Steven I. Haber

steven haber

January 21, 1947 ~ December 12, 2023

Born in: New York, NY
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Steven I. Haber, 76, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at Valor Hospice, Charles George VA Medical Center.

Mr. Haber was born January 21, 1947, in New York, NY, to the late Bob and Eva Frankel Haber.

He served our country with the U.S. Army in Vietnam where he was wounded and displayed extraordinary courage for which he was awarded the Purple Heart and other commendations for valor. He was a proud member of the 173d Airborne Brigade and served as Point Man for his squad. He considered being a soldier to be the proudest achievement of his life.

He was the owner of G. Fried Flooring, a retail flooring business in Sarasota, FL, for over 35 years, retiring in 2008. He and his wife, Joan, resettled in Asheville, NC, in 2015 and formed many special friendships and developed meaningful volunteer opportunities. He had a special fondness for orchids, pasta, model trains, dogs, and horses. He traveled the world extensively with Joan and had completed his bucket list. He enjoyed golf, Pickleball and Bridge. He took great joy in his role as an active grandfather.

His family includes his wife, Joan (Sterr) Haber; daughter, Michelle Best (Roy); sons, Michael Haber (Lenice) and Scott Haber; grandchildren, Zack, Collin, Skyler, Brendan, Devin and Ace; great-grandchildren, Liam, Eli, Quinn and Callahan; sister, Linda Hilson (Allan) and brother, Daniel Haber. Also, two sisters-in-law, Karen Sterr and Mary Lynn Crist (Gary), and brother-in-law Gene Sterr (Sharon). He was preceded in death by his brother, Gary Haber, and brother-in-law, Dave Sterr (Sandy).

A celebration of Steven’s life will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 11:30 a.m., at Heart of Horse Sense, 7041 Meadows Town Road, Marshall, NC, where he volunteered for more than six years. Lunch will follow. Please check the website for specific driving instructions as GPS is not reliable in that area. You may also call Shannon at 828-691-0989 for questions about directions.

Burial with military honors will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. That information will be shared as it becomes available, but a long wait is anticipated.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to Heart of Horse Sense, 7041 Meadows Town Road, Marshall, NC 28753. Your contribution will honor his commitment and service to the ideals and goals of Heart of Horse Sense.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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  1. Steven is so alive in so many of us. I will miss his magic and keep blowing my wooden train whistle as a wink to him up there. And…. Not to worry Joanie, we got you !❤️🙏

  2. Such a loss to so many and now an angel looking over us…ride high on that mountain Steve! Thanks for all of your service and sacrifice to the world…you will be missed..

  3. My big brother, we will miss you. So many memories over the years. We shared such a love of travel. So happy we got to spend some time together over the Thanksgiving weekend, never thought it would have been the last time we’d be together.

  4. Steve has been one of my best friends in my life. He will be remembered forever. Our fishing trips and our trip to Greece and Santorini to visit my other best friend will always be a treasured memory for me.

  5. Joan, Although I never had the privilege of meeting Steven it seems that he was a very special man.
    I am so sorry for your tremendous loss and my heart goes out to you.

  6. We have fond memories of Steven over our years of friendship with Steven & Joan. He loved to crack a joke, the more subtle the better; he loved to tease his wife, both devoted to each other; he loved to play cards & board games with friends, livening the games up with his humor; he loved his rum & cokes, made to order by his favorite barmaid (Joan); he was proud of his grilled steak; he loved to tell a story, particularly about his comrades-in-arms; his love of travel led him to the love of his life – Joan; he was proud of his sons, daughter & their children, bragging about their accomplishments; he found his animal soulmate at Heart of Horse Sense; and he knew he was headed to heaven too soon but would see us again one day. What a gift to spend cherished moments with him before his passing. For that Terry & I are filled with gratitude.

  7. Steve was our greatest friend for over 50 years. He had the greatest sense of humor. There was always laughter until it hurt when with Steve. I loved him dearly. I will miss you my brother

  8. Joan — so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing! He will be missed on the mountain…

    Chris & Lisa Duncan
    244 Serenity Ridge Trail

  9. Steve was the most ‘unique’ customer I ever had during his stay at G. Fried Carpets. Our meetings and dinners were always ‘interesting’. Steve Haber was a ‘one-of-a-kind’ man who really enjoyed life.
    I will miss him.!

