Honoring Thy Father

Rich Stein is a frequent commenter on “06880.”

Today he has the talking stick, for an entire story. The subject is one even dearer to his heart than Compo or food. 

It’s his father.

Rich says:

We often hear parents boast about their children, but how often is it the other way around?

I want to take this moment to do just that.

Steve and Linda Stein.

Steve and Linda Stein.

My father — Stephen Stein, MD — has stood by my mother Linda for nearly 50 years. Adding the fact that they knew each other as early teens, that number is even higher.

My father has been a supporter of all my brothers and sisters’ endeavors. He logged more hours going to baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, wrestling and swim events than I can count. My father barely missed a single sporting event I participated in. I realize I am very lucky, and very humbled by this amazing fact.

His dedication didn’t end when I left the athletic field. When I became a wrestling coach I had a meet near Waterbury Hospital, where he practiced for over 30 years. I invited him to come by if he could. Unfortunately, he said he was busy.

After my team warmed up, I looked across the fieldhouse. I saw my busy father strolling in. He made time to see his son coach his wrestling team, and cheer as loudly as he did when I was on the mat.

I can also proudly say that my father has been a class speaker in nearly every one of my siblings’ science classes, speaking about medicine, radiation, isotopes, and other expert areas.

My father has been a cheerleader, defender, advocate, educator and supporter of his 5 children, 10 grandchildren and wife. He is a true role model.

The extended Stein family.

The extended Stein family.

Back in the day, my father won a full scholarship to Columbia from the Pulitzer Foundation. He also was a Merit Scholar, which enabled him to go to Albert Einstein School of Medicine. For over 30 years he has been a pioneer, educator, and a top-notch radiologist. He has written papers, given talks, consulted and been a mentor to many.

Last Sunday April 27 my father was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Radiology, in Washington. It is a huge, and rare, honor.

In addition, for 4 years running my father has been voted by the residents and interns of Bridgeport Hospital as their favorite teaching MD.

My father always lived vicariously through his children’s accomplishments. Now, with as much pride, I too want to boast about the man who has cheered Michael, Richard, Rebecca, Evan and Sara for over 4 decades. We all could not be prouder of your accomplishment and honor. Westport, Waterbury, Bridgeport, and all those places in between have been lucky to have such a great man in their presence.


16 responses to “Honoring Thy Father

  1. Evan Stein

    I couldn’t have said it any better! Wonderfully written, Rich.


  2. Angela Ryan

    Congratulations Dr. Stein! Well deserved and well expressed Richard.

  3. Jamie Walsh

    WOW! That is one of the nicest, proudest and “heart penetrating” tributes by a son about his father. Although we have never met Rich, I am positive you have inherited the same basic qualities as your Dad. Wonderful and positive story! Congratulation Dr. Stein!

  4. Bobbie Herman

    What a wonderful tribute!

  5. Rebecca Stein Richards

    Thank you for pointing out how lucky we all are. Congratulations Dad!!!

  6. Phyllis and Tony Dreyspool

    What a beautiful piece you have written which has captured the essence of your Dad. Not only is he a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, but he is also exceptionally warm and caring to his many friends which we are lucky to count ourselves among.

  7. Betty Lou Cummings

    The world needs more of Dr. Stein’s wonderful life of love & dedication… a mighty blessing to his family too!….Betty Lou Cummings

  8. This was a heart-warming family story, lovely to read. Thanks for inviting Rich Stein to post it.

  9. Said by a really good son! I know you Rich, are that kind of parent!

  10. Congratulations Steve and thanks so much, Rich, for sharing this with us and expressing it so well. In addition to the many wonderful attributes that were pointed out within the post, another that both my wife and can add is that Steve is a really good guy.

  11. So, so nice. Westport is filled with wonderful people and no time to meet them all!! So frustrating.

  12. Laura Nissim

    What a wonderful influence to have grown up with,,clearly influences who you are Rich. Congrats to your dad and family for this wonderful achievement and fulfilling life.

  13. Steve Stein

    Hey Richard- I was trying to fly under the radar. Thanks for all the kudos -but here are my rebuttals-

    1- there was no way I was/am going to miss out on seeing any of my kids or grandkids compete, sing, dance or stand on their heads! I love it and I know how much more fun it is to have mom and me there!! Even if mom says I yell or clap too loud sometimes!!

    2- Mom says that I was away half of my internship and residency years and on call at the hospital so much that even though we will celebrate 50 years of marriage I only get credit for being around for 45 of them. But then again I am hard of hearing in my right ear so even if I was around I could only hear half the stuff anyone said to me!

    3- If I am such a great doc- why do all you kids call and then ask mom what to do when the grandkids are sick!

    4- Back in the day- it was going to be either a city college that I could afford (no tuition) or get a scholarship! Columbia and the Pulitzer Foundation took a chance on a kid from the Bronx! I lucked out!

    5- I was going to be a research chemist for 3 1/2 years of college and finally gave in to my mom who kept yelling at me everyday- “dummy you should be a real doctor and cure someone or something!” Thanks mom for being so persistent!

    6- I was perfectly happy being a regular member in good standing of the American College of Radiology for 40 years doing what good members do- pay my dues, work a little, teach a little, write a little, get involve in the state society a little and try to do new, better and interesting things to keep from getting bored. So guess what – it all added up to looking like I had done a lot of something after forty plus years in radiology (34 years at Waterbury Hospital and the last five great years in the clinical and teaching radiology program at Bridgeport Hospital). Then out of the blue- my chief at Bridgeport Hospital radiology/ Advanced Radiology Consultants – Alan Kaye MD FACR said to me “Steve, why aren’t you a Fellow. You should be a Fellow! I’ll nominate you to be a Fellow! Don’t worry- the state and national review panels will give you their stamps of approval!” That’s how I got to dress up in my med school cap, gown and hood for the convocation. Mom obviously thought the picture we took made us look pretty good- otherwise we wouldn’t have sent it to you all!!

    6- Thanks for all the nice comments at the end of the article- about Richard’s writing skills, Evan and Rebecca’s blog approvals and Sara and Michael’s facebook and text messages! My favorite comment was just four words long- “Way to go Grandpa!!” Which sounds like a message I could send, depending on punctuation,to anyone of our 5 wonderful kids and 9 adorable and brilliant grandkids – on any given day!!

    7- Bill- I owe you a beer!!

    8- Finally, I get the last word- Dan thanks for all the great stuff you put on this blog everyday, its light hearted upbeat spirit, the pictures of entitled parking (so far none of my cars have been nailed) and especially for the one absolutely riveting blog about the old time radiologist with the funny mortar board on his head.


    Steve (now officially Stephen Stein MD FACR)

  14. Dr. Stein was always one of my favorite Dad’s. Dr. Stein and his family (not so much his dog, Max) were always welcoming and warm to myself and other high school friends as we grew up. They are definitely part of what makes Westport special!

  15. Gerry Kuroghlian

    Of the many great families in Westport, the Steins rate among the very best. I thoroughly enjoyed Dr Stein’s offspring as students at Staples. Dr. and Mrs. Stein were encouraging and supportive but they never helicoptered their children. The results -great human beings.

  16. Elyse Stein

    How can I not comment about my dear brother-in-law, Steve? I’m married to Jack, Steve’s younger brother ( and possible identical twin if not for the 4 year age difference). When the brothers get together, I always enjoy their bantering back and forth, whether talking about serious issues, family memories or how much money they saved on the new car they just bought!
    In the 50 years (OY!) that I have known Steve, he has greeted me with a smile, a hug or a joke! What could be better than that?!?