Stephen Michael Sujecki, 67, a resident of Pawcatuck, for over 40 years passed away Saturday evening, Oct. 5, 2019, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Bristol, on Oct. 10, 1951, he was the son of Stefan Sujecki currently of Avon, and the late Anita (Goleniewski) Sujecki. He was a loving father, son, and brother with a passion for sports and helping others.
Steve graduated from Bristol Eastern High School in 1969. He later received a Bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of Rhode Island.
Steve was a presence at Wheeler High School/Wheeler Middle School in North Stonington, for 37 years before retiring in 2010. Through the years he taught both math and physical education and was also a guidance counselor. He was head coach of the boys’ soccer team at Wheeler High School for 25 years. He then went on to coach boys’ soccer at Westerly High School in Westerly, R.I., for six years. After his retirement from Wheeler in 2010, Steve was employed by Home Depot in Westerly, where he was blessed to reconnect with many former students and colleagues. He continued his involvement in soccer as a high school soccer referee for both boys and girls.
Steve played soccer, baseball, and basketball, and was a wrestler in high school. He went on to compete in soccer at the collegiate level with Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He was a long-time fan of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.
A dedicated teacher, guidance counselor, and coach, Steve had a great impact on many young lives. His former students will remember his caring mentorship and guidance, helping them to navigate their way through high school and make plans for the future. His former players will remember him as a tough but fair coach who strived to bring out the best in each one of his players. As a soccer coach with over 300 wins, an accomplishment he was extremely proud of, he won the state championship with Wheeler High School in 1988, and was the Connecticut State Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1996. He coached Westerly High School to their first state championship in 1998. He was duly named Rhode Island Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999, and 2001. Steve was named New England Coach of the Year in 1999 and received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Adidas Coach of the Year Award in 1999. He was also very active in the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association.
Steve was a devoted father to his son, Brian, coaching him in their shared passion of soccer and providing guidance and support throughout his life. He and Brian also enjoyed studying and practicing karate together, both of them earning their black belts. He continued to practice karate for as long as his health allowed.
In addition to his father, he leaves his son, Brian Sujecki of Pawcatuck; sister, Barbara Zoghbi and her husband, Maroun, of Avon; brother, Robert Sujecki and his wife, Elizabeth, of Bristol; and three nephews, Edward Sujecki and his wife, Jennifer, of Fairfax, Va.; and Michael Zoghbi of Avon and David Zoghbi of Newington.
Steve will be dearly missed and never forgotten by his son and family. His legacy as a caring and dedicated educator, counselor, and coach will live on in the hearts and memories of the hundreds of lives he touched.
His family will receive relatives and friends Thursday, Oct. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Mystic Funeral Home located on Route 1 in Mystic. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m., at St. Mary Church in Stonington. His burial will follow the Mass at St. Michael Cemetery in Pawcatuck. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. ()