Len Stephan, 1936-2014

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A music and math aficionado, lover of nature and computers, and committed environmentalist, Len Stephan passed away in September, a few weeks shy of his 78th birthday, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Born in Regina, Canada on October 12, 1936 to socialist parents, he moved to Vancouver, B.C. “as a tot” as his daughter Gita likes to say. He came to Seattle for graduate school and stayed, making the Pacific Northwest his home.

Len was a Design Engineer at Boeing for over 30 years. When he met and joined the FSP, he brought a cool wit and meticulous manner to everything from discussing the burning issues of the day to creating and staffing literature tables at events. After retiring, he focused on doing the things he loved most, playing music in local bands and symphonies — he could play piano, guitar, banjo, saxophone and trombone — hiking, sailing, and political involvement.

Eventually Len left the party over the question of which way forward, reform or revolution, in the fight to save the planet from capitalist destruction. Nonetheless, he was always a friend and continued to give unstintingly of his time and computer expertise. Guerry Hoddersen, who worked closely with him, called Len “a driving force who was integral to setting up the socialism.com webpage.”

One of his last efforts was to leave Radical Women and FSP generous bequests to carry on the work of creating a safe, sane world. He was passionate about the environmental crisis and would be happy, we think, to see the surging ecosocialist movement.

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