Stephen Eric Pobzeznik, 56, of Tiverton, RI, passed away Wednesday at St. Anne’s Hospital after a lengthy illness.
A son of Dr. Thomas W. and Barbara M. (Smith) Pobzeznik, he was the youngest of their four children.
He died peacefully in the intensive care unit with his sisters by his side.
A 1981 graduate of Tiverton High School, he earned an associate’s degree from New England Technical Institute and spent his working life as a highly-skilled finish carpenter.
He worked on mansions, mini-mansions and homes of relatives and friends, creating in wood and tile, with precision, any vision presented to him. When he was young he helped build a boat in the family’s barn with his father and brother and used it for many years for water skiing and fishing. High school industrial arts teachers guided him in constructing many early projects including a beautiful grandfather clock that has stood in a prominent place in the home of his parents for decades.
His escape was to the pond and the ocean where he spent many hours every month for many years fishing. He knew prime fishing spots at Stafford Pond, and from an early age would be on the shores shortly after the sun rose to catch a hungry trout, many times returning in the evening.
A construction injury sidelined him for months several years ago and that was followed by mouth cancer from cigarette smoking. His once-rugged body became frail after repeated injury and illnesses, but he could not sit still. As soon as he was able, he was up and out early in the morning looking for projects to keep him busy, and frequently stopped by the pond to cast his line.
He was a good uncle to his three nieces and a nephew, taking all of them fishing when they were young; they fondly remember spending time at the pond with Uncle Steve.
He loved movies and could remember detailed plots years after watching them.
A kind-hearted man, he had many friends who will miss him and the stories he would tell about life as he lived it.
Besides his parents, he is survived by his sisters, Carol Ballon and Marcia Pobzeznik-Flynn, brother-in-laws Hector Ballon and Sean Flynn; nieces Malena Hoefling and her husband Scott and their children Xavier Charles and Eden May; Marliese Ballon and husband Brian Carpentier; Sophie C. Flynn; and nephew Matthew T. Flynn; and his former wife Karen Melanson. He was predeceased by his brother Mark T. Pobzeznik a little more than a year ago, and his grandparents, Imelda (Hamel) Smith Jackson and Ernest Smith, and Lottie (Bronhard) Pobzeznik and Stephen K. Pobzeznik; and his beloved dog Alex.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ana Cojocaru and the nurses and staff of the intensive care unit at St. Anne’s Hospital whose compassionate care will forever be appreciated.
Services, under the direction of Auclair Funeral Home, are private, but a memorial gathering for family and close friends will be held in the late spring (the start of fishing season).
Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Theresa’s Church, 265 Stafford Rd., Tiverton, RI, 02878.