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Don't forget to check out the photo gallery.  I try to add photos as I get them.  If you have a good photo of dad you want to send us, please email it over contact@teamthacker.com.  We will eventually be making a scrapbook.

Final Resting PLace

Steve was laid to rest on March 9, 2013 at Honey Creek Woodlands, a natural burial ground owned and operated by the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, about 45 minutes from Atlanta. Anyone is welcome to visit. 

"A great soul serves everyone all the time.  A great soul never dies.  It brings us together again and again."

- Maya Angelou

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Discussion closed
  • kakoli roy (Friday, September 05 14 10:25 pm EDT)

    So many around the world are celebrating their teachers today. Sept 5 is teachers day! And I thought of the one teacher (aside from my parents), whose influence surpasses that of all of my teachers
    combined. Most of all, I miss his humor and his calm and caring presence which always reaffirmed "purpose" in me even when I was in my wavering worst. And every time I read a brilliant book or watch
    a fabulous/fun film, I miss not being able to share or discuss it with him. And I was just one of many mentees. So just wanted Maria, Gabriella and Mrs. Thacker to know that Dr. Thacker is remembered
    and continues to inspire so many of us every day. Thank you for sharing him with so many of us.

  • Garry Beaty (Tuesday, May 20 14 10:56 pm EDT)

    I just learned of Steve's passing. I was a classmate in the 60s at Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri. I think we knew that Steve was destined for something big.... but no idea how far he
    would go. Very interesting to learn of his legacy. My prayers to his family.

  • Jen Brown EIS 2003 (Monday, March 17 14 04:25 pm EDT)

    Just wanted to let you know that I thought about your dad today.

  • May Chu (Wednesday, December 04 13 10:03 am EST)

    It has been a year when I learnt of Steve's diagnosis while at a conference in South Africa. His presence is felt nearly everyday with many of us who worked with him. Here is wishing the family well
    and to know we do remember him and try to live up to expectations as a public health servant.

  • John Abbotts (Wednesday, November 20 13 10:12 pm EST)

    This is going to be anti-climactic, but I received a note that my comment last night was being edited before posting. It has not been posted yet, so I offer the following material if it can be
    incorporated into my earlier comments. If not, then I will just load it here:

    First, I should note that I only recently heard of Steve's death through the Class of 1969 Alumni notes; I hope that explains my lateness in commenting.

    Second, I figured out how to load the link for the article on the Pyne Prize, at:

    If this link works, it takes one to a page with text on the left, and the article, including Steve's photo, in a tie, on the right. There is also a pdf option on the page, and it provides an image of
    the entire day's issue. My electronic mistakes were in trying to copy the link to the pdf, rather than the link to the page.

    Lastly, I wish to commend Ms. Goethe for the dignity and courage she showed during her presentation at the ceremony. It did not escape my attention, and I imagine that of the audience either, that
    her name was followed by MPH. Speakers talked of the "social DNA" that was part of Steve's legacy. It was reassuring to see evidence that his genetic DNA was passed on as well.

    In saying that, if I read the pages on this site correctly, Ms. Goethe is the webmaster who will edit the posts. If that is the case, then she should feel free to keep as much of this private, if she
    wishes; and to incorporate the link to Prince article only if she thinks that it would be a meaningful addition.

    Thank you, Ms. Goethe, for your consideration, and for your grace under difficult circumstances.

  • John Abbotts (Tuesday, November 19 13 10:33 pm EST)

    I was moved by the tribute to add my own remembrance. I was a roommate of Steve during our undergraduate Junior year. He was an approachable and modest person, yet displayed all the attributes that
    speakers at the Memorial described: a wry sense of humor, occasionally directed at me; serious scholarship; and a strong sense of social justice. Steve was co-winner of the Pyne Prize Senior year.
    This is described as the highest general award that Princeton University can grant to an undergraduate. I dug through university archives and found the announcement. I do not seem to be able to link
    to the article, but some text about the award and Steve follows:

    The award goes annually to the senior who, in the judgment of the president, the dean of the college,
    the dean of students and
    the secretary of the university, has demonstrated "excellent scholarship, manly qualities, and effective
    support of the best interests of the university."
    Thacker, a student of the biochemical sciences, has had a key role in planning "Summer in the
    Cities," a program which places Princeton scholarship students in
    anti-poverty jobs during the summer vacation.
    In addition, Thacker has coordinated the new "Winter in the Cities"
    program, which involves students in term-time community action projects.
    The Kansas City, Mo., native plans a career in community medicine.
    A member of Wilson College,
    he is writing his thesis on
    a community health center in Brooklyn.

