Stephen Victor Chiavetta
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Stephen Victor Chiavetta
  • June 14, 1971 - October 8, 2017
  • Wilmington, North Carolina

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Dr. Stephen V. Chiavetta III died unexpectedly on October 8th, 2017 at the age of 46. On that date we lost a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a friend, whom we all loved dearly.

Stephen is survived by his two children, Lillian and Stephen IV; his parents Dr. Steve and Janet Chiavetta, Jr.; his brother John (Rebekah) and their children, Charlotte, Hayden and William.

Stephen was born in Rochester, MN on June 14th, 1971. His family moved to Raleigh in 1976, where he spent his childhood. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes elementary and middle schools, and then Broughton High School, where he graduated in 1989. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He became a loyal Tar Heel supporter soon after he began medical school at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1997. He married following graduation and completed an internal medicine internship in Greenwich, CT.

He received his residency training in ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The following year he completed a fellowship in corneal surgery at Duke University before joining Coastal Carolina Ophthalmology in Wilmington, NC in 2002. Soon after starting practice, Stephen was blessed with two beautiful children Lillian and Stephen IV.

His training at the Mayo Clinic had a major impact on his practice of medicine. Whenever he treated patients, he was guided by the Mayo Clinic core value; "the best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered." (Will Mayo, 1910) He would often repeat those words to his family. He was fascinated by the history of the Mayo Clinic and did much reading and research on the Mayo brothers and the early formative years of the Clinic. He was known as an excellent, caring surgeon and helped organize several educational activities for physicians in New Hanover County.

Stephen will always be remembered as a kind and loving person, who loved his children above all else. He coached his son's basketball team, and rarely missed any of his soccer and basketball games. He also loved attending his daughter's theatre/musical performances with Wilmington Children's Theater and at Cape Fear Academy. He fostered in his children a love of learning, the importance of persistence and determination, humility and kindness towards others.

He had a wide range of interests including a passion for travel. His travel experiences included travel to several third-world countries. These experiences instilled in him a gratitude for the wide range of benefits we enjoy in this country, many of the simple things we take for granted. When possible, he loved to include his children in travels to his medical meetings.

Another of his favorite activities was boating, including water skiing and knee boarding at Lake Gaston during his middle and high school years. During one of his college summers, he was a counselor at Camp Sea Gull on the motor boating staff. Not only did he enjoy the challenges and satisfaction of working with and providing guidance to the kids, but he also loved teaching them water skiing and driving the larger boats for occasional excursions.

He was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington, NC and served as an usher and member of the Stewardship Committee.

A Funeral Mass is scheduled at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 2718 Overbrook Dr., Raleigh, on Thursday, October 19, at 10:30 a.m. A lunch/reception will follow at the Fallon Center. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stephen's life.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Foundation of Hope (walkforhope@walkforhope.com) 9401 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27617; NAMI, National Alliance for Mental Illness; or the charity of one's choice.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St., Raleigh, NC.

Condolences may be made through brownwynne.com