Stephen C. Kreps

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To hear people speak about him, Steve was a legend. From his teenage years until now, he was the guy everyone knew – in High School, on the soccer and football fields, on the street, to the neighborhood – everyone knew his name. He couldn’t even go on vacation without running into current and former students – NYC, Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Disney World, Myrtle Beach and more. New students assigned to his homeroom never knew whether to believe the stories that he ate a child or threw a table across the room. But the kids who had him as a teacher walked away loving his class and him. He made his classes fun but it was nearly impossible to get away with anything in his class. Known as the Tasmanian Devil in his youth, he had broken every rule and knew all the tricks. He was always in his classroom early, blaring his music for the day to set the tone. You knew it was a good day if Frank Sinatra or Abba was playing; everyone was on edge if Metallica was on. At Walter Hill School he was twice Teacher of the Year and the glue that held them together. Once a year he sang Karaoke to entertain his co-workers. His renditions of Let it Go and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough were awful but his unbridled joy, complete with dance moves, made it unforgettable. And he took his sports seriously. Steve participated in 5 fantasy football leagues, back before the internet, mailing his selections the Monday before game day. You could hear him screaming at the T.V. from two floors away when his Broncos played. If the game went badly he could string expletives like a poet. When his older son moved to Boston, he got to experience Fenway, a lifelong dream. He picked the right game: Mookie Betts smashed a walk off grand slam over the green monster. Steve wanted to be a good golfer but never quite mastered it. His biggest celebration occurred when his ball hit the green! Lovingly referred to as a Yankee Redneck by his Southern nephew, he rowdily cheered for Dale Earnhardt and Junior, and attended many NASCAR races at Dover Downs, Pocono and even Charlotte. The Kreps’ residence was the house where all the kids hung out; their dinner table usually had a few additional mouths. Even when his sons left for college their friends still came over to watch the game with Mr. Kreps. You could count the number of his kids’ games missed on one hand: he was always the loudest and most supportive parent on the sideline. He coached soccer one season for his son’s team, and ran flag football and basketball after school at Walter Hill. Come Halloween the hunt for the Kreps’ house was on: students who found him got a free homework pass; and teased if he didn’t like your costume.
At age 5 he’d meet a girl named Melissa. They played with a Noah’s Arc set under the tree in her front yard. And all through elementary school they could usually be found together. Melissa moved away for high school but the day she returned, there was Steve. Six months later they were dating; four and a half years later they were married. The secret to their almost 30 years of marriage was compromise; he compromised by usually letting Melissa get her way. They were blessed by sons, Jared and Tyler. Steve was a devoted family man. A true son, brother, and uncle, not just an in-law, to Melissa’s family: Phyllis. Ted, Tom, Robin, Patti, Tom, Kim, Brian, and all his nieces and nephews on both sides. He is survived by his parents, Melvin and Maryellen, brother Larry (Lisa) and sister Cindy (Kevin) Leach. He was pre-deceased by his brother, Kevin (Lori).
Wear your favorite team’s Jersey and come celebrate 52 great years Sunday noon to 4 p.m. at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro. The Stephen C. Kreps Scholarship Fund is being created; more information will follow as soon as possible. Donations will be appreciated.

36 thoughts on “Stephen C. Kreps

  1. Melissa Law

    My heartfelt condolences to Melissa, Jared, and Tyler. My son Avery wore “SK” on his helmet in honor of Mr.Kreps for his game last night. He and my daughter both thought he was a great teacher. My husband and I knew him on and off the field and in school. Praying for strength in this most difficult time.

  2. Henry and Carolyn DiCaterino

    Dear Mel and Maryellen and Family;
    Our sincerest sympathy and condolences to you and your family upon hearing of Stephen’s passing.
    What a beautiful and loving tribute to him and the many people he touched These many wonderful stories will always be a testament to a full life he lived with family and friends and the many students he taught.
    God’s eternal blessings for Stephen and God’s Blessings to your family during this most difficult time.

