Sad news: Stephen, the homeless gentleman who lived in the western end of Precita Park, died on January 20.
Neighbor Jennifer fills in the backstory:
Stephen – a longtime resident of Precita Park (he lived at the picnic tables on the park) – passed away last week. I noticed a flyer near the tables while I was out walking the dogs this morning. Not sure how the readership feels about the homeless, but to me Stephen felt like a real part of the neighborhood. His memorial is this coming Sunday @ 11 am.
From the note posted near the picnic benches, it sounds like he died of multiple organ failure while in hospice. Last I saw of him was Christmas morning (or the morning after?) when the ambulance came to pick him up. As you may know, he was jumped while sleeping in the park this fall and injured badly. He recuperated in the hospital and in the house(s) of neighbors, and came back to the park briefly before leaving for good. I am not sure he really ever recovered.
Super sad. He has been a mainstay of my daily dog walks in Precita Park for the past ~ 7 years. I always appreciated his friendly smiles and greetings. He looked out for me – kept me posted on chatter in the neighborhood, let me know if sketchy things were going on. I always felt safer and happier with him around.
I’ll second that. Stephen was unfailingly polite and always particularly gracious to Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter — as a fixture in the neighborhood, he was also a fixture in my daughter’s life from the time she was born. “She’s getting big! So fast!” he would say. It made my daughter blush.
As Neighbor Jennifer mentioned, there will be a remembrance for Stephen on Sunday, January 29 at 11 am, at the picnic benches on the west end of the park where Stephen enjoyed passing the time.
Lastly, and sadly, I was unable to find any photos of Stephen. If you have one that we can post here, please send it to us at bernalwood at gmail.com. Thank you.
PHOTOS: Top, sign in Precita Park. Below, the bench where Stephen often rested. By Telstar Logistics