Stephen was born and raised in Salem and was involved with youth sports from an early age. Stephen began coaching at the age of 16, and he went on to become the Vice President of Salem Little League, leading many of his teams to city championships. Stephen was not just a coach to his kids; he was a mentor, a role model, a big brother, a father figure to those who had none, and above all, a friend.
Stephen also lent his coaching skills to the basketball court, and began an affiliation with St. John's the Evangelist School in Beverly. At the age of 19, he was hired as Athletic Director. At an age when many of us are still trying to find our way in the world, Stephen had found his calling working with the children of the community. His dedication was relentless, and his enthusiasm was contagious.
In 1995 the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem had to close its doors for a short time, but Stephen took on the challenge of becoming the Executive Director. His tireless efforts and dedication brought the Club back from near extinction to a thriving organization dedicated to providing a healthy outlet for the children and young adults of Salem.
Stephen was also a member of the Salem High School Athletic staff, and had the great pleasure of working with some of the same students he watched grow up over the years. His reputation for combining solid principles and hard work with a dash of his unique sense of humor brought his kids success, and brought Stephen well deserved respect throughout the community.
Stephen’s family and the local community were stunned and deeply saddened when Stephen was killed by a drunk driver on September 26, 1999 as he returned from a weekend trip to New Hampshire. It was less than a month after his 30th birthday.
With all that he accomplished in the short time he was here, we can hardly imagine a life more well lived.
To perpetuate the memory and spirit of Stephen M. O’Grady by the encouragement and promotion of education and development of youth through voluntary grants, by scholarships or otherwise, to individuals, institutions and organizations.