HomeMedford NewsObituary: Stephen Arthur Edgerton

Obituary: Stephen Arthur Edgerton

Obit - Edgerton

Stephen Arthur Edgerton

Dec. 16, 2014

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Stephen Arthur Edgerton, 86, died peacefully at his home in Medford on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Steve was born on May 8, 1928 in Plainfield, Ind. to Joseph and Elsie Edgerton. He grew up in the small town of Columbiana, Ohio on the family farm, and stayed just long enough to decide he was not a farmer by inclination.He graduated from Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio in 1946, and earned his bachelor of science degree in physics from Earlham College in 1950. He later received a masters of education and supervisory certificate from Temple University.

Steve came to the east coast to work at the Quaker summer camp, Camp Dark Waters, during college. He was the interim director for Nina and Wilbert Braxton for two summers and then took over full directorship of the camp in 1961. For the more than four decades Steve was involved with Camp Dark Waters, he created a loving and accepting place for campers and staff to play, learn, work and grow together in ways that changed thousands of lives for the better. In a simple, natural setting, Steve fostered a sense of freedom and harmony that was truly transformative. He was director and owner until a group of former campers, staff, and other friends of the camp purchased the camp from him in 2001 and formed a nonprofit organization.

Steve was a gifted teacher and deeply committed to experiential education. He taught high school science, mostly chemistry, for 41 years. He taught for two and a half years at Westtown School, 15 and a half years at Penn Charter School, 10 years at Willingboro High, and his last 11 years at Moorestown Friends School. He founded and directed the progressive, alternative Community Camp School in Philadelphia for two years. He served as head of the science department at Penn Charter, Willingboro High and Moorestown Friends, and he received several teaching awards.

Steve employed a sense of drama and excitement to teach others. Many former students remember him jumping from the ground to the top of his desk in one leap to demonstrate the way electrons jump from their ground state to higher energy levels, or performing an explosive thermite reaction in the lab.

Photography and woodworking were two of Steve’s main creative outlets. His interest in the designs of noted woodworker George Nakashima is visible in the beautiful wooden furniture Steve crafted. His love of nature shaped his interest in photography. He also loved fast cars, particularly old BMWs. He was a great music enthusiast and introduced many people to his favorite blues, jazz, and rock artists, especially blues musician Taj Mahal. Steve had a strength and vitality that was evident to all who knew him, as well as a quiet, but engaging sense of humor.

A loving and affectionate parent and husband, he is survived by three children, Cinda and Scott Edgerton with ex-wife Mickey Edgerton, and Alice Edgerton with his current wife, Mary Ann Bacon.

He will be greatly missed by so many whose lives he touched.

A memorial service will be held at Medford Meeting House, 14 Union Street, Medford, NJ 08055 on Jan. 3 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Dark Waters Campership Fund or the Camp Dark Waters Legacy Fund.

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