Obituary of Eric Michael Sterling
Eric Michael Sterling, 54, passed away peacefully the evening of Sunday, December 18, 2022. Eric is survived by his brothers: Darryl (Libby) of Bath, ME; Gary of Bloomfield; David (Vicky) of Lansing; Steven (Cheryl) of Walworth; sister, Patti Walotka (Gene) of Saint John, IN; several nieces and nephews. Eric was predeceased by his father Richard; mother Anne, step-mother Viorene; brothers Rick and Mark; sister-in-law, Michelle; niece Megan. Eric was born in Canandaigua, NY on January 14, 1968. He graduated from Wayne-Fingers Lakes BOCES School in Gorham June 09, 1989. In his later years at BOCES, Eric often participated in local Special Olympics events. He was also recognized as an Honorary 4-H Member. Eric worked at Ontario ARC/Abbey Industries before relocating to Penn Yan, where he worked at ARC of Yates. Eric was a meticulous, hard worker, often recognized for his skills and achievements. Eric also participated in volunteer initiatives with ARC of Yates (always with a smile), some of which included helping with activities for: Milly's Pantry weekend Backpack Program and Food for the Needy; Dance for Heart fund-raising effort for the American Heart Association; the annual Duck Classic fund-raising event. In spring of 1991, Eric completed a Carpentry/Basic Woodworking course through Community College of the Finger Lakes, and made his very own wooden memory box with the skills he acquired. His memory box is filled with mementos and pictures from various group travels with his ARC peers. Some of his group travels included trips to: Seattle, WA, where he participated in Special Olympics basketball games; Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios in southern California; Washington DC (visiting the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian Museums); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH; Disney World in Florida; Nashville, TN; Boston, MA (visiting the JFK museum and enjoying the Boston duck tours,); New York City (Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and taking in a Radio City Rockettes show). Additionally, Eric travelled via airplane independently to Chicago, IL to visit his sister for Thanksgiving holiday a few times, where he also visited the Field Museum and the Brookfield Zoo. He also enjoyed attending summer camps in the Finger Lakes area. Eric lived much of his adult life at Catholic Charities group homes in Penn Yan, enjoying the company of and often entertaining his co-residents and support staff. He enjoyed putting puzzles together, relaxing in his rocking chair, studying travel maps, watching sports games and events, parades, and spending time with his family. Eric will always be remembered for his big smile and loving nature, his humor, and in earlier years, his exhilaration on a dance floor. He brought joy to everyone graced by his presence. A memorial service will be held in late spring of 2023 at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church, followed by a private burial at Lakeview Cemetery in Penn Yan. Memorial contributions may be made to: Catholic Charities Family and Community Services at https://ww2.fcscharities.org/ or Special Olympics New York Genesee Region at https://www.specialolympics-ny.org/regions/genesee/. Friends and family may express condolences or share memories of Eric at https://townsendwoodzinger.com.