Stefan Allen Freifeld, age 76, of St. Petersburg, Florida passed away on Monday, April 16, 2018 from complications related to pneumonia at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The graveside funeral service to honor Stefan’s blessed memory is scheduled on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, 1750 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, FL 34683. There will be a reception for family and friends immediately following the service at 5276 Karlsburg Place, Palm Harbor, FL 34685.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Stefan's memory to the Menorah Manor Foundation at either menorahmanor.org/donate or 727-302-3888.
Stefan was born in New York, New York on October 29th, 1941 to Louis and Lillian Freifeld, and was the youngest of their three sons. Stefan was the last to pass away of his immediate family, and enjoyed a special place in his family’s heart, as the baby of the group. Although if he were reading this right now he would say “some baby?” or “I da baby, gotta love me!” quoting the old Dinosaurs TV show. To his family, he was known as Beavy and Peffie. He always loved to stay busy and started working at an early age in his parent’s textile factory and other odd jobs.
Stefan met the absolute love of his life, and according to him his “reason for living,” Sandra Hirstreet, when he was only 15 years old. On April 24th, they would have celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. There was no Stef, without Sandy – they went together like “ying and yang” and were perfectly in love, so much so in fact, that they built a legacy of that love together. Every morning of their 57+ years, Stefan greeted Sandy with “Good Morning Gorgeous!”
Although he was born and grew up in Brooklyn, NY, Stefan and Sandra moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1966, with their three children at the time – Deborah, Robin, and Michael. Together they made a loving, “busy, “ and Jewish home later having two more children in the 70’s and 80’s – Tamara and Mark. There was never any scarcity of jokes, laughter, love, affection, and traditions.
Stefan’s career was spent staying “busy” in everything related to real estate. For many years, he was a construction supervisor with the company that he and his brother, Stanley, established. Throughout his career he was also a real estate agent and broker, landlord, and building inspector. He took a lot of pride in his work, and cared about the people he worked with. He was also the family “go to” advisor on all matters home or home related, consulting with his parents and children on buying, selling, and building their homes.
Stefan was a truly devoted family man - always there for his parents, wife, children and their spouses and children when they needed him. Even when they didn’t need him or his help, he would bud in like the Jewish Mother he always thought he was, offering thoughts, anecdotes, sage advice, relevant stories (you may have heard before) to have you understand his point of view. Truth be told, however, you can never have too many Jewish Mothers in your life – everyone needs at least one – Stefan was a fantastic second Mother.
Stefan was also “Mr. Fix It”. He felt he could fix anything and believed in the power of tools, duck tape, glue, rubber bands, and love and caring, to keep things together. He loved nothing more than to be asked to help with these kinds of projects. Sometimes the way he fixed things was rather odd and you would not normally think it would work, but he made it work and would respond with “What? It worked didn’t it? What does it matter what I fixed it with?”
Stefan’s “busy” habit extended to his hobbies as well. He was an avid collector of art, and collectibles, particularly Judaica. He loved being surrounded by beautiful things and was inspired by the artistic visions of the artist. He always enjoyed learning the stories behind the artist’s pieces and was extremely knowledgeable about them. He also liked to cook and went through a phase of learning the art of Chinese cooking. He was amazing with a wok. He also made “out of this world” Spinach knishes.
Stefan was always proud to be Jewish and supported the local Jewish community. He was a longtime member of Temple Beth-El, heavily involved with UJA and Israel bonds. He spent countless volunteer hours at Menorah Manor, a Jewish elder care facility in St. Petersburg. So much so, in fact, that he was awarded a plaque for his service. He also sought to instill in his children and grandchildren the traditions, values, and principles of the Jewish faith throughout their lifetimes.
Stefan was a true “mensch” to many. You could always count on him when you needed him, especially for a story or joke. He had a way with people, an intense desire to learn, and a strong will that was admirable and unmistakable. Two of his favorite mantras were:
“A mind without a heart is nothing”
- Chaim Potok (from “The Chosen”)
"The heart’s intensions are the measure of all things."
Stefan followed these guidelines throughout his life and his heart was always in the right place.
Stefan is survived by his lovely wife, Sandra; his eldest daughter, Deborah , husband Daniel and sons, Joshua and David; daughter Robin and daughters Rachel and Samantha; son Michael and wife Helen, and children Monica and Jacob; daughter Tamara and husband Howard, sons Ronen and Seth; and son, Mark Freifeld.
David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Central Avenue Chapel in St. Petersburg is serving the family.