Friday, May 5, 2017

Farewell to Friend and Dedicated VIP

Stephen pictured here in late February, after receiving
Centennial Challenge Award.

When you walk around Morristown NHP, almost everything you see was somehow enhanced by volunteer Stephen Wilder; a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm.

If he wasn’t leading tours at the Ford Mansion, he was chopping fire wood for the Wick House. When not helping the Interpretative staff, he would be on the trails assisting our Law Enforcement staff. He spent countless hours on our 20 plus mile trails, cutting barberry, installing waterbars to protect our trails from erosion, removing downed trees, blazing trails. 

His enthusiasm for the preservation of the park was contagious. During the winter months, Steve volunteered with the Cultural Resource staff assisting with research of our collection, such as a manuscript on Benedict Arnold. Steve also assisted our Natural Resource staff this past autumn by clearing the walking paths for our bird study volunteers.  Steve impacted the Wick garden, working with our Maintenance staff replacing the boards around the garden beds without which there may not have been a garden season. He helped train new staff and volunteers. He assisted with corporate volunteer projects and a variety of special events, including presenting an his research at an interpretative event.The list goes on. To list all the projects Steve accomplished for the park is nearly impossible, as they are too numerous. These are but a sample of his dedication to the National Park Service.

Steve began volunteering circa 2006. Through the years he provided 3,112 hours of service. He achieved his Master Volunteer Ranger status, repeatedly earned the Inter Agency Free Volunteer Pass, was a certified NPS Chainsaw Operator, and received the 2016 Centennial Challenge Award.

Stephen passed away May 4, 2017 his presence will be sadly missed and will always be remembered by the staff and volunteers of Morristown National Historical Park.

This tribute by Morristown Volunteer Coordinator, Pamela Dobben. 


  1. He was a good man and will be missed by many.

  2. I am sorry never to have met Stephen, but he was obviously a wonderful man, generous with his time, and committed to making the world a better place. His lovely wife, Becky, is an invaluable member of the Schuyler Hamilton DAR chapter. I send her my heartfelt condolences.