    And the article is accompanied by a photo of Steve in a tie; he must have consented for that special occasion.

    I remember playing intramural basketball with Steve; and a squash lesson where he demonstrated strategy by playing shots that I could not reach, at least not without banging my racquet into the wall.
    When his Mom came East for graduation, she stayed in my mother's house in NJ. I also arranged a double date with Steve, myself, and two women from my High School.

    Steve and I went on separate paths after college, but he became one of our more notable classmates whose accomplishments I could follow via Class Notes.

    My own medical problems developed in 2007, when I was diagnosed with Churg-Strauss, an autoimmune disease. The resulting vasculitis caused a minor stroke, with some memory loss and nerve damage to
    both legs; I can still walk, but with a permanent limp. The disease is controllable with daily immune-suppressing meds.

    Steve is an inspiration to us all. I can never hope to approach his accomplishments, but he inspires me to keep trying to do a little more good before my time is up.

    Thank you Steve, for being a positive example in my life.

  • Mia Hill (Wednesday, November 06 13 02:36 pm EST)

    I think about Dr. Thacker often. I miss pulling into the parking deck at the same time in the mornings and seeing him in the office. I even saw old emails from him the other day. I hope you all are
    doing well. May God continue to cover and comfort each of you. His memory lives on.

  • Bonnie McClendon (Friday, June 28 13 03:06 pm EDT)

    I think about Dr. Thacker daily. I've worked in his office for 15 years, speaking almost on a daily basis. He was a kind man. His demeanor will always influence me in my daily work as his phrase now
    has been inherited "I am here to serve". That was his parting phrase to me whenever I needed him to sign off on documents or to share his knowledge on something. Dr. Thacker was truly one of a kind.
    I think about him often as I know you all do. May you be strengthen by your faith.

  • Raouf R Arafat (Monday, June 10 13 07:43 pm EDT)

    Steve was a good friend. We had fun together since 1981 when I met him in Belbeis Egypt for the first time. I met his wife and kids long time a go. He was a great man. I was missing him and decided
    to see him. I visited him about 2 years ago in his office and as usual we had fun remembering our memories together. He loved his family more than anything. He was an amazing reader. I never met him
    without a book in his hand. He supported me when I moved to this country with my family. I miss him already. My condolence to his beautiful wife and his kids. I wish I can do anything to minimize
    your sadness. You will always have family in Houston if you need anything.

  • Muhammad Shakir Balogun (Saturday, April 27 13 10:41 am EDT)

    You are indeed a bright light that has illuminated public health and epidemiology. I am inspired, fired by your accomplishments. Good nite, Steve.

  • Lindy (Monday, April 15 13 10:45 pm EDT)

    So sorry for your loss. I lost my young husband to CJD in Dec. This had devasted our life. I have four kids and now live month to month. We will never be the same . I pray we all find peace, hope and
    make sense of this rapid disease . I feel your grief , lindy

  • Doc Muhlbaier (Monday, April 15 13 11:06 am EDT)

    I hadn't talked to Steve in some years; I just saw the obit in the Med-Alumni news. We worked together with Eva Salber at Duke (early 70's). I'll miss him, as will you all.

  • Jean Clare Smith, MD, MPH (Friday, April 05 13 09:39 pm EDT)

    Still thinking of Steve every day, and still hard to believe this could have happened to such a remarkable man. Thinking of your family, and hoping that knowing he was so, so important to so many
    people, will help you during your time of loss and grief. Jean (EIS 1992-94)

  • MARTHA BOISSSEAU (Friday, April 05 13 04:09 pm EDT)

    Thank you for contact with us still, now that Steve's gone. I think about you all often and pray your strength as you continue this journey without him. May God continu to bless you and please keep
    in touch. I so enjoy reading about how you all are doing.