  10. Dear Joan , I heard of Steve’s passing while out of the country and tried to connect on here . Joël and I are so sorry for his loss but have many memories of your visits in our home and in your Sarasota home. He had that laugh and was proud if his service , which he and Joël shared stories). Gone too soon, but he lived life to its fullest with his travels . Hug and live to you … Lynn and Joël Rousseau

  11. Pointman always walks in front; scanning forward, and side to side,
    he never looks back; it’s too dangerous.

    Why did you volunteer to walk point that morning?
    Did you hear the claymore detonate before the shrapnel hit you?
    When did you realize the three troopers behind you were already dead?
    You asked, then, why you had lived and they did not.
    We had no answer then.

    Fifty seven years later, as I sit in a chair next to the bed where you lay dying,
    you ask me that question again. Why you?
    Now, in these last moments, we can look back.
    You had things to do: businesses to start up and run; people to employ;
    kids to help startup and run their own businesses; grandkids to love and enjoy; horses to befriend.
    And before all that you had to meet Joan, the love of your life.

    Does any of this help to answer that old question, Steve?
    Now I can only hope so, and say good by.
    You were loved and will be sorely missed.
    Sky Soldiers cry after all.

  12. Steven always marched to the beat of his own drum!
    I really like that in a person.
    Big heartfelt thank you to you and Joan for all your friendship over the years. You both were so kind in helping us feel at home and show us around when we moved from New Hampshire to Florida.
    Until we meet again.

  13. Steven, you were more than just one of my “pickleball homies” at the Downtown Y, you were an admired friend and fellow brother in arms. Your tenacity on the courts was only surpassed by your genuine concern for my health and wellbeing. Your guidance on how to best navigate the VA Hospital was invaluable advice… a gift for which I will always be grateful. Your friendship was cherished. Your valor was an example to us all. In the Navy, we never say “Good Bye” but instead we offer a hearty “Farewell, Shipmate.” Steven, you left the party way too soon, but I look forward to seeing you in the next port. Peace my friend.

  14. We feel so blessed to have become friends with Steven and Joan over the last three years. They are such a lovely, loving couple. Steven served his country, the Veterans, his family and his community with sincere devotion. He is a true American hero. We salute you Steven Haber. We look forward to seeing you again in God’s special place of honor. With Love, Mike and Deb

  15. I have many memories of my grandfather and i love him very much and after i heard about his death it didn’t hit me that much but after coming to asheville and seeing all the pictures of him i just miss him very much now.

  16. Steven’s Celebration of Life was so beautiful. Several people asked me to share the blessing and poem I read. I thought I’d post it here:

    Steven, like me, was born into the Jewish faith, but non-practicing. Though he didn’t observe the rituals and customs, he was guided by the central teachings of Judaism, including Tikkun olam (social justice for all), Simcha (joy and celebration), and Mitzvot (acts of kindness to others).

    Jewish Blessing for Mourners*
    Those who are worn out and crushed by this mourning, let your hearts consider this:
    This is the path that has existed from the time of creation and will exist forever.
    Many have drunk from it and many will yet drink.
    As was the first meal, so shall be the last
    May the Master of Comfort comfort you.
    Blessed are those who comfort the mourners.

    When All That’s Left Is Love by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
    When I die
    If you need to weep
    Cry for someone
    Walking the street beside you.
    You can love me most by letting
    Hands touch hands, and
    Souls touch souls.

    You can love me most by
    Sharing your Simchas (joy) and
    Multiplying your Mitzvot (acts of kindness).
    You can love me most by
    Letting me live in your eyes
    And not on your mind.

    And when you say
    Kaddish for me
    Remember what our
    Torah teaches,
    Love doesn’t die.
    People do.
    So when all that’s left of me is love
    Give me away.

    “May his memory bring you joy.”

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