Friday, July 6, 2018 David Russel Stein finished his long battle with cancer. Sixty-seven years after entering this world, Mr. Stein leaves it a far better place, leaving behind a legacy of love, education, and laughter. Stein leaves behind a family he loved dearly – his surviving spouse, Brian West, of Sugarcreek whom he married in 2013, and their four-legged children Winnie and Bethany.  He also leaves his mother, Cathleen (Burd) Stein, of Walnut Creek, his siblings; Barbara (Mike) Paisley of Zanesville, Nancy (Ray) Feuerriegel of Australia, Richard (Marisa) Stein of Baltic, and Marsha (Jeff) Baab of Sugarcreek, his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; William (Kathy) West of Cuyahoga Falls, Michael (Robin) West of Akron, Cheryl Dalehite of Kentucky, and his Mother-in-law; Ann West of Akron.  David also leaves 16 nieces and nephews, and 12 great nieces and nephews.  Stein loved to host large family gatherings, full of food, fantastic décor, and lots of laughter.  In his later years he adored grocery trips with his niece and nephew, Ben and Melissa McRae, always being introduced to new music, podcasts, food, and many other millennial trends.

Having graduated from Garaway in 1969, Stein became a teacher focusing on early childhood education.  Working in the area for 35 years, Mr. Stein leaves behind generations of students forever changed by his mind and methods. Originally teaching kindergarten in New Philadelphia and North Canton, Stein later became a principal at Mary L. Evans Early Childhood Development and Kindergarten Center and a professor for both Walsh University and Malone College.  Stein’s classrooms and lecture halls leave behind thousands of students who have taken his passion and extended it to future generations.

Stein loved nature, particularly flowers, plant biology and bird watching, having raised canaries in the 90’s and hiked the Appalachian Trail with friends multiple times. Stein and West’s woodland Fresno home was a favorite visit among friends and family, decorated meticulously every season – inside and out – enthusiastically by Stein, less enthusiastically by Mr. West, and often with the help of a niece and nephew or two.  Stein loved the arts, theater, and music, partaking in Trumpet in the Land as a college student and band as a student at Garaway.  He revisited his drumming days with the GHS Alumni Band in the Ohio Swiss Festival parade – he still had it. He also sang in the choir at the First United Church of Christ, Sugarcreek, where he was a life-long member, and served as a member of the consistory.

Mr. Stein is preceded in death by his father, Welton Stein, his brother-in-law Bill Mast, and many beloved pets.  Services will be on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM at First United Church of Christ in Sugarcreek, officiated by Pastor Earl Rogers and Pastor Sharman Hartson.  Friends may call on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at Smith-Varns Funeral Home located at 115 Andreas Drive, Sugarcreek from 5-8 PM and Wednesday one hour prior to the service at First UCC.  Burial will be at Renner’s St. Paul UCCC Cemetery in Fresno.  Please visit the funeral home website to share a memory. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the First UCC Mission Fund – a passion of Stein’s, that led him to Haiti working with orphaned children.