Dr. Stephanie Telesetsky Young was born September 28, 1965, in Boston, Massachusetts to Walter and Sharron-Dawn Telesetsky. Stephanie was an accomplished doctor, a loving wife, a beloved daughter, and a dear big sister. She left this world at the age of 54 after a tragic heart attack on Saturday March 14, 2020. Her life was one focused on the compassion of the heart and the reason of the mind. Her family is so thankful for the beauty and passion that she brought into their lives.
It is hard to follow a chronology of a life that was lived with such fierce intensity but that was not yet fully lived. Stephanie had so much more love she wanted to give. She was a joyful child who loved nature and learning. She brought sunshine and exuberance into this world and made her parents very happy. At four years old, she found her calling as a healer as she brought solace and comfort to her dolls with a stethoscope and a thermometer. She loved to learn and excelled as a young student at Mater Amoris Montessori elementary school and Stone Ridge Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.
In high school, at 16, she was selected as a top-ten Westinghouse Science Talent finalist for her work on the cell mechanism that resists certain antibiotics in several strains of E. coli in the human intestinal system. She had the patience and persistence of a scientist. In a Washington Post feature from 1982 about Stephanie’s future in science, her Dad remembered fondly her projects on molds in the sixth grade where she brought a researcher’s conscientious attention to detail with an exhaustive 70-page report detailing the growth of molds in every type of condition.
Stephanie achieved many honors as a young woman including winning the Army medallion for outstanding achievement at the Montgomery Science Fair and being captain of the school’s team for “It’s Academic”, a local television competition for high school scholars, and Stone Ridge’s forensic League. She was engaged in her community as a Girl Scout supporting the Special Olympics. She was an avid swimmer and held 11 swimming records by the time she graduated from high school as the Valedictorian.
Stephanie went to Duke University as an Angier B. Duke merit scholar where she studied Spanish and Zoology. She hoped to someday deliver medical services in Central and South America to communities in need of medical assistance. While at Duke, she was an all-time Women’s Letter winner for the NCAA Blue Devils’ Fencing team between 1984-1986 and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. In 1986, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa before graduating summa cum laude. She used her talents to serve her country and enlisted as an ensign in the Navy Medical Corps and graduated in 1990 from the Duke Medical School where was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She went on to do her residence in radiology at Duke Medical Center.
She attained the rank of Commander in the U.S. Navy, and served tours of duty at Naval Hospitals in Bethesda, Maryland; Naples, Italy; and Yokosuka, Japan. She moved forward from the Navy and went into private practice in Concord, New Hampshire; Florence, Oregon; and Binghamton, New York. She was a fellow in Musculoskeletal Imaging at the University of Maryland. She held medical licenses in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, New York, and Maryland. In 2012 she became the Chief of the Imaging Center at the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Martinsburg, WV.
In her too short life, she was passionate about adventure travel. Her favorite trips included swimming with manatees, riding a yak in Mongolia, enjoying falconry, meeting a beluga, searching for jaguars in the Amazon, and greeting pandas in China. Her last adventure trip was to the mountains of Mexico this February to meet the monarch butterfly migration.
She loved this world and the wild things in it. She loved the ocean with its angelfish, clownfish, manta rays, dolphins and whales. She loved the Pacific Northwest forests with the bear and moose. She loved the savannah with its cheetahs, lions, and elephants. She loved long walks in the woods along the Potomac river with its hummingbirds, herons, and butterflies. She loved the pastures of West Virginia and would often roll down the window to moo at the cows and “cowlets.” Her family can see her smile and hear her laugh right now.
In 1991, she met Robert (Bob) Fowner, the love of her life. Working in the Cayman Islands as a dive guide and photographer, he wasn’t looking for the vibrant woman that Stephanie was when he went to the airport to pick her up for a weeklong dive adventure. His first words to her would be, “I was looking for somebody older.” Stephanie had come to the Caymans for a little rest and relaxation, but after a few days of exploring the beautiful reefs, they had a special bond. And with a kiss he fumbled the words “Welcome to the Caymans”. And thus, began the story of the rest of their lives that would include travel and celebrating the natural world. You know lifetime experiences- playing with panda bears, traveling by elephant, or sitting with an orangutan.
If Stephanie wrote this remembrance, she would have asked each of you to live from your heart and bring kindness and compassion into this wild world. Her husband Bob Fowner and his family, father Walter Telesetsky, sister Anastasia Telesetsky, brother-in-law Matthew Church, her cousins (Marsha Fielder, Brenda Kowalczuk, Melody Chang, and Wesley Embry) and her precious papillon Doni miss her deeply. We will always remember you our darling wife, perfect daughter, and loving big sister.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a woman who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a woman?” Chuang Tzu
Her family would like you to celebrate and pay tribute to Stephanie’s life. The visitation will be Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home at 256 Halltown Road in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Telephone (304)-724-6500. An Episcopal service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday morning at the same location.
In light of the current public health emergency, we ask friends and family not to come if they have been ill or exposed to potential viruses. A video link will be available for those who cannot attend at https://stanford.zoom.us/j/2351304253. You will be directed to download software if you do not have a Zoom account. If you do not need the video, you can call 1-833-302-1536 Meeting ID 235 130 4253.
Stephanie was very fond of flower bouquets. If you wish to send flowers to remember her, please send them directly to Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home at 256 Halltown Road in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425.