Edgar Zell Steever IV
Edgar Zell Steever IV, 91, died in New London, Connecticut, on November 26, 2006. A resident of Mystic, Connecticut, he had previously lived in Devon, Pennsylvania, New Canaan, Connecticut, and Easton, Pennsylvania. The son of Miller D. Steever and Gladys Inglehart Steever, he was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, January 27, 1915. He attended Deerfield Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1936 with a BA in Art History. Keen on the fine arts from an early age, he continued his education at The Yale School of Fine Arts to become a sculptor, receiving a BFA in 1938 and an MFA in 1940. The recipient of several fellowships and prizes for sculpture, he was also a member of the National Arts Club, the National Sculpture Society, the American Numismatic Society, and the Numismatics and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia.
He married Emily Velona Barringer of New Canaan, Connecticut, in 1941, and the couple settled in Talmadge Hill. Specializing in portraiture, Mr. Steever taught sculpture at the Silvermine Guild of Artists and executed numerous commissions, among them commemorative plaques for the Congregational Church in Westport, Connecticut, and a life-size bronze statue of a leopard, the school mascot of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. In 1964 he joined the United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a senior sculptor-engraver, where he designed coins and commemorative medals until retiring in 2002. While he designed several foreign coins, such as the obverse of the five-dollar Liberia and the one-peso Philippine Bataan Days coins, his work focused on American projects. Recent notable designs include a gold piece commemorating Frank Lloyd Wright (1982); a medal of George and Ira Gershwin (1983); a half-dollar coin for the centennial of the Statue of Liberty (1986); a half-dollar coin on the theme of baseball at the Atlanta Summer Olympics (1996); and the reverse of the Virginia State quarter (2000). He once observed at a talk that he was proud to have so much of his art find its way into peoples’ pockets.
A great enthusiast for sailing and wooden boats, Mr. Steever sailed and rowed often in the Thousand Islands, the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound. He was also involved in a number of conservation efforts to preserve wild habitats.
He is survived by three children, Edgar Z. Steever, V of Noank, Connecticut, Theodore B. Steever of Devon, Pennsylvania, and Sanford B. Steever of New Canaan, Connecticut, as well as two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Burial and a memorial service are to be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, December 9, 2006, at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Donations in his memory may be made to the Thousand Islands Land Trust, PO Box 238, Clayton, NY 13624.
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