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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Student Passes Out At Roth Regatta, Later Dies In Hospital

    Stephen Stakey, a freshman at Stony Brook University, passed out during the annual Roth Regatta on May 2. He was taken to the Stony Brook University Medical Center where he died later that day. He was 19.

    The cause of Stakey’s death is still unknown, pending an autopsy, his mother, Cathy Stakey, said. “He was perfectly healthy,” she continued.

    According to witnesses, Stakey — who was a member of the university’s marching band — passed out midday while attending the regatta with the band, which had a boat in the race.

    When he passed out, the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps. immediately attended to him. They were already on call at the event. His friends received word shortly after that Stephen had died at the hospital.

    Stakey’s friends held a candlelight ceremony near the fountain by the Administration building at 11 p.m. on May 3. The damp night did nothing to stop friends and supporters from attending the ceremony. Several of them spoke about Stakey during the ceremony, including friend Harrison Glaser and his roommate, Geoffrey Bansen.

    “I remember one time I saw him doing his homework,” Glaser recalled. “I watched on for just two minutes and it made my head spin.”

    According to friends, Stakey was a dedicated student and friend. He was part of the Honors College at the university, and resided in Toscanini in Tabler Quad.

    “Stephen, you were one of the first people I met at Stony Brook, the nice guy across the table from me at orientation,” wrote Natalie Crnosija, a freshman at the university, on Stakey’s Facebook wall. “I feel blessed that I got to know you a little bit over the year and I will miss bumping into you in odd places.”

    “Stephen would want us to go and be the best we can be, and do great things,” Glaser said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Stephen would have done something great with his life, his gift. Because that is what life is, a gift, it’s precious.”

    Stakey graduated from Mattituck Junior-Senior High School in Mattituck, N.Y., in 2007, as valedictorian.

    While attending Stony Brook University, Stakey planned on majoring in computer sciences. His Facebook page shows many references to his love for technology, with things ranging from quotes from one of Apple, Inc.’s co-founders to links to his blog, “TechPerspective.”

    In one of his last online blog posts on Facebook, “Examination of Self,” Stakey wrote about his past year at the university and the memories he made with his friends. He thanked all of his friends for having been part of those memories and called his first year “amazing.”

    An online memorial was started on Facebook. The group, “R.I.P. Stephen Stakey 5/2/08,” was created less than 12 hours after the start of the regatta on Friday.

    “I figured I have only known Stephen for about a year and will not do a wonderful kid like him justice, so I leave this space open to anyone who knew Stephen well,” wrote the group’s creator Harrison Glaser, one of Stakey’s friends.

    Glaser announced his intention to ask for the regatta’s name to be changed to the Stephen Stakey Memorial Roth Regatta. Furthermore, the university is reportedly looking into holding a larger candle lighting ceremony in honor of Stakey. Information on both is pending.

    A wake was held on Tuesday, May 6, for Stakey at theDeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. in Mattituck, N.Y. His buriel was held the following day at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Mission Church, also in Mattituck, at 10 a.m.

    Stakey is survived by his father, Kevin; mother, Cathy; 16-year-old sister, Laura; and nine-year-old brother, Andrew.

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