  3. Sharon Zahniser

    Steve was truly one of a kind. His enthusiasm was infectious and it was so much fun to sit in the stands with him while we cheered as our boys played soccer. Both of my children had him as their 6th grade teacher – one of their favorite school years thanks to Steve. The loss of this wonderful teacher, neighbor and friend leaves a big hole in all of our hearts. I’m extremely thankful I had the pleasure of knowing him.

  4. Courtney Dinn

    I’m so sorry for your loss! My daughter Arianna was one of his students this year at WHS. She misses him dearly and is heartbroken by his passing. She absolutely loved how he could instantly engage the entire class and make learning so fun! RIP Mr. Kreps! 😢

  5. Barbara & Larry Davenport

    So sorry for your loss I really don’t even know what to say .I can’t even think straight since I lost my Bobby.All I can say is that my heart breaks for you as his parents. Love you 2 Try to stay strong that’s all we can do for our family.Barb.

  6. Valarie G Niessner (née Breininger)

    Steve was a kind hearted person all through School (PHS 1984). As the years passed we have continued our journey called, life. However, we have always stayed In touch through class reunions and social media. Our class is very close and we all care about each other deeply. Melissa, the PHS Class of 1984 will never be the same. You are in our prayers. May
    the peace of God and the promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you always. “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, YET SHALL HE LIVE”
    John 11:25

  7. Maria Colón

    My daughter had Mr. Kreps last year in 6th grade. I still remember our first open house night and walking into his classroom. I was like wow … I wish my science teacher was as cool as hers!!! I loved his sense of humor and outlook on teaching! My daughter definitely excelled in his class due to his passion of teaching.
    We have since moved to Florida and the news hit us hard. Unfortunately we can not pay our respects personally but we shall continue our thoughts and prayers to the Kreps family . Rest In Peace Mr.Kreps…

  8. Jaime Richardson and Family

    Mr. Kreps was and will forever be an amazing teacher and human being. He taught my daughter this year, and previously taught my son as well. Both adored their favorite science teacher. Thank you Mr. Kreps for all you have given in your time here with us.

    Kreps family, I realize there are no words that can possibly ease your sorrow, but I do hope that you find comfort in knowing just how loved Steve was by our entire community, and how he brought joy to everyone he met. We all grieve with you, and are praying hard for you in this sad time.

  9. Kimberly Haunton McSweeney

    I watched for four days as teacher after teacher arrived in the hospital to just be near you and my sister, Melissa. Jared and Tyler’s friends also standing vigil in the waiting room outside, just to show support. Neighbors in disbelief. Family unable to sleep for days. And a whole school and community in grief. We will try to live life like you did, Steve. .. life to the fullest and all in. You were more than just a brother in-law and I loved you. We will miss you terribly. Kim

  10. Marcus Robinson Jr

    Mr. Kreps truly touched everyone that came into his path and for sure touched me. He made a huge impact on my life and I thank him for that. I will be praying for strength for the Kreps family. Me. Kreps was loved by everyone. I will never forget one of the most influential people in my life, Mr. Kreps. My condolences.

  11. Diana Botto

    Dear Kreps Family, I am truly sorry for the loss of your son, husband and father. Although I did not know Mr. Kreps, my oldest would have started Hill next year and from all these amazing testaments to Steve, I feel such loss for him and my other 3 children not ever getting to have the experience of having him as a teacher. He doh fed like one in a million. I hope you all find comfort in the beautiful memories of him and know he will be with you as your angel guiding you and in your hearts forever until you meet again ❤️

  12. Judy Reinders

    Dear Kreps Family
    Please accept our deepest and most sincere condolences. Our family and our 3 children in particular were fortunate to have known and benefited from Mr Kreps kindness, dedication, and commitment to all his students. He will always be remembered and we are thankful that we had the opportunity for him to touch all our lives. God Bless you all….with deepest sympathy
    Joe and Judy Reinders

  13. Kevin Heffernan

    Dear Kreps Family: On behalf of the Heffernan family, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to you on your loss.
    My daughter Brianna is a current Hill student, and truly enjoyed having Steve not only as a Teacher, but also as part of her flag football activity. She has been truly saddened by his loss, and has been sharing her wonderful memories of her interactions with him, which has brought her some smiles. She absolutely loved having him for Science, and she’s found a true enjoyment for it because of your husband and Father.
    We send you our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time, and pray that you find comfort in knowing that your husband and father was a wonderful man who made an impact in the lives of thousands of children and adults.
    God Bless You!

