Stephen C. Mahan III

Born: Wed., Aug. 1, 1956
Died: Thu., Jul. 26, 2018


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., Aug. 17, 2018
Location: St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Sat., Aug. 18, 2018
Location: St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Stephen C. Mahan III

July 26, 2018

     Wherever he was and whomever he was with, he was always the best looking guy in the room—and, fittingly, surrounded himself with the most beautiful women, his wife Mary Lynn and daughters Riley Virginia and Sadie Grace
     Stephen Christopher Mahan III, age 61, passed on Thursday, July 26. Cause of death a ruptured aorta resulting from a motorcycle accident.
     A flesh and blood embodiment of The Trickster and The Lover, The Adventurer and  The Artist, he bounced around the globe with a song and a twinkle: Arizona, West Virginia, California, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah; The Yukon, Africa, Chili, Patagonia, China, Fiji, Jamaica, Europe, and Tibet.
     A master photographer and whitewater oarsman, he shot and rowed the wildest, loveliest rivers the earth has to offer. His pictures, taken as a river guide in Asia and South America, appeared in National Geographic Travel and opened a million eyes in museums and galleries that exhibited his work. His photo monograph of the indigenous people, customs, traditions, and natural beauty of Tibet is a poetic masterpiece waiting to be revealed.
     A mixologist of kitchen cupboard renown, he took tremendous delight in stirring, shaking, and serving any cocktail or concoction he discovered or imagined. A slide blues guitarist he was perfectly suited for his basement sofa, where he could drop his guitar for his BB gun to scare squirrels off the backyard bird feeders.
     In a makeshift boxing ring set up in his high school gymnasium, he scored a 20 second 1st  round knockout to begin and end his successful amateur boxing career. A terror on the motocross track, the flimsy shelf in his bedroom sagged under the weight of trophies with bronzed motorcycles in flight.
     As an academic on the edge of the academy, he developed, taught, and directed the nationally recognized, award-winning Photography and Literacy (PAL) Project  at Syracuse University—a graduate/undergraduate curriculum that paired Syracuse University students with students from the Syracuse City Schools to create individual, autobiographical artwork using photography and creative writing—culminating in a group show at the SU Warehouse Link gallery.
     The many seasons he spent as a whitewater raft guide on the Colorado River through the heart of the Grand Canyon no doubt expanded his own heart into the boundless, joyful, fun-loving badass he was, and shared with everyone lucky enough to come into his orbit.
     The son of Stephen and Rosemarie “Riley” Mahan of Geneva, he is survived by his father, wife Mary Lynn, daughters Riley and Sadie; two brothers Michael “Mickey” (Deborah) and Joseph “Go”, and sisters Mary Pat Longstreet (Paul) and Jean Marie Shutter (Steve), and beloved in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
     Should anyone wonder what it means to be truly, fully, authentically alive, find someone who knew Stephen and listen to their story. As fearless as he was funny, as tender as he was tough, the twinkle in his eye has found a home in the sky.
      Calling hours: 5-7 pm Friday, August 17 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 310 Montgomery St. Syracuse. Memorial Service: 11:00 am, Saturday, August 18 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 310 Montgomery St. Syracuse.
In lieu of flowers a 529 College Savings Account has been established for Sadie.  Contributions can be made as follows: Checks payable to College America, memo - FBO Sadie Mahan and mail to Mary Lynn Mahan.

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Condolence Booklet

Melody Mariani
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
MaryLynn, my thoughts, prayers, and love are with you and your girls at this difficult time. I am so happy to have briefly known Stephen when he worked his magic with our kids at Ed Smith. He was truly a remarkable man! Please know I'm here for you if you need to talk or anything!!

Cindy Steele
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
MaryLynn, Riley and Sadie,
So very sorry for your loss. Please let us know if you need anything at all. You are such wonderful, special people and we hold you close in our thoughts.
Love Gary, Cindy , Michael, Katie and Sarah Steele

Anthony Tolbert
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
My deepest sympathies to MaryLynn, Riley, Sadie and the entire Mahan family on your loss! I am praying for strength for you all during this time and hope that your very fond memories of Stephen's wonderful earthly life with you provide comfort for you.

Lateashea Mcnair
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
Our Deepest and Sincere Condolences go out for you and your beautiful daughters.We are praying for you and your family.

Toni Orlando
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
Mary Lynn,

My deepest condolences! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Gwen Riley
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
MaryLynn, Riley, and Sadie,
Our whole family is here for you if you ever need anything. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Adam Lutwin
   Posted Sun August 05, 2018
Your family is in all of our thoughts and prayers. Steve made everyone's day better. He is a true inspiration and had an incredible talent for working with young people. Everyone gravitated to him, but he was always so humble and quiet about his role in the projects; it was more about witnessing instead of recognition for him. I will miss him dearly and will always honor the time. He was a friend of mine.

R thomas
   Posted Mon August 06, 2018
Very sorry for your loss. Cecily & Roberta Thomas

Nina Vergara
   Posted Mon August 06, 2018
Our deepest sympathies to all of you on your loss. We pray for strength during this very difficult time. We hope that your loving memories created alongside Stephen provides comfort to you all.
Nina & Breana Nieves Vergara

Mary and Steve Dougherty
   Posted Mon August 06, 2018
Mary Lynn,
Sending much love to you from the Dougherty Family. So very sorry to hear about your husband, he sounded like an amazing man who embraced learning and life to the fullest. Our deepest condolences to you and your children...