  • Angus Nicoll (Sunday, March 10 13 07:12 am EDT)

    Now I have also found this
    Which is extraordinary and very moving. Well done Family Thacker


  • Angus Nicoll (Sunday, March 10 13 06:48 am EDT)

    We in the European CDC also mourn one of the fathers of field epidemiology. The loss of a great man. Clearly also a great family man

  • Kristin Dooley (Saturday, March 09 13 09:26 pm EST)

    The ceremony was absolutely beautiful today. I'm really going to miss Coach Thacker, he was simply the best...

  • John Drescher (PHA) (Saturday, March 09 13 12:58 am EST)

    I had the good fortune to work with Steve Thacker over the course of several years. Returning from a three year detail to WHO in India with the Smallpox Eradication Program, I joined the Childhood
    Immunization effort in Washington DC in 1977. Soon after my arrival I was called to the office of the chief medical officer to meet and greet the new EIS Officer from CDC. The advance word was that
    we had gotten an exceptionally good one, an observation that was amply merited. Years later in Atlanta, I served as Deputy Director and later Acting Director of the Global EIS Program. Although the
    GEIS program had originally been formed under the International Health Program Office, an internal CDC reorganization made us a part of the Epidemiology Program Office, headed by Steve. I was always
    appreciative of how our program's transition was made seamless and comfortable due to his considerable efforts. We were not just welcomed but made to feel a part of the family from the start. He was
    so expert at running the EPO that he made his work appear effortless, a true and rare professional in both medicine and administration. Under Steve even weekly staff meetings were not just
    informative, but actually enjoyable. He could reliably be counted on for a reasonable discussion of issues, and a thoughtful resolution of problems, all accomplished with disarmingly good nature. His
    extraordinary capabilities, thoroughgoing decency, and tireless dedication served the cause of public health in immeasurable ways. It was a pleasure to know Steve and to work with him, and I will
    miss him.

  • Dana Tillman (Friday, March 08 13 03:57 pm EST)

    I joined the CDC as a contractor in 2008, and Dr. Thacker was one of the first people I met. My first assignment, working at the EIS conference, he welcomed me with open arms. During one of our
    breaks he mentioned his family and spoke highly of his daughters. I could sense that he was a proud Papa! We also talked about his love for basketball and that he had some games to coach. Please
    accept my condolences on behalf of me and my family. When I think about Dr. Thacker there is only one word the comes to mind... Integrity! He will be greatly missed! I will be praying God's strength
    for your family in this difficult time.

  • Al and Barbara Baumstark (Friday, March 08 13 09:20 am EST)

    We will always cherish our memories of New Year's Eve get-togethers, of movies at the Regal, and (of course) of basketball, basketball, and more basketball. Steve will forever occupy a special place
    in our hearts.

  • Richard Ainsworth (Wednesday, March 06 13 10:50 pm EST)

    I worked with Steve in the 70's at Duke University. He was energetic, intelligent and a good friend. We will all miss him and the contributions he would have continued to make. My thoughts are with
    Luz & family.

  • Elizabeth Thompson (Wednesday, March 06 13 11:04 am EST)

    Dear Maria and Family,
    I am saddened to hear of your father's passing. You are in my thoughts.
    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Elizabeth Thompson

  • Pescha and Ellott Penso (Tuesday, March 05 13 03:40 pm EST)

    Dear Luz, Maria and Gabriella,
    We were so saddened to hear of Steve's illness and passing. Please know we are thinking of you and the family during this difficult time. With love and our deepest sympathy,
    Pescha and Elliott Penso

  • Loren Cadena and Family (Friday, March 01 13 04:16 pm EST)

    Thacker family, know you are in our thoughts and prayers. I worked only a short time with Dr. Thacker but he sure left an impression. He was a wonderful warm human being and he will be missed.

    with our deepest sympathy

  • Penny Halkos (Wednesday, February 27 13 12:30 pm EST)

    Luz and family, our deepest condolences.
    May Steve's Memory Be Eternal. Best, Penny & Alex

  • Jane Suen (Monday, February 25 13 05:29 pm EST)

    I am struggling to write this as though, by putting these words down, I’m finally resigned to the finality of Dr. Steve Thacker’s passing. I choose to remember him as someone smiling, vibrant, full
    of energy and passion. I crossed paths with Dr. Thacker in May 1998, when he was the Acting Deputy Director, CDC. I had invited CDC OD to give the Welcome speech at the special Fifth Official
    CDC/ATSDR Commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Nobel Peace Prize Speaker Bobby Muller (The International Campaign to Ban Landmines: From Novel Concept to Nobel Peace Prize) on
    Monday May 18, 1998, presented by CDC/ATSDR Asian-Pacific American Task Force. Although this task is sometimes delegated to someone else, Dr. Thacker chose to come to this program and give a warm
    welcome on behalf of CDC. This meant so much to me and those working to ban landmines. But I didn’t need to tell you that this was, oh so Steve Thacker.

  • Jimmy A. Harrison (Monday, February 25 13 05:24 pm EST)

    Dr. Thacker’s CDC tribute provides an incredible roadmap of the journey and characteristics that a successful CDC Manager and all employees should try and emulate. This event and Dr. Thacker’s life
    provides us with valuable data on the actions, values, beliefs, mores, and policies that a great human being and manager should bring into the work environment. He accomplished a great deal in public
    health, but equally important is what he accomplished along the way, which is the impact he made on people’s lives. Watching this event was a cathartic experience for me and I hope to become a better
    person and employee as a result.

    Jimmy Harrison

  • Lisa Reichard (Monday, February 25 13 12:15 pm EST)

    Dear Luz, Maria and Gabby-

    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your beloved husband and father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    "Those we love don't go away,
    They walk beside us every day,
    Unseen, unheard, but always near,
    Still loved, still missed and very dear."

    With love,
    Lisa Reichard and Claire Reichard

  • Christine Branche (Monday, February 25 13 08:21 am EST)

    Please accept my deepest sympathies. Steve was a terrific guy who guided me through a few phases of my career. I'm sure you have heard and read that hundreds of times already. Steve was pretty
    nonplussed about things until he spoke of his family, and that's when he would light up! CDC lost a great public health pioneer too soon, and I lost a teacher too soon.
    I pray that God will comfort you.

  • Walt Orenstein (Sunday, February 24 13 04:30 pm EST)

    I was so sorry to learn of Steve's passing. I had the opportunity to work with Steve over many years, starting with the Legionnaire's Disease investigation in 1976. Steve, as a first year EIS
    officer, was given a heavy responsibility - maintaining the line listing of cases and providing periodic analyses of the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of the cases. I was so impressed
    with how he handled himself and the immense pressure. I knew greater things would come from his contributions and he lived up to his potential. The world is a better place because of the career path
    Steve chose and his legacy transcends generations in strengthening our public health infrastructure and better preventing disease. We all owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. But that debt is owed
    to him not only by those alive today but those who will be born, deriving the benefits from his work.


    Walt Orenstein

  • Carol Fludd (Saturday, February 23 13 07:15 pm EST)

    My prayers are with the family. I will always remember Dr. Thacker as a very warm and friendly person. Whenever, we passed each other in the hallways at CDC, he would always smile and greet you.

  • Kakoli Roy (Saturday, February 23 13 05:39 am EST)

