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Obituary: Sean 'Binkie' Tyler Stem, 1989-2016 

click to enlarge Sean "Binkie" Tyler Stem
  • Sean "Binkie" Tyler Stem

Sean "Binkie" Tyler Stem, age 26, Burlington, VT, passed away on March 29, 2016 after fighting a long, terrible battle of addiction.

He was born in Burlington, VT on April 17, 1989, the son of Kim Palasits and Jeffrey Stem.

Sean was a soft, gentle, kind young man whose presence was felt by all who knew him. He willingly embraced everyone he met. His personality was fearless and inviting; his contagious laugh made him instantly recognizable in any crowd. He would do anything for anyone and was loved by all.

Sean was a passionate and talented skateboarder since he was a kid. He was a local skate fixture at many skate venues in the area and beyond. He loved basketball, dogs, and being everyone's friend. He had more to give others than he could give to himself.

Sean had a particular sensitivity, feeling great pain and, we hope, great love. It is only in retrospect that we can wonder whether he even had the ability to know how deeply he was loved. And love him, we did, unconditionally through the good and the bad times and truly supported his fight for recovery in every way we knew how. We have learned the hard way that no amount of love can cure this illness.

Those close to him can only assume that it was the drugs pulling him away from those who meant so much to him in the last few months. Perhaps the drugs offered him a needed escape from a world too big and overwhelming to manage successfully. Clearly the addiction took over in ways we cannot understand. And perhaps we cannot truly know another’s pain, another’s journey. We just know that we must keep on trying, keep reaching out, keep asking for solutions to this tragic epidemic. Those in the know about addiction, especially heroin, must share what they know. Families, friends, and the community have to share their pain, their struggles, so others may know and feel less alone, less confused, less shame. Sean’s family can only hope that his death will not be in vain. Can we all, please, come together, love each other? Tear down whatever obstacles are in the way of reaching out, obstacles of fear, loneliness, shame, stigma, and join other friends and family members who see the ramifications of this drug and feel as powerless as we do.

Sean is survived by his parents- Kim Palasits of Burlington, VT and Jeffrey Stem of Baroda, MI; step parents Ernie Palasits and Robin Stem; siblings Shannon, Megan, Justin, Erin, Colleen, Nick, Ryan, Holly, Mark, Paul, and Barbara; nieces and nephews Jackson, Anthony, Cameron, Alex, Miley, Judah, Emma, Laura, and Sophia; Eva Stem, step sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and his dear friend Hannah Deene and his huge GFAM.

If you or a loved one is fighting addiction please know you are not alone.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 4 to 7 in the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service South Chapel, 261 Shelburne, Rd, Burlington. A memorial service will be held on Monday morning at 10am at the First United Methodist Church on South Winooski Avenue. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Attorney Norman A Blais 289 College Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401. All proceeds will be used to establish a foundation in Sean's name to combat the use of opiates.

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