We all continue to miss Steve Centola, the Founder of the Arthur Miller Society, who passed away the morning of January 9th 2008.  The Relay for Life team, The Art of the Possible,  ran in 2008 raising $8,648.46 in memory of Steve, and continue to collect donations. They raised nearly $4,000 more in the 2009 Relay for Life.

You can still make a donation to the Cancer Society's Relay for Life event in honor of Steve as the Art of the Possible team continue to run in his memory. Here is a link to that website.  There is also another website dedicated to Steve where you can get information about other fundraising events.

Steve Centola
Picture of Steve centola

Letter from the current society president, Jane Dominik.

It is with great shock and deep sadness that we pass on the news that Steve Centola, the Founder of the Arthur Miller Society, passed away this morning (January 9th 2008).  Unbeknownst to many of us, Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer only last August.  Despite extensive surgery and treatment this past fall, Steve succumbed to the disease at the young age of  55.

Needless to say, Steve was a remarkable, loving, and giving man who has long been respected, loved, and appreciated by so many in Millersville, at the University, by the Society he founded, and the countless others whose lives he has touched.  His students at the university and beyond have treasured the care, attention, and dedication he always placed  toward their educations and futures.  The ripple effect of his passion to found the Arthur Miller Society is evident as we have worked to perpetuate the “attention [that] must be paid” to the playwright’s life and works.  Steve’s own scholarly work will remain a backbone of that continuing work.  Through all of these enterprises, what has always been most apparent is Steve’s calm, unassuming connection with, and concern for, all of us — students, colleagues, and friends — as people first.  I recall talking with him one evening at the third Miller Conference, in which he expressed that the Society was like family to him.  It took me, a relative newcomer, by surprise at the time, but over the years, I have come to realize the love that Steve brought to all that he did, and the effects of that love.  And, I also recognize the great compliment he paid with that comment, given his deep love for his own family.  Like him, so many of us have come to value, respect, and care about one another in the Society.  Perhaps that is why this news about Steve hits so hard and so close to my heart — and, I know, to the hearts of so many others.

Many of us did not have the opportunity to express to Steve the importance and effect he has had on our lives, nor the admiration, respect, and love we have felt for him.  So, I will begin to do so here.  If you would like to share any thoughts and memories, please email them to Sue, and we will post them here on the website.

Karen Morrisette, a member of the Arthur Miller Society and a former student of Steve’s, participated in memory of Steve in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on June 6 and 7, 2008 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Steve’s home.  Steve knew about Karen’s fundraising on his behalf and had hoped to attend.  He was there in spirit. Her team, The Art of the Possible won recognition as New Team to Raise the Most Money with a grand total $8,648.46 collected since January. She plans to repeat the event in 2009, again on Steve's behalf--if you would like to donate you can do so either on line or by check(click on the link for information on how to do this).

The Arthur Miller Society took out the following ad in the journal published as part of the event.

Click here to see the Ad.

Thank you for your support.  We will continue to miss Steve; this is one way we can honor him and all that he has done for us.

In the meantime, our very deepest condolences to Steve’s family and close friends as we mourn the loss of a great man, scholar, teacher, and friend. 

Here is a link to Steve's obituary in the Lancaster News.
For online condolences: www.sheetzfuneralhome.com. You need to click on the obituaries button, then you can enter your message from his memorial there.
The family has requested no flowers,  Memorial contributions may be made to: Advanced Treatment for Adrenocortical Carcinoma ATAC Research Fund, 400 N. 5th Street, Suite 1650, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 or to The American Cancer Society, 615 Community Way, Lancaster PA 17603.

Tributes to Steve Centola from friends and students:
The last time I saw Dr. Centola in person was on April 27, 2007, my birthday. He agreed to speak with my high school students who had just finished a unit on Death of a Salesman.  With the same passion, enthusiasm, and humor I remember from the many grad courses I took with him, he engaged those kids for 3 hours!  As he was leaving, I knew I would not be seeing him again since I was due to graduate very soon.  I shook his hand and asked him if he remembered the time he said I was a good writer.  He did remember.  I told him, "If I can do for the self esteem of those kids you just talked to what you did for me, that will have been the greatest lesson you ever taught me."  We both almost cried right there in the lobby.  I will never forget that moment and I'm so grateful we shared it.   
Karen Morrisette
Millersville University
Class of '93 and '07

It's hard to believe that just one year ago I was about to begin a class with Dr. Centola, and now I'm writing about the loss of not just a brilliant and amazing professor, but a brilliant and amazing man. Dr. Centola's love for literature was as contagious as his smile, and his passion was what inspired me to continue on to graduate school (at Millersville, of course, so I would be able to take more of his courses). As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to have an independent study course with Dr. Centola, who was nice enough to give up a few extra hours of his week to meet with me one-on-one. Through those sessions, I grew to know Dr. Centola not only as a professor, but as a person, as our conversations on the assigned readings often strayed to other literature, art, politics, family, travel and just life in general. In "Michigan University", an Arthur Miller essay that appears in Echoes Down the Corridor, his collaborative work with Dr. Centola, he wrote of his professors, "enough of them [were] seekers and questioners to make talking with them a long-lasting memory." I cannot think of anyone who could fit that description more perfectly, as I will always remember those conversations I had with Dr. Centola just as much as I will remember his passion, his drive and his kindness. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends, as we all mourn the loss of this great man.

Erin Becker
Millersville University

Dr. Centola always had his door open to his students, something which not all did. I appreciated his help.

Alexis Francos