    My heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Thacker, Maria, and Gabbi. Please know that there are many, many hearts weeping with you, grieving with you, thinking of you and holding you close in prayer.
    Dr. Thacker's legacy, as a gifted and extraordinary scientist and an iconic leader, is immeasurable, and will be with us and future generations, but more importantly, and above all, he was such a
    remarkable human being, the most remarkable many of us will ever meet - that brilliant ever curious mind, that warmth and deep compassion, that grace, dignity and sense of fairness, that rare wit and
    sense of humor, and above all, the extraordinary humility; yet never thought of himself as anything but an everyman.
    Over these past few months, we quietly observed with deep gratitude, the courage, kindness and grace with which you, the Thacker family, shared this very difficult time in your lives with us, only so
    that we may find solace and comfort even if it was at the cost of your privacy. You are truly an amazing family! Dr. Thacker's family defined his core, his three beautiful girls the source of his
    happiness - anyone who knew him, knows that. You made him so proud!
    Personally, I remain so thankful to Mrs. Thacker for the opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Thacker in late December. That beautiful memory of sitting with him, talking with him, still
    connecting with him, will stay with me forever. And as had every meeting in my 9 years of knowing him, even the last meeting left me uplifted, inspired, reminded of that higher purpose, the
    mission....except that I did not know it would be the last. I had promised to go back and see him after the holidays...
    I was unable to attend the CDC tribute and the recent open houses as I was away in India (with my elderly parents as my mother turned 75; or, as SBT would have said "to try and continue to be a good
    daughter") but as I watched the event remotely, I shared with both my parents "why" I, as an economist, could be so inspired to work at the CDC (I wasn't an epidemiologist, an EISO, but he mentored
    me too, from when I was a very junior scientist, always more interested in what I had to say). He truly loved science, all sciences; he loved to nurture; and he cared deeply about the legacy we leave
    behind. And I wept as I listened to Maria so beautifully speak of her father, for her father, encapsulate so well what he stood for, and about what he might expect of us.
    The huge void he leaves, personally and professionally, will stay with so many of us forever; but I also feel grateful for the years of privilege of knowing him, working with him, being mentored by
    him and for the endless ways in which he transformed me, inspired me to try and be a better person. And like his many mentees, I do know how I may continue to pay back my endless gratitude to him....
    As Dr. Foege said, "his social DNA continues" .... through the work we do, in how we treat others, as we continue to serve.... and strive to pay our tribute to him by just trying to live up to that
    example he set before us, his quiet expectation of us.... Do science, serve the mission (not yourselves), strive to do what's right for the agency, try to bring out the best in others, be humble, and
    above all, and no matter what, (you must) always be nice. That simple, that inspiring, that high a benchmark.
    Rest in Peace, SBT. You lived a full and wonderful life; enriched us, the agency, and this world; and truly more than earned your leave... Just that some of us were selfish, and not ready to say
    "good bye"...

  • Rikk Guidotti (Friday, February 22 13 05:41 pm EST)

    Dear Lucy, Alicia and I are deeply moved by Steve's passing. We remember our times together back when I was an EIS officer 1979-81, and the years have not erased our love for both of you. God Bless.

  • Evan Thacker (Friday, February 22 13 12:22 pm EST)

    Dear Thacker Family,
    Please accept my condolences. I am an epidemiologist and for several years I have been aware of Dr. Thacker because we share not only the same field of work but also the same last name. (Every once
    in a while, epidemiologists I meet will ask "are you related to Steve Thacker?") I suppose we are distant cousins. Your family will be in my prayers. God bless you all.

  • Tony McDonald (Friday, February 22 13 10:20 am EST)

    May God Bless your soul Doctor and Coach Thacker. Thank you for all you have done for Public Health and Girls Basketball!

  • Bonnie (Thursday, February 21 13 05:33 pm EST)

    To the Thacker Family: I am still in disbelief that such a great person is no longer with us. I loved his everyday phrase, "I am here to serve". It really hits me now and I think of this often,it
    makes me want to be a better person. Dr. Thacker always ended his conversation with me "you are so kind as always and I felt the same way about him. My prayers are with the family. God bless you all.

  • CAPT Dan Clne (Thursday, February 21 13 12:15 pm EST)

    RADM Thacker - I had the distinct privilege to work with you during my tour of duty at CDC (2003 - 2009) as the Health Benefits Advisor and ultimately the Director of the Commissioned Corps Personnel
    Office. You were always willing to assist with the myriad of PHS issues that arose through the years, which were many; selflessly giving your time (always at a premium) and offering sage advice. Sir,
    you were the epitome of an Officer and Gentleman.

    Gone from our sight, but never our memories. Gone from our touch, but never our hearts. May God bless you and the entire Thacker family.

  • Prof Norman Noah (Thursday, February 21 13 10:30 am EST)

    I was so very very sad to hear about Steve's untimely passing. Although I live in England and so did not have that much contact with him, I was aware of all he had done and his influence on public
    health. My condolences and best wishes for a long life to his family and colleagues.


  • Donna and Jerry Howard and Stacy (Thursday, February 21 13 09:56 am EST)

    We love you and are greiving with you.

  • Adam Koon (Thursday, February 21 13 08:53 am EST)

    Dear Thacker family,

    Steve had a significant influence on my decision to enter public health and he continued to loosely mentor me when I was at Emory. I was always struck by his candor and warmth. He even took time to
    meet with me after I left Emory and Atlanta.

    I had been meaning to get in touch with him and am greatly saddened to hear of his passing. I think it's quite clear that he will be missed. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

  • bill beery (Wednesday, February 20 13 07:24 pm EST)

    Steve, rest in peace. Your family and we know that you have truly made a difference in this world - and we knew you would from our time together at Duke in the early 70s.

  • Ken Rose (Wednesday, February 20 13 05:14 pm EST)

    I'm not someone who was very close with Steve, but I've always judged a man's character by how he treat strangers and how he performs when his perspectives are challenged.

    Steve and I happened to workout at about the same time for a few years. In the locker room, he was always gracious and kind in his comments even though we were complete strangers.

    Later I got a chance to witness his integrity in a group environment. His perspective was consistent and respectful, but he wasn't afraid to speak truth to power.

    Steve was a CDC Leader and gentle man.

  • Australia Hoover (Wednesday, February 20 13 03:00 pm EST)

    Dear Thacker Family:

    I was extremely saddened to hear of Dr. Thacker's passing. Dr. Thacker was a dear friend of CDC Federal Credit Union. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Dr. Thacker touched many lives
    and his legacy will live on for years to come.

  • Australia Hoover (Wednesday, February 20 13 02:59 pm EST)

    Dear Thacker Family:

    I was extremely saddened to hear of Dr. Thacker's passing. Dr. Thacker was a dear friend of CDC Federal Credit Union. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Dr. Thacker touched many lives
    and his legacy will live on for years to come.

  • Linda Ainsworth (Wednesday, February 20 13 09:25 am EST)

    I didn't hear of Steve's health until a couple of weeks ago. I'm so sorry. Lucy, I hope you remember me. I'm Linda who use to be married to Alex Perez, Virginia's daughter-in-law. My thoughts and
    prayers are with your family. I always knew that Steve's work was important. We use to hang on his every word when he would come home. However, we had no idea the impact he had on the world and the
    legacy he left. I am grateful for knowing Steve and grateful for that impact.

  • Stirling Close (Wednesday, February 20 13 08:53 am EST)

    Although I share your sadness, I hope you will have some comfort in knowing Dr Thacker was a leader who made an impact others can only dream of accomplishing!

  • M. Lewis (Wednesday, February 20 13 08:43 am EST)

    Dear Thacker Family:
    May God bless you and your family. Steve is with GOD watching over you and his daughters.

  • Wayne Early (Wednesday, February 20 13 08:29 am EST)

    So sorry for your lost. I worked for Dr. Thacker for 4 years and he was always a concerned and fair person. May he rest in peace and my condolences to the family.

  • Sheila Hunter (Wednesday, February 20 13 08:21 am EST)

    I met Dr. Thacker briefly when I started in the EIS office back in October. I was greeted with a warm smile and without anyone having to tell me of his character, I sensed that he was a warm and
    caring man. My thought was later confirmed. I am saddened for your loss, but I know you have plenty of wonderful memories that will get you through the tough road ahead. My prayers are with you
    during your time of transition.

  • Tracy Wheeler (Wednesday, February 20 13 07:30 am EST)

    Dear Thacker Family,
    Your husband and father has truly been an inspiration to me, I've had the pleasure in meeting him since I have been working at CDC as a security officer. When he would come to work we would always
    have great conversations about basketball, coaching, family and other sports. He reminded me of my dad never missing a game with his daughters or coaching some of their games.Your dad and husband is
    a "GREAT" man and truly will be missed, but never forgotten! Thanks Dr. Thacker....

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