  14. Bob Douglas

    Cindy, such an incredible tribute to your beloved Brother Steve. May God bless you and your entire family as you travel this new path of your lives now, and may Steve rejoice in Paradise as he awaits you. All my love & prayers to you all.

  15. Sheilla McSweeney

    It was wonderful to read this beautiful tribute of Steven’s life. What a beloved wonderful person he was to all. He is leaving way too soon but he blessed the earth for 52 years and is leaving wonderful memories behind for family, school, and community. Heaven will welcome with open arms. God bless Steven and his family during this difficult time.

  16. Marti Pachuta

    Mr. Kreps was my sixth grade science teacher this year. He was by far my favorite teacher. He taught me so many life lessons. He made any ordinary day extraordinary and I will never forget that. Mr. Kreps always all the best in everybody. It will be so weird walking down the hallway and not seeing him smile as I enter my homeroom. I hope Mr. Kreps rests in peace.

  17. Molly Shapiro

    Mr. Kreps was my sixth grade teacher in the 2014-2015 school year. He constantly told me that I could do whatever I put my mind to, and encouraged me to put my full effort into everything I loved. He gave me my love of science and history that I feel so strongly today in high school. He was an incredible teacher that did everything possible to engage his students and give them the best experience possible. I’ll never forget how much he changed my life.

  18. Patti Haunton Myers

    I cannot even begin to express the loss to our family. You were more like a brother to to me then a brother in-law. My children adore you and you will always be an amazing role model to them as well as many others. All of our fun times will now be wonderful memories to share over and over again. We love you!!!

  19. Lisa Oberg

    Dear Kreps family,
    We are deeply sorry for your loss. My son is at Hill and had the opportunity to participate in after school basketball with Steve and spoke very highly of him. Heaven gained a beautiful angel! Thoughts and prayers for all of you at this very difficult time.
    Sincerely,
    The Oberg Family

  20. Steve M Schneider

    Truly sorry for your loss but my 3 Boys were all privileged to have met and learned from Steve while at Walter Hill (right of passage). Good times at soccer throughout the years.
    Sincerely,
    The Schneider Family

  21. Kaileigh Hiddemen

    I’m truly sorry for your loss, Mr Kreps was a joy to have. I had him last year in 6th grade he was the best science teacher anyone could have asked for he made every day fun. He touched all of are heart. We will all miss you Mr. Kreps😢😭.

  22. Kaileigh Hiddemen

    I’m truly sorry for your loss, Mr Kreps was a joy to have. I had him last year in 6th grade he was the best science teacher anyone could have asked for he made every day fun. He touched all of are heart. We will all miss you Mr. Kreps😢😭.
    Sincerely,
    Kaileigh Hiddemen

  23. Gayle Mills Vaughan

    My deepest sympathy for the Kreps family…..I was fortunate to have known Steve because he was my brothers BEST FRIEND. He was always the life of the party, picnic, and other get togethers. ALWAYS the JOKESTER!!! I can’t ever remember Steve “NOT SMILING”…..He spoke of his students often, as well as his family that he was so proud of….after reading the impact he had on so many lives, I can honestly say Steve Kreps was a living legend….and I bet he didn’t even know it….I sure will miss you “Ernie”….RIP my friend…..Sincerely, G.G.

  24. Gavin Wagner

    These are hard times but there is so much love to give for the man Mr. Kreps was. I’ll never forget when he asked me: “Gavin, what Metallica album goes with what we’re learning right now?” I answered Ride the Lightning, and even though he was thinking Death Magnetic, we both had a laugh. He was one of the most engaging teachers I have ever had the honor of looking up to, and he doubtlessly left his mark on the community. Grief is a challenge that we all must face, but the light at the end of the tunnel lies in remembering the ways our dearly departed have impacted our lives for the better. Thinking about the Kreps family during this time.

