trammel, the City of Sharonville, and the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers fossil club, was
designed to give schools and avid fossil hunters of all ages a safe and accessible place to collect fossils for generations to come.
Steve was a forty-eight-year member of the University of Cincinnati’s Dry Dredgers, a club comprised of both amateur and professional paleontologists. He was a long-time volunteer and contributor at the Cincinnati Museum Center. He was published and/or cited in numerous scientific articles, journals, and books. His outstanding contributions to the field of paleontology were recognized with the Paleontological Research Institution’s Katherine Palmer Award in 1996 and the Paleontological Society’s prestigious Harrell Strimple Award in 2001. In March 2002, he was the subject of an article in Popular Science Magazine titled “The Snails of Old Ohio” and in December 2008, Discover Magazine named him one of the “50 Best Brains in Science.”
He will be remembered for his encyclopedic knowledge, his quiet, dry wit, his enthusiasm, hisnever-ending kindness and the joy he took in sharing his gifts with others. A gathering of neighbors, friends, and family will be held in celebration of his life Friday, April 19th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cincinnati Civic Garden Center, 2715 Reading Rd. A family graveside service will be held that morning at 10 a.m. at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Cincinnati, 2145 Compton Road, for the interment of a portion of his ashes with his beloved wife, Emma, who predeceased him on January 1, 2013. The remainder of his ashes will be scattered near his boyhood home in Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers toward a scholarship to be established in his memory. Cincinnati Dry Dredgers, P.O. Box 446, Harrison, OH 45030.
Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Camden, ME.