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Memorial Gathering

Saturday August 24th, 2019
3:00pm - 4:00pm

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Stephen Sass

Dr. Stephen Sass, 79, passed away amid the natural beauty of one of his favorite places, Taughannock Park, on August 15, 2019. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Cornell University, Stephen’s academic career combined inspired teaching and cutting-edge research into crystalline interfaces, nanoscale fabrication of new materials, and innovative methods of crystallography and electron microscopy. He was the recipient of many professional honors including Cornell’s Outstanding Educator award and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship, a Distinguished Achievement Award for MSE Alumni from Northwestern University, and a Fellowship of ASM International. He was also the author of The Substance of Civilization, introducing the history and science of materials to nonscientists. He is survived by his wife Karen and his sons Adam and Erik and their families.

A memorial will be held at 1025 Highland Rd in Ithaca on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Contributions in his memory may be sent c/o Frank Towner, Ithaca YMCA, 50 Graham Rd W, Ithaca, NY 14850, where he enjoyed many happy hours of exercise and friendship.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Stephen Sass, please visit our flower store.


I appreciated getting to know Steve and Karen as I served on the Family Reading Partnership Board. My condolences to Karen and the rest of his family. Diane Conneman

Diane Conneman Sep 11 2019 12:00 AM

Steve was a kind and gentle man and a good friend. He will be missed.
Gary and Ann Johnson

Gary Johnson Aug 24 2019 12:00 AM

I remember so well my early days in Ithaca living near you and Steve at the Carriage House, and our late afternoon swims in the pool. And also of course when you audited my class.
I am not in Ithaca at the moment so I cant attend the memorial for him, but please know that you have my deepest sympathy. I was extremely sorry to learn of his death.
Mary Beth

MB Aug 22 2019 12:00 AM