  25. Tatum Rieger

    Mr. Kreps was the best science teacher ever. Even if I only had him for 2 months. He made me smile every time I came into class. He was living, funny, and great as his job like he says so him self. I’m sure he will be teaching science in heaven now. And maybe he can even practice my name. We all live him so much.
    Love, Tatum
    (A.K.A. Peyton)

  26. Peyton Rieger

    I was lucky enough to have Mr. Kreps teach me every day during my sixth grade year. There was never a moment where I wanted to leave his classroom. He made every second in his class amazing. Never a dull moment with him. From his crazy experiments to the serious talks about life, he never seized to brighten your day. He wasn’t just a great teacher; he was an advocate for the students, a great listener, the biggest Broncos fan I have ever seen, but he was a great man. He never complained to his students even when we could tell something bothered him. He always made all schools events unforgettable. He gave kids advice not just in school but about all subjects. He gave kids the best welcome, but when the last day of school came, he was the students hardest goodbye’s. Overall, I don’t know another person like Mr. Kreps. He is irreplaceable, so the best thing we can do is celebrate all he did for everyone. Mr. Kreps if you are reading this I love and miss you tremendously. Love Peyton(Mrs. Rieger).

  27. Pat Lewis

    Steve once commented that he liked when I was at lunch since he was no longer the oldest one in the faculty lounge. (what???)
    Hearing Steve’s music in the morning echoing through the first floor hallway of Walter Hill interestingly invigorating, yet calming; witnessing him teaching science, unforgettable; listening to his stories during lunch, priceless!

    So shocked and saddened by the news. Condolences and sympathy to your family, friends, colleagues, and students. Steve, behave yourself in heaven!

  28. Hope Nelson

    It is with great sadness we mourn Mr. Kreps in our home with so many others. My son and recently my daughter had him as there 6 th grade teacher. He was genuinely encouraging to both of my kids pushing them to move forward in their best selves. We thank the family for sharing him with us and so many others as well. We will continue to keep the family in prayer for the days ahead. Many Blessing!
    The Nelson Family.

  29. Kim Snook

    Mr. Kreps became a household name when my oldest daughter had him as a science teacher 7 years ago. It is there that her joy for science began and influenced her life to continue on in within a science field. As a family we became to know Mr Kreps passing in the neighborhood on walks, seeing him in Acme and always hearing him yell ‘Hey Snookie’ to my kids. Halloween never ended without my daughter finding her way to his house to hear his comments on her costume, even as a senior in high school. It was a hard college call to make to inform her of Mr. Kreps passing but am so thankful she could come home to celebrate his life and give his family a hug. I am sharing some of the favorite stories she told me here for the family to know:
    1. On Halloween in high school she wore a cat outfit – Mr. Kreps inquired if her father knew what she was wearing.
    2. The children had to say something nice to his stapler or it wouldn’t work; literally it didn’t work if they didn’t make the comment.
    3. The girls were often reminded it was a science room not a hair salon.
    4. The kids would sneak out of Mrs. Davidson class to peak in at Mr. Kreps, feet on his desk, eyes closed, belting out a tune.
    5. He told them all he was a parent too so they couldn’t fool him.

    So many lives touched, so many memeories left and a mark within the community made. To the family, we see your dad in all of you and will continue to hold you in prayer. His celebration of life was a beautiful tribute. God Bless!

  30. Mia Randazzo and Family

    This is a great man with a passion for teaching and children RIP Mr Kreps. My first encounter with Steve was when I just became PTO president and we were collecting silent auctions for the Harvest Fest. He called me and said “you can’t…do whatever crazy thing you are thinking about doing”. Probably the only person that told me “you can’t” and I, for some divine intervention reason, LISTENED! You have left more than a couple footprints in the world.#ROYGBIC

  31. MaryAnn Everline

    Dear Kreps Family– How shocked and saddened to learn of Stephen’s passing. My deepest sympathies to you all. How much I remember the many times that I baby sat for you (Mr. & Mrs. Kreps, Sr.) when the kids were little. May you all find comfort as the days and weeks pass along, and may Stephen rest in peace knowing that he touched so may young lives in the classroom on a daily basis. Sincerely,
    MaryAnn Yarmark Everline

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