Our great friend and colleague Steven Hoarn stepped into the clearing at the end of the path on June 23, 2014.
A military kid with family roots in New Hampshire, Steven was born at Andrews AFB in Maryland on Dec. 31, 1986, a day his friends later dubbed “New Year’s Steve,” but he called many places home, including Virginia, Arizona, Nebraska, and Hawaii, before settling in Tampa, Fla., after college. He was a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he studied history with a U.S. military history concentration, and he put his knowledge and talent to great use for the five years that he worked with us as an editor, photo editor and journalist.
If you have been a regular reader of DMN, or read Faircount publications, you have seen Steven’s work. His LinkedIn profile described his photo editor job as “finder of obscure photos,” and that’s fair enough, but anyone working in this field will tell you that finding the perfect photo or photos for a post or a story takes the mind of a detective and the perseverance of a religious acolyte. Steven learned his way around historical archives, discovered new online sources, and cultivated relationships with people across the community. He loved discovering rare images, especially of the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam, three historical areas of particular interest for him.
Steven became far more than a photo editor, however. He loved working on the DMN website, and he produced photo galleries, videos, stories, and interviews at breakneck speed. While he had been a history major, it turned out he was also that rarest of beings, a natural writer, and was maturing into a first-rate journalist. His outgoing and friendly personality, intelligence, and inquisitive nature meant that he met and interviewed a wide range of people, from veterans, writers, and filmmakers to defense industry notables and members of Congress. There were many stories he had begun or planned to write for the website. We are determined to complete them.
Steven was president of the College Republicans at UNH, and was active with the Tampa Bay Young Republicans, where he served as Communications Director. He was a man with strong beliefs, but he possessed an open mind, and often engaged in good-natured and lively political and philosophical debate and discussion. A good sport and an avid sports fan, he supported the Boston Bruins and the Boston Red Sox, even when his friends who cheered for local teams gave him a hard time about it.
While Boston claimed his loyalty in hockey and baseball, he loved the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Steven was a voracious reader and seemed to always have a book in hand. He had an extensive library on military history subjects at home, but he was always eager to review new books, and was immensely pleased when review copies arrived in the office. He played weekly on a trivia team, and his encyclopedic knowledge of sports and lesser-known U.S. presidents often came through in a pinch when the rest of the team was stumped.
It was not unlike Steven to go the extra mile to make things just that little bit better or more fun, both in his personal and professional lives. With his engaging smile, intelligence, quick wit, mischievous sense of humor, curious mind, positive outlook, and thoughtfulness, Steven won the respect and affection of all who met him, from homeless people to U.S. Senators. As a co-worker, he was absolutely dependable and much more. Perhaps more importantly, he was the sort of person you looked forward to seeing every morning. The worse the situation and the greater the pressure, the more Steven’s gallows humor would emerge. He will be terribly missed.
He is survived by his parents, Steve and Nancy Hoarn, his sister, Katherine, and his Pepere and Memere, Lucien and Jacqueline Lafrance.