We all continue to miss Steve
Centola, the Founder of the
Arthur Miller Society, who passed away the morning of January 9th
2008. The Relay for Life team, The Art of the Possible, ran
in 2008 raising $8,648.46 in memory of Steve, and continue to collect
donations. They raised nearly $4,000 more in the 2009 Relay for Life.
can still make a donation to the Cancer Society's Relay for Life event
in honor of Steve as the Art of the Possible team continue to run in
his memory. Here is a link to that website.
There is also another website
dedicated to Steve where you can get information about other
Letter from the current society
president, Jane Dominik.
It is with great shock and deep sadness that we pass on the news that
Steve Centola, the Founder of the Arthur Miller Society, passed away
this morning (January 9th 2008). Unbeknownst to many of us,
Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer only last August. Despite
extensive surgery and treatment this past fall, Steve succumbed to the
disease at the young age of 55.
Needless to say, Steve was a remarkable, loving, and giving man who has
long been respected, loved, and appreciated by so many in Millersville,
at the University, by the Society he founded, and the countless others
whose lives he has touched. His students at the university and
beyond have treasured the care, attention, and dedication he always
placed toward their educations and futures. The ripple
effect of his passion to found the Arthur Miller Society is evident as
we have worked to perpetuate the “attention [that] must be paid” to the
playwright’s life and works. Steve’s own scholarly work will
remain a backbone of that continuing work. Through all of these
enterprises, what has always been most apparent is Steve’s calm,
unassuming connection with, and concern for, all of us — students,
and friends — as people first. I recall talking with him one
evening at the third Miller Conference, in which he expressed that the
Society was like family to him. It took me, a relative newcomer,
by surprise at the time, but over the years, I have come to realize the
love that Steve brought to all that he did, and the effects of that
love. And, I also recognize the great compliment he paid with
that comment, given his deep love for his own family. Like him,
many of us have come to value, respect, and care about one another in
the Society. Perhaps that is why this news about Steve hits so
hard and so close to my heart — and, I know, to the hearts of so many
Many of us did not have the opportunity to express to Steve the
importance and effect he has had on our lives, nor the admiration,
respect, and love we have felt for him. So, I will begin to do so
here. If you would like to share any thoughts and memories,
please email them to Sue, and
we will post them here on the website.
Karen Morrisette, a member of the Arthur Miller Society and a former
student of Steve’s, participated in memory of Steve in the American
Relay for Life on June 6 and 7, 2008 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
Steve’s home. Steve knew about Karen’s fundraising on his behalf
and had hoped to attend. He was there in spirit. Her team, The
Art of the Possible won recognition as New Team to Raise the Most Money
with a grand total $8,648.46 collected since January. She plans to
repeat the event in 2009, again on Steve's behalf--if you would like to
donate you can do so either on
line or by check(click
on the link for information on how to do this).
The Arthur Miller Society took out the following ad in the journal
published as part of
Click here to see the Ad.
Thank you for your support. We will continue to miss Steve; this
is one way we can honor him and all that he has done for us.
In the meantime, our very deepest condolences to Steve’s family and
close friends as we mourn the loss of a great man, scholar, teacher,
Here is a link
to Steve's obituary in the Lancaster News.
For online condolences: www.sheetzfuneralhome.com. You need to click on the obituaries
button, then you can enter your message from his memorial there.
The family has requested no
contributions may be
made to: Advanced Treatment for Adrenocortical Carcinoma ATAC Research
Fund, 400 N. 5th Street, Suite 1650, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 or to The
American Cancer Society, 615 Community Way, Lancaster PA 17603.
Tributes to Steve
Centola from friends and students:
The last time I saw Dr. Centola in person was on April 27, 2007,
my birthday. He agreed to speak with my high school students who
just finished a unit on Death of a Salesman. With the
passion, enthusiasm, and humor I remember from the many grad
took with him, he engaged those kids for 3 hours! As he
was leaving, I
knew I would not be seeing him again since I was due to graduate very
soon. I shook his hand and asked him if he remembered the
time he said
I was a good writer. He did remember. I told him,
"If I can do for
the self esteem of those kids you just talked to what you did for me,
that will have been the greatest lesson you ever taught me." We
almost cried right there in the lobby. I will never forget
and I'm so grateful we shared it.
Class of '93 and '07
It's hard to believe that just one year ago I was
about to begin a
class with Dr. Centola, and now I'm writing about the loss of not just
a brilliant and amazing professor, but a brilliant and amazing man. Dr.
Centola's love for literature was as contagious as his smile, and his
passion was what inspired me to continue on to graduate school (at
Millersville, of course, so I would be able to take more of his
courses). As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to have an independent
study course with Dr. Centola, who was nice enough to give up a few
extra hours of his week to meet with me one-on-one. Through those
sessions, I grew to know Dr. Centola not only as a professor, but as a
person, as our conversations on the assigned readings often strayed to
other literature, art, politics, family, travel and just life in
general. In "Michigan University", an Arthur Miller essay that appears
in Echoes Down the Corridor,
his collaborative work with Dr. Centola,
he wrote of his professors, "enough of them [were] seekers and
questioners to make talking with them a long-lasting memory." I cannot
think of anyone who could fit that description more perfectly, as I
will always remember those conversations I had with Dr. Centola just as
much as I will remember his passion, his drive and his kindness. My
sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends, as we all mourn
the loss of this great man.
Dr. Centola always had his door open to his students, something
not all did. I appreciated his help.