Stephen was born in Hagerstown, MD and grew up on a small farm in Boonsboro, MD. After graduating from Boonsboro High School in 1964, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He went on to graduate from Frostburg State College and earned a commission as an Ensign, U.S. Navy, Supply Corps in 1968.
Stephen served 22 years active duty and retired as a Navy Captain (Supply Corps) in 1990. After the military, he became a successful executive with diverse and progressive areas of responsibilities at: Alltel Corporation, Moen Incorporated, and Pella Corporation. In December 2011, he retired from Pella Corporation and moved to The Villages with his wife Barbara, of 46 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren.