Stephen Sunday, 28, Scranton, died unexpectedly Tuesday at Geisinger-Community Medical Center, Scranton.
Born in Scranton, son of Gregg and Jody Lawless Sunday, Scranton, he was a member of St. Patrick's Church, West Scranton, and a graduate of West Scranton High School, class of 2010. He was a four-year member of its baseball team and lettered for three years, and he was the first sophomore student to be inducted into the Thousand Pound Club, a weightlifting club at West Scranton. He played baseball in the West Scranton T-Ball and Pony League, and was a four-year all-star in its Little League program. He also played for the West Side American Legion baseball team. While playing for the legion, he hit a homerun on Doubleday Hall of Fame Field in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Following high school, he earned an associate degree in physical education from the Sullivan County Community College, New York, and played on their 2011 conference title team. While there, he was awarded the 2012 Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete award, one of two that are awarded throughout New York State annually, and the first ever at SCCC. Upon graduation, he went on to attend St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, N.Y., where he played on two championship teams and in the NCAA Division 2 College World Series. Thereafter, Stephen also played with the Frontier Baseball League, an independent league in Traverse City, Mich., and Freedom, Ky.
Following his baseball career, he became an EMT and was employed by Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services. He furthered his education at Luzerne County Community College, where he was studying to become a certified paramedic, and last January entered as a firefighter with the Scranton Fire Department.
Stephen thoroughly enjoyed being with his family on trips to the beach and Boston, as he was an avid Red Sox fan. He also enjoyed time with family and friends at Arcaro & Genell's Restaurant in Old Forge. He was a certified deep-water scuba diver who also enjoyed going to the shooting range, and collecting firefighting memorabilia.
In addition to his parents, he is also survived by his paternal grandfather, Edward J. Sunday, Scranton; his fiancée, Jessica Murphy, Scranton; his aunts and uncles, Jack and Valerie Lawless, Kelly and Michael Perles, and Marialyn Kusner; cousins, Rich Strauch and wife, Maria, J.P. Lawless and wife, Cinza, Carrie Lawless, Bryan Lawless and wife, Gina, Stephanie Musso and husband, Chris, Brandon Perles and wife, Becky, Ryan and R.J. Perles, Robert and Jonathan Kusner; and a special angel and the apple of his eye, Olivia Kusner.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, John P. Lawless, a former City of Scranton fire chief, and wife, Martha Durkin Lawless; his paternal grandmother, Nancy Dutko Sunday, who died Nov. 29, 2020; his great-grandparents, Patrick and Marie Durkin, Joan and William Lawless, Stella and Peter Dutko, and Anna and Ludwig Sunday; as well as an uncle, Paul Dutko.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday promptly at noon in St. Patrick's Church, 1403 Jackson St., West Scranton.
Family and friends are invited to pay their respects from 9 to 11:45 a.m. at the church.
When paying respects, please refrain from physical contact with the family, observe social distancing, and wear a mask immediately upon entering the church. Please pay your respects in a timely manner so others may do so as well, and be prepared to wait outside the church until the line moves along in order to adhere to building capacity restrictions, as seating will be limited.
In lieu of flowers, preferred memorial contributions may be made to Local 60 Coats for Kids, c/o the Scranton Fire Department, 940 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.
In Stephen's words, "I'll see you when I see you."
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