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Peaceful 02


Stephen M. Bartha

September 8, 1949 ~ January 21, 2018 (age 68)

Stephen Martin Bartha, of Petoskey, died peacefully at home on January 21, 2018, surrounded by those he loved.

Stephen was born on September 8, 1949 in Philadelphia, PA, to Stephen W. Bartha and Dorothea L. (Hirsch) Bartha.  He was the oldest of four.  His sisters, Annemarie and Karen, live in Pennsylvania with their families; his younger brother, Martin, preceded him in death in 2000.  Stephen's happiest memories were dancing Doo-wop as a teenager at Wagner's Ballroom.  He was an excellent dancer and pure joy on the dance floor.  Stephen graduated from Drexel University with a degree in Economics and Statistics in 1972.  He moved to Harbor Springs, MI, in 1976.

Stephen was dedicated to his work as a tax accountant, but he was defined by his passions: Scouting, stamp and coin collecting, travel, and food.  Scouting in particular brought Stephen joy and gave him an early opportunity to explore the world beyond his neighborhood in Philly, escaping into the wonders of the Pocono Mountains.  He dedicated life to instilling the virtues and values of Scouting in generations of young men and women long after he became an Eagle Scout.  The woods were his religion and he was guided by a set of iron-clad values and a moral compass that never failed him.  Stephen is remembered by all who knew and loved him for his spirit of generosity and enthusiasm for life. 

Survivors include his children: Steve Bartha of Danvers, MA, John Bartha of Petoskey, MI, and Natasha Bartha of East Glacier, MT; his step-children, Amora Wilkins of Missoula, MT, Christina Kolberg of Hazel Park, MI, and Dan Kolberg of Petoskey, MI; and his beloved grandchildren, Zyphera, Serenity, Evalynn, Giuliana, and Jack.

A celebration of Stephen's life is being planned for June 10, 2018.  For details, please email his son, Steve, at

Donations can be made in Stephen's honor to the Little Traverse Conservancy on their website under memorials/honorariums ( by specifying his name, or by check to LTC, 3264 Powell Road, Harbor Springs, MI 49740.  Proceeds will fund a new woodstove at the Andreae Cabin - a place Stephen loved.

Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at