Steve was the son of Vincent and Anita Ardia of New Jersey. He was born on August 3, 1941 in Hackensack, NJ. An avid baseball fan, he was the catcher for his high school baseball team where he caught for his younger brother Richard. Steve graduated from Ramapo Regional High School in 1959. After earning a congressional appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, he graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1963. He served in the Merchant Marines from 1963 to 1964. In 1964, he married Virginia Sue Ellis of Wyckoff, NJ. He earned an MBA from Rutgers University in 1970. In 1966, Steve began a long career with Goulds Pumps, Inc. of Seneca Falls, NY.
The transformative event in his professional life was taking a position as South East Asia Sales Manager for Goulds in 1970. Steve and Ginny moved to Singapore with their two sons, David born in 1966 and Daniel born in 1967. He was promoted to Director of International Sales for Goulds and returned to Seneca Falls in 1974. A third child Deborah joined the family in 1977. In 1979, Steve became the Vice President of Sales for Goulds and became President and CEO in 1984. As CEO, he grew Goulds Pumps into a world leader in industrial pump technology culminating in Goulds joining the Fortune 500 in 1991.
In 1995, Steve retired from Goulds Pumps. After six months of retirement, he took on the role of CEO of the pump company Environment One, based in Schenectady, NY, where he worked from 1995 to 2001. He enjoyed a brief second retirement before returning to business serving in a range of positions across the world including chairman, CEO, board member, owner, and investor. He is remembered as an admired and valued mentor to many.
While Steve and Ginny raised their three kids in Skaneateles, NY, they eventually grew tired of Central New York snow and began spending winters on Amelia Island, FL. Reconnecting with his passion for the ocean, they eventually transitioned to living the majority of the year in Florida. However, they never lost their love of Skaneateles Lake. Steve felt surrounded in both communities by dear and supportive friends who were there by his side up until the end. Committed to his local institutions, he served as President of the Skaneateles Country Club and President of the Amelia Island Club. His passions included cigars, golf, hiking, New York Mets, and collecting civil war era Colt firearms.
Steve was deeply committed to his family and engineered elaborate yearly family vacations all over the world. He is survived by his wife Virginia, his sons David and Daniel Ardia, his daughter Deborah Ardia McGinn, and his brother Richard Ardia. Steve and his brother were extraordinarily close throughout their lives.
Stephen Vincent Ardia was a beloved husband, son, father, brother, and grandfather to seven grandchildren. Donations in lieu of flowers can made to the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation (MGAEF), 6425 Cloverleaf Circle, East Amherst NY 14051, http://mgaef.org/donate.htm. The MGAEF was founded in 1996 in memory of Melinda Gray Ardia, Steve’s beloved daughter-in-law. Steve was passionate about the Foundation’s work supporting environmental education in the USA and across the world.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery. Remembrances can be posted at www.forevermissed.com/stephen-ardia/.
Arrangements by Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles.