Monday, August 29, 2005

Obituary and Funeral Information

Stephen Lotti

Family-Placed Death Notice

Stephen Michael Lotti, 28, of Fayetteville, passed away during a vacation with his mother, Sherra Young in Peru. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science and Archaeology, Steve recently completed a 2 year term with the United States Peace Corps in Bolivia. Steve was a dedicated son, brother, grandson, and uncle who devoted his life to the service of others. He is survived by his father, David Lotti, step-father, Jeffrey Young, brother, Joe and Catherine Lotti, sister, Krista and Cullen Lowery, sister, Melinda and Brian Olver, grandmother, Jacqueline Hambrick and 4 nieces. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 11 AM at North Fayette United Methodist Church. Rev. Doug Burrell, Rev. Dee Shelnutt and Rev. Dennis Watson will officiate. Interment, Camp Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 5-8 PM. Donations in Steve's memory may be made to the Peace Corps Partnership Progaram, by contacting Nancy Brennan, 202-692-2185. Carl J. Mowell & Son, Fayetteville,
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 8/29/2005.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Loss of a Friend

Steve Lotti, 28, died alongside his mother in a plane crash in Peru on August 24th, 2005. Steve was a Fayette County High School and University of Georgia graduate, a Peace Corps volunteer, an archaeologist, and an inspiration to all who knew him.

In the wake of this tragedy, we are all left to grieve and remember the ways that Steve touched our lives. Please share your memories and your thoughts for Steve’s family here.

Steve's High School Reunion Bio

Most important experience since High School:
Traveling over the world-backpacking across Europe-spending three weeks in Africa and 2 years in Bolivia

Yup. Still here in the 3rd world. Graduated from UGA in 1998. I had an overwhelming desire for money, power, and women -so I became an archaeologist. And obtained none of these. But I have gotten to dig up some cool stuff and even the occasional dead guy. I worked in that until 2003. Then the overwhelming desire for money, power, women, AND FAME took over-so I joined the Peace Corp. I now live in the jungle with no running water or electricity somewhere in Bolivia. Now my hobbies include avoiding left wing insurgency and drinking this weird corn liquor every other day. I finish my 2 años in July and, because my bid to become pope failed- back to archaeology.

Tribute from Sam Williams

Steve Lotti is my friend. Today the news made my heart feel like it weighed a ton, the burning lump in my throat won’t go away and my eyes continue to burn while I continue to think about the news I have just heard. I have read the article about a hundred times now, and each time it gets more real. My hands and arms continue to shake and there are moments I have to excuse myself from my desk and take a “breather”. I am still in disbelief over the untimely death of someone I am proud to call my friend. “Lotti” as we called him was an awesome person, a great guy that I truly enjoyed knowing. He was a great friend and someone you could rely on. I did not have the honor of knowing his mother well, but what I can say is that she must have been special because she did a really great job with Steve.

Our reunion less then a month ago has ended up being a big blessing as it was the first time I had seen my friend in years. I thank God I went and that Lotti came, the person I wanted to see the most and figured was least likely to appear. I take that bit of joy and concentrate on it. When I saw him walk in, I was so excited to see him…all his friends were. He had been in Bolivia working with the Peace Corps and he shared his experiences with me and our mutual friends. Lotti was proud to serve and I was proud of him for serving. How many of us have “just decided” to give up the life we know to help others? Not many of us…not me anyway, but Lotti did.

That’s Lotti though and Lotti never surprised me, he was one of a kind. I spent a lot of time catching up with Lotti at the reunion. John Whited, Joey Hedden, and I enjoyed the time catching up with Lotti and even went back to John’s house to talk some more about the past, present and future into the morning hours. I will always cherish the time we all had together and

hold it close to my heart because it was like we all hadn’t changed…well except Lotti’s hair was longer. It was at that time we all committed to seeing each other more and all decided we were going to watch the next few Georgia Bulldog games together. I know it’s silly, but it was important to all of us. We made Lotti promise. He said he would, and I have no doubt in my heart that he will still be with us.

Lotti told us he had a trip planned and would be returning before the game and when he got back he’d See us and make plans. That’s what hurts my heart. We were so excited to see him and it was so close to happening in a few weeks. It was a big moment for all of us to hang out for the whole day and likely early into the next morning. That’s all the guys and I talked about the next few weeks was seeing Lotti again. That should have been a big weekend for us. Now our hearts will be heavy, the day will lack a big piece of us, our hearts and minds will be somewhere else. He was a special person, one of a kind, an easy going comfortable person to be around. If you didn’t know Steve Lotti I feel bad for you, you missed out on knowing an incredible person and friend. I know I speak for myself and Lotti’s other friends when I say that He will be incredibly missed and will not be forgotten.

Lotti, you always were a damn good Dawg.

Sam Williams

Message from Harry Fitch

Fellow staff: I was able to visit with Steve at the Class of 95 reunion a few weeks ago. He told me, with his unique excitement, that he would return to archeology, doing most of his work in South Georgia "to see where I came from." He had kept a journal of more than 200 pages of his experiences with the Peace Corps. He lived his life with purpose and I found it somewhat ironic that as we study "the American dream" in 11th grade English and talk about "heritage" that Steve was studying his American dream as his life's work. He was a fine young man.

- Harry Fitch