Stephen Van Cortlandt Wilberding was a well-known figure in the nonprofit world.
Stephen Van Cortlandt Wilberding’s roots in nonprofits ran deep.
In the Sarasota area, his involvement extended to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast.
Wilberding, of Casey Key, died June 11. He was 74.
“He was a brilliant, brave, and generous man who served his country, his community, and his family with honor, dignity and care,” said Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation president and CEO.
At age 19, Wilberding co-founded Up With People, a nonprofit education organization that encourages people to travel and bring the world together through service and music, after leaving Yale University after his sophomore year.
Wilberding spent 30 years as an international investment banker with Merrill Lynch.
A Casey Key resident since 1999, Wilberding became active in retirement with nonprofits in the community. He spent six years on the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation board and finance committee.
“The treasurers had a great deal of respect for him because of his background in finance,” said Priscilla Mitchell, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation senior vice president and CFO.
Wilberding enjoyed tennis, golf, bird watching (more than 2,000 species on all continents), travel and collecting. In 2009, he donated a 69-piece collection of Turkoman tribal jewelry to the Ringling Museum of Art’s permanent Asian collection.
Wilberding was preceded in death by his first wife, Ann “Stevie” Wilberding. He is survived by his wife, Teri Hansen; sons Van and Beau; daughters Ashley Balavoine and Crystal Hansen; six grandchilren; and first mother-in-law Ann Spaulding.
A celebration of life will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 16, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Donations can be made to the Stephen V.C. Wilberding Memorial Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation.