During the afternoon calling hours for Steve Potter, 57, at the Eaton-Tubbs-Schepp Funeral Home in Fayetteville Saturday March 13, a very long line steadily snaked mourners through the building to pay their respects.
Meanwhile, visitors stood in clutches telling Potter stories. There were impersonations of his classic facial expressions, mimicking of his varied stances, sharing of cherished encounters and a lot of laughter. Most of all there was continued discovery.
Potter was quite simply a very complex man that even he never quite understood.
At the end of the line, people paid respects to his former wife (still friend) and mother of his children, Elaine, his three sisters Barbara, Robin and Nancy with their families, and his three vibrant children Dylan, Sarah and Hunter -- who in turn, actually comforted the large crowd that had gathered to pay their respects.
Potter was many things, but at the forefront was his individual spirit. He had a high regard for those who approached life on their own terms.
He had a way of including everyone without them knowing it. He also encouraged self expression, defended the weak, appreciated genius, understood the big picture, paid attention to details, wore his heart on his sleeve, was a real listener, championed the unusual and was always on the lookout searching.
Potter's friendships spanned the ages. Steve, who was nicknamed "Rock," was a quiet, non-judgmental, resigned leader. As the head barman and manager of the long running restaurant, Pastabilites in Armory Square, he was a ringleader of sorts throughout the city and beyond, keeping people connected and included.
Steve graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius, attended SU, but most of all he was a student of life, as he walked on fire, invented, patented and marketed the Magtite tape measure system, built one hot potato gun and was on the board at Baltimore Woods Nature Center among many other interesting pursuits.
He and Elaine raised their children in the village of Marcellus before moving to Rose Hill. He later made his home in the city of Syracuse in the Eastwood neighborhood.
Musician, friend Colin Aberdeen posted this sentiment in cyberspace:
"R.I.P. Steve Potter. A dry wit, an inquisitive mind, a wry grin, truly kind. A great loss , all thoughts to his family and loved ones. Steve, my brother, long may you run . . ."