(December 25, 1950 - October 21, 1994)

Stephen Endress

Go to: Stephen's poetry
Go to: the obituary

The poem below was adapted by a friend of Stephen's and sent to his mother Mary
(see aove with umbrella) as a consoling remembrance.


go to Newest update

for Stephen's birthday, 2004

Here is baby Stephen with his big sister, Kathleen, near our front steps, at 180 Hamilton Avenue, Staten Island, New York.

We loved our family walks, here we were not far from home, on Curtis Place. Notice the elegant folding Mom did on Stephen's blanket. Our Dad, "Ken" as Mom called him (Erwin Endress) is pushing the carriage.

Now it is Mom's (Mary Abela Endress) turn.

When he got a little older, his big sister (Kathy) got to push him in the carriage.
He's looking a little skeptical!

Here is Stephen holding his nose on Kathy's First Communion day.
Photo taken in our front yard.

Little Stephen in the center, older sister Kathy on the left, not sure who is on the right...cousin?

Kathy and Stephen in the park, ice cream dripping.

Stephen on the left. In the center, the third child, Maureen, is looking up at her hero, Stephen. Kathy is almost grown up by this time. Photo taken in our back yard on Hamilton Avenue. (We lived there for 17 years.)

Stephen at home in front of the family "altar".

Here you can see Stephen surrounded by women admirers. "Nana" (Josephine Abela) is in the back, next to Kathy. Mommy looks pretty. This photo was taken in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on a visit there. Guess who won the hat contest???


A Selection

PASSAGE — September 3, 1979
by Stephen Endress, copyright 2004

A day of pulsing rest. A morning–leaving for the not–so–distant home across the bay (which is now uptown blowing mistily through the air).
The door latch, clicking behind, echoes down the street...how strange.
Before my departing steps I stand.
Even the sun does not labor today— (gray and white) almost as if a great noise would be heard if it were suddenly to appear showering its yellow brightness.
This day comes to me impoverished.

Walking I find all is not deadened: he sullenly works today, who silently carts the building waste out from the towering bowels within, to this solitary curbside spot of deposit.
Just like any regular day, there is always waste here.

(too bad he must work on his labor day)
But always there is waste.

Hopping gleefully in freedom–time down the subway steps
surprised not to find the troops marching up.
Usually I freeze while they pass and like a door revolving
my body would sway —
But now the way is clear, today there's even space for breathing.
I will not race — but my coin rolls from my unclenched fist not used to being so loosely held, and races through the turnstile
and beats me there. I laugh
There is no escape from some sort of race.
My coin retrieved I make my way to my usual waiting space.

Time does not race today, the world sleeps.
Now the turnstile's creak measures time's passing and then, a derelict cough

reminds me there are other things too, which are always —
like suffering.
A solitary screech is heard in the distance and its echo travels through the endless
tunnel and passes me as if it could be seen, like in some child's comic book.
The glaring gleaming silver rails tell me I'm going home.

The pregnant spell of the day's dreams which is cast down here below, is broken as the train labors towards me cranking and clanking with red and green and yellow light.
Yet somehow today there is no commotion in its locomotion.
Onward, life has arrived. I enter for my delivery.

Ferryboat in milky steam dribbles across the bay.
There is Liberty and today is her dream come true.
She seems as if asleep, there is no ray.

Her staunch and steady stand inspires not
the countless
whose desks lie vacant
beyond in the canyons of gold and glass.
No matter though, hardly ever is she noticed or her meaning revealed.

Deserted bus stop waits with cigarettes and broken stems

of blue light bulbs shattered in labored celebration...
beer cans and broken bottles strewn, and the smell—
as if it's still yesterday.

On the bus desperateness has given way to Christ–love songs
harmonized by smiles which have a Janus strangeness to them
This, in our days, is the other side of a desperate spell
bound to all our pain and questions.
But as it would be, their song is sweet and the melody swells
and is encompassing and the smile spreads to all.
We are united in our questions —
those of us who remain alive enough to make the effort and ask.
Familiar sights become recognizable in the midst of the revelry and I ring the bell thrice.
There is no answer, but the bus stops, filled with the past's air.

And now comes the smell of green...


Stephen Endress on vacation in Santa Barbara, c.1990

Ten years after Stephen's passing he is still vivid and powerful in our memories. This picture captures my favorite "Stephen". It was Stephen's joie-de-vivre that distinguished him, his great appreciation for the pleasures of friendship, nature, art, and music. He had a beautiful tenor voice , alive still in my imagination. He was a consolation and a caring advisor to his family and friends. He worked hard at whatever he did. His sense of order, an unfailing sense of fairness, patience, and good humour accompanied him everywhere, and one smiles to remember his constant declamatory invocation: "or-gan-i-za-TION!" as one of the keys to a happy life.
— from his sister Kathy

From his OBITUARY, N.Y Times, October, 1994: Stephen Michael Endress of 3 West 65th Street, New York City, died on October 21, 1994 of complications due to AIDS. A singer, writer, and therapist in training, Mr. Endress was born on Christmas Day, 1950 on Staten Island.

He began performing as an amatueur liturgical singer at the age of 10 with the Choir of Men and Boys of St. Peter's R.C. Church of Staten Island. Other groups included the Glee Club of St. Peter's School. Chorus of the College of Staten Island, the Collegium Musicum of Richmond College, the Richmond Choral Society, served as cantor at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and served as a substitute singer at St. Simon's, both of Staten Island; and substitute at St. Ignatius Episcopal and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, both of Manhattan. He attended the College of Staten Island and received a Bachelor's in Classical Humanities in 1984, where he studied voice with George Shirley. During later years in new York City, he sang with the New York Motet Choir, the Collegiate Chorale, and the Stonewall Chorale. He served as president of the Stonewall Chorale from 1988 through 1990 and helped design a series of community benefit concerts for lesbian and gay organizations and AIDS service agencies.

He began a long association with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in 1977 where he served as superintendent under the late Rev. A. James Laughlin until 1985 when he became operations manager serving under the Rev. Drs. William H. Lazareth and Richard L. Jeske until July, 1992, and continued to serve for several years as a volunteer operations consultant at the church.

Mr. Endress began training as a mental health therapist at the Fifth Avenue Center for Counseling and Social Psychotherapy, and served there as a clinical therapist for 1 1/2 years while working towards a master's in social work at Yeshiva University's Wurzweiller School of Social Work. Unfortunately, due to illness, Mr. Endress was forced to withdraw in 1993.

For Stephen:
Here and Now

How in the cool blue midnight of your room,
image upon image we have come
from out the rain tossed bramble of our lives:
form upon form undoing all that we have done,
maze of stems and boughs always before our eyes.

It is not the season which has brought me here to you,
but only the rain falling... no time of year,
only a moment of wetness on the wing.

Oh cut swiftly the seeds and blue mist of leaves and press
this blue reed to your lips to play
long undulating rhythms of blueness.


René Magritte: Victory. 1939 (Private collection, Paris)

Go to Michelle-Nicole's Journey with Stephen
Go to Kathy&Rick's Home Page
Go to A Poetry Reading with Kathy and Sean in Pasadena
Go to Kathy's Poetry Page