Cover photo for James Stephen Deupree's Obituary
James Stephen Deupree Profile Photo
1947 James 2024

James Stephen Deupree

July 3, 1947 — February 17, 2024

James Stephen Deupree (Steve) passed away peacefully on February 17, 2024 surrounded by his immediate family.


Steve, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, lived a life full of adventure and an unlimited sense of possibilities. The world was his realm of exploration.


After graduating from Cincinnati Country Day School, he attended and graduated from Princeton University. There he earned a BA in Architecture. He rowed for Princeton and was captain of the rowing team. Steve was competitive, striving to win at any game or sport he ever played.


As a senior in college, he traveled by himself around the world, crossing through the Soviet Union on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. That trip instilled in him a love of other cultures, people, and places. Throughout his life, his travels took him on many adventures: from accidentally meeting and being blessed by the Pope at the Vatican, to narrowly escaping war in Nigeria by getting the last seat on the last flight out of the country. Steve always loved a good trip, especially when they could be recounted into good stories. After college, he lived in New York City. He worked in a variety of professions: architecture, advertising, modeling, and even as an actor in TV ads. He was on the Jeopardy show, where he won an encyclopedia. He truly took advantage of everything the city had to offer and these years gave him much fodder for many wonderful stories. 


The pivotal point in Steve’s life, while in his early thirties, was the moment he was healed of a life-threatening physical condition. Because of this experience, his faith was profoundly grounded. He found Christian Science, which helped to explain to him how his complete healing could be possible. Christian Science also provided him with a church home, where he could explore and express his love for God, the Christ, and mankind. Most importantly, it was on the steps of the Christian Science church in Charlottesville, Virginia where he met Cynthia, his wife of 38 years. 


In 1988 Steve found his calling as a teacher and taught eighth grade ancient history at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville. He delighted in the curiosity and silliness of these young teens. In fact, after years of hearing middle school jokes at faculty parties, Cynthia would often speculate that Steve loved teaching eighth graders because he was still a kid at heart. His love of travel and experiential learning impelled him to take his students to Russia, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Watching students gain an expanded sense of the world never ceased to delight him. After 24 years, he retired as a beloved master teacher.


After retiring, Steve volunteered for Discovery Bound National Leadership Council (DBNLC), a Christian Science program designed to foster spiritual growth and develop servant leadership skills for teens. He loved to share his passion for faith and adventure with his team of high-schoolers. Only teenagers could get Steve to go mountain biking in the Rockies, crewing on the USS Brig Niagara, a tall square rigged sailing ship on Lake Erie, or even camping. When it came to mentoring and faith, Steve was all in. The relationships he fostered in DB-NLC were some of his most cherished.


Family summers were spent every year of his life (except for one!) in Sylvan Beach on Lake Michigan. Sylvan Beach embodied home for Steve. He loved Sylvan and always looked forward to his time there, eager to add more happy family memories and to tell the same wonderful stories over and over and over again. Sylvan was his place of healing, connection, and inspiration. It was his most cherished place in the entire world. 


Steve was a talented artist his whole life, but in recent years he became a very prolific painter. His colorful paintings were inspired by the fields, lakes, mountains, and skies of Virginia, Michigan, and the Pacific Northwest. His work hangs on many walls, bringing joy and delight to all who view them.


Steve was a pillar of stability and love for both his immediate and extended families. He was a devoted husband to Cynthia. He was an exceptional father to Jamie and Maddie and would do anything to foster their sturdy growth. He encouraged their pursuit of possibilities without limitation and was present. He adored his four grandchildren, his siblings, his nieces and nephews, and his children-in-laws. He loved his entire family. 


His fatherly love and unlimited support extended even beyond his immediate family. Steve’s idea of family grew to include many, many friends. He connected to his friend family by Love and shared adventures. He constantly planned gatherings and reunions. He especially loved large Mediterranean family style dinners. These “Tuscan” dinners, often held under the Harvest moon, became a beloved tradition. His warm smile and ready laughter welcomed everyone with joy.


Steve expressed joy, kindness, compassion, and unbounded creative energy. He loved generously and unconditionally. His uplifting sense of Love touched many lives.


Steve is loved, and we are grateful to have been an intimate part of his life. A small, private celebration of Life will be planned for a later date.


Steve was preceded into eternal Life by his mother Mary (Polly) Harwood Deupree, his father James Young Deupree, his eldest sister Janet (Pepper) Deupree Miller, and his younger brother Charles (Charlie) Redwood Deupree. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia Fitz-Gerald Deupree; his children: James Savery Deupree (Stephanie) and Madeleine Deupree Banta (Lee); his grandchildren: Penelope, Logan, Henry, and Red; his sister Margot Deupree Taylor; his step-brother David Whittaker (Julie), his stepsister Sally Whittaker; sixteen nieces and nephews; many grand nieces and nephews; and his beloved dogs Gracie and Thatcher. He is now reunited in Heaven with his favorite dog, Otis.


Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA




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