Connie Blair
   Posted Tue August 07, 2018
Riley and Sadie, I am so sorry or your loss. I will always remember the 13 days on the Colorado River with the 3 of you. Your dad always made sure you girls were having a great time and trying new things. your and you Mother will be in my prayers.

Maria Cargian
   Posted Tue August 07, 2018
I've just found out about your loss. I am so very sorry for you and your family.

Cindy Stultz (Pourpezeshk)
   Posted Tue August 07, 2018
Mary Lynn, Riley, and Sadie,
There are simply no words . . . I am holding you all in my heart and sending lots of love to you all. ❤❤❤

Petey Hildenbrand of Hendricks Photo
   Posted Wed August 08, 2018
My condolences to Steve's family and the entire photography community he loved. He was a fascinating artist who was able to share his passion far and wide.

Marlene Madia
   Posted Sat August 11, 2018
I am deeply sorry about the tragic death of Steve.
Such a loss to his beautiful family and his dad and siblings as well as the community he enriched with his incredible gifts.
Marlene Madia

Steve and Dawn Sciarabba
   Posted Sun August 12, 2018
Dawn and I send our deepest condolences to whole Mann family. I have some fond memories of Steve growing up in Geneva and from high school. I always admired his sense of adventure. He did things his way, a true independent thinker.
Godspeed to you my friend.................

Charlie Rouse
   Posted Mon August 13, 2018
To the entire Mahan family.
My heart is completely broken over the loss of Stevie. I have had a warm relationship with the Mahan family for decades. May God bless you all.

Randall Michaels
   Posted Tue August 14, 2018

MONET'S GARDEN TABLE BASKET was sent by Randy Michaels.

My deepest condolences to you Mary Lynn, Riley and Sadie for this tremendous loss. Steve was one in a million, and we all feel the world lost a very bright light. Please let me know however I can help you.

Donald Harvey
   Posted Wed August 15, 2018
To Steve Mahan Sr. Dear friend, my heart breaks with sorrow for your loss. He was a great human being and no small amount of the credit goes to you as a caring, wonderful father image to your children. I was lucky enough to know Steve as a young man and will remember him forever. You must be a very proud Papa. God bless you and fill your life with joy in remembering your precious son.

Nick Pray
   Posted Wed August 15, 2018
Stephen C. Mahan III was my professor at Syracuse University in 2012-2013. I only took his Photography and Literacy Project course for a single semester, but it will always be one of my favorite classes I ever experienced. Every week I looked forward to venturing to the inner city school where my fellow students and I introduced photography to young kids who would probably never afford a camera, or think that photography was an art form, an escape or even a therapy in the lives they were living. Even with younger cousins, I was shy at first and the kids were even afraid of me. Stephen always encouraged me to speak with the children, to share with them my stories on how photography helped me, and to get to know them and allow them to find the camera and encourage their eye. Once I got comfortable and the kids got comfortable with me, we made art, had laughs, shared stores and made memories. I learned a lot about myself and used the skills i learned in the future. He was the coolest guy, sporting that brimmed hat and scarf, talking about his travels around the world. Wish that I could have sipped one of his cocktails or listened to him play guitar, but I know that if it were not for his class, his words of encouragement, kindness and just all around good guy vibes, I would have missed out on a little something in this crazy world. My most sincere condolences to the Mahan Family. Stephen was a great professor and person, and I will always remember him. Cheers.

Jacquie Green
   Posted Thu August 16, 2018
To Steve’s Family,

So sorry for you loss. Sending my condolences to you all. I will miss Steve! No more talks about are favorite TV Shows! No more jokes or just being silly! I’ll miss his smile and his laugh! He was a beautiful person from the inside out and will truly be missed! R.I.H. Steve

Jacquie Green
   Posted Thu August 16, 2018
To Mickey,

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. Steve was one of the coolest people that I’ve ever known! I will miss everything about him! The talks, especially about are singing tv shows, the laughs, his smile, his swag and the beautiful person that he was! My condolences to you and your family. Steve will truly be missed!

Nehemiah Taylor, Jr. (Turk)
   Posted Sat August 18, 2018
Steve was wonderful with our Hillside Work Scholarship Connection Scholars. He will be Greatly Missed!

Carol Hall Williamson)
   Posted Sat August 18, 2018
On behalf of the Bill Williamson family in Penn Yan, NY, we send sincere condolences to the Mahan family. Steve Mahan, Jr and Bill Williamson served in the Army in San Francisco in the '50s. Prayers are sent toyou all.

Leslie Noble
   Posted Tue August 21, 2018
Dear MaryLynn, Riley and Sadie,

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope you may be comforted by how loved and admired Stephen was by so many. Sending you love and consolation.


Paul Nojaim
   Posted Mon September 03, 2018
My deepest condolences to Stephen's family & friends. Stephen's work and life inspired many of us - I remember how many young people from the Near Westside of Syracuse became equals through a camera lens!

Image: dan /

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