Stephen Koenning

July 24, 1950 ~ September 5, 2020 (age 70)


Stephen Robert Koenning, 70, flew away to the heavens on September 5, 2020. He stayed as long as cancer and age allowed. He was held to the earth as the adored husband of Diana; father of Amber Hester and Nathan Koenning; and grandfather of Corinne Hester. He dearly loved his brother Thomas Koenning and cherished Tom's family. He treasured his lifelong friends, and relatives who stayed in close contact.  His cat and dog companions gave him much joy and comfort. Born in Cleveland to Theodate and Leonard Koenning, he spent most of his youth in Tucson, Arizona. 

Stephen was a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in his family’s homeland of Germany. He began his passion for travel during this time. He obtained a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Arizona before completing a Ph.D. at NCSU, where he worked as an Associate Professor of Plant Pathology until partially retiring in 2013.  Steve most enjoyed his Cooperative Extension work with agents and farmers. His published research and book chapters have been cited thousands of times. Steve worked on a project advancing sustainable cultivation techniques in West Africa until his passing.  He was our walking reference with his encyclopedic knowledge of science and history.  He and his son shared their allegiance to Wolfpack sports. 

Steve was a working class man who spoke truth to power whenever possible. He was devoted to recovery work with his many friends at the Triangle Alano. He was a pun-ster and prankster. He brought so much laughter through his goofy sense of humor, and shared so much beauty through his delight in nature and photography. His love transcended earthly bounds, and reunion will be beautiful.

Donations in Steve’s name can be sent to Raleigh Rescue Mission.  We will remember Steve through a virtual Memorial Service on Saturday, October 3rd at 1:00pm Eastern Time 

The Zoom Meeting will be open at 12:30pm

Meeting ID: 869 8491 3940

Passcode: 753074

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stephen Koenning, please visit our floral store.


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