Cover photo for Charles Stephen Heard's Obituary
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1936 Charles 2020

Charles Stephen Heard

June 2, 1936 — September 6, 2020

HEARD, Charles Stephen Jr. "Steve", a longtime resident of Seabrook Island, SC, and New York, New York, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family, on September 6 at the age of 84.

Steve, originally from Westwood MA, was born on June 2, 1936, and went on to study at Dedham Country Day School, Milton Academy, Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 1958 and Stanford Law School in 1964. Steve became passionate about education, and, in turn, giving back to the schools that helped guide him. He remained the epitome of the curious learner, ferociously reading, and always wanting to learn more.

Upon graduating from Harvard, Steve served as a United States Air Force intelligence officer in Spain for three years. In 1961, having been drawn to the "la fiesta brava" by running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, Steve trained to become an amateur bullfighter, one of only three Americans to do so. Spain held a special place in his heart, and he seized any chance to return over the course of his life. After the Air Force, Steve went on to Stanford Law School, and upon graduating in 1964 he embarked on a 48-year career as a New York lawyer, founding two boutique law firms, McGarrahan & Heard and later Heard & O'Toole. In the late 1960s, Steve took a two-year leave of absence from his law firm to serve as the Assistant Administrator and General Counsel of the New York City Economic Development Administration under Mayor John Lindsay.

Steve practiced law with passion and his own fiery style. As his partner, Edmund O'Toole said: he "worked tirelessly building co-counsel and client relationships across four continents….He instilled a fighting spirit in his young lawyers and fought tenaciously for equal standing with the bigger firms with whom he navigated often difficult waters."

Steve loved his family and friends beyond measure. If he loved you and believed in you, there was nothing he would not do for you. He found immense joy in connecting people, personally and professionally, and you could say he was the ultimate networker before it was a thing.

Steve, with a desire to give back, was involved with several charities, notably The Fresh Air Fund where he served for 20 years as a board member, the last 13 of which as President. He also served on the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School and served on the Board of Trustees at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT.

Following his retirement in 2012, Steve wrote his memoir "All the Way Up," as well as several articles on 20th Century American politics while serving on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation. The consummate student of history, Steve could sit for hours reading and writing, getting lost in the process, always loving the power of words, and what the past can teach us.

Steve is survived by his two daughters, Erica Reilly and her husband, Brian Reilly, and Lindsey Heard and her partner Chris Durand, as well as five grandchildren, Connor, Morgan, Brooke, Skylar & Jake.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, P.O Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.

Due to COVID and in the name of safety, the family will be holding a private burial at this time.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Stephen Heard, please visit our flower store.


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