Steve Meyerowitz (1950 – 2015): ‘A life cut short but one well lived’

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By Friday, Sep 11 Obituaries  14 Comments
Steve Meyerowitz, of Great Barrington, fondly known as the Sproutman (1950-2015).

Great Barrington — Steve Meyerowitz, a passionate father, husband, food and health innovator, who spread love, light and humor wherever he went, died Wednesday night, September 9 from injuries sustained in a car accident in Falls Village, Connecticut.

Meyerowitz, 65, a long-time resident of Great Barrington, was a pilot, gifted musician and writer who also founded The Sprout House in the 1970s after developing a habit of growing sprouts in his New York City apartment, where drying sprouts had to be moved in order to take a shower. The business blossomed, prompting Vegetarian Times to anoint him “Sproutman” in 1976.

His wife Beth Robbins said the name stuck, and so did his passion for health, life and the earth. Robbins said her husband of nearly 30 years took joy in the physical world and believed in the holiness of it, yet laughed his way through life.

Under the tireless care of Meyerowitz, who Robbins said lived like he had 27 hours to every day, the business expanded to sell equipment, and Meyerowitz became the author of dozens of books and articles about health and diet. He was an in-demand speaker who lectured around the world and had an impact on peoples’ lives for the last four decades. He was returning from a business trip in Danbury when the accident happened, and Robbins said he had just made an exciting new business arrangement for Sproutman Publications, something his son Noah was helping him with. He was getting ready to go to the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, and had new speaking engagements as a result of his latest book.

Meyerowitz was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1950, the youngest of three boys. His father, Hy, was a self-taught painter and performer who won a Charlie Chaplin contest and passed the love of theatre and entertaining to Steve, a gifted comic and mime. Meyerowitz loved classic comedians like Jimmy Durante, and produced a Vaudeville show in his 20s. People used to tell Robbins that her husband should have been a clown. When his daughter Gabrielle was young, he took her pet parakeet outside to give it “fresh air.” The bird flew away. A devoted father, Meyerowitz wrote a song at the birth of each of his children.

Meyerowitz went to Stonybrook University and Lehman College, and was a passionate pilot who got his license at age 17. He shared his love of flying with his two sons, Ari and Noah, who are now also trained pilots. He and his sons flew to Oshkosh, Wisconsin every year for a large airshow, and Robbins said these were some of his happiest moments. Noah and his father were getting ready for another one; they had been planning a cross-country flight. All three children, from a young age, used to fly with him on business trips, and help him sell and promote his products. Meyerowitz kept his plane at the Great Barrington Airport, and helped organize the Rotary’s Bike and Fly fundraiser for the last few years. The airport said they will do a flyover at his funeral.

Meyerowitz was also fantastically fit, Robbins said. He loved yoga and acrobatics, and could walk on his hands. He loved his daily workouts at Berkshire South Community Center. When his daughter Gabrielle was young, they started a ritual of going to a yoga class together every week.

Meyerowitz had a profound impact on friends and family in the way he supported and was invested in others’ success. He met life with a smile and warmth and laughter, was present and selfless, and made everyone happy. He was a cheerleader for everyone, Robbins said.

Meyerowitz was a man who loved being alive, Robbins said, adding that it was a life cut short but one well lived. Meyerowitz was a familiar figure in town walking and greeting everyone while walking his beloved dog Jack.

Meyerowitz leaves his wife, Beth Robbins; children Gabrielle, Ari and Noah; brothers, Joel Meyerowitz and his wife, Maggie, and Rick Meyerowitz; Michael and Nicole Robbins, and Julie Robbins; in laws Bruce Robbins and Nancy Flaxman; and numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family and friends, all of whom he loved.

The funeral will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road, Great Barrington, Mass. Burial will follow at Ahavath Sholom Cemetery in Great Barrington.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Steve Meyerowitz Children’s Educational Fund through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family or sign the guestbook go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.


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14 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Andrew Blechman says:

    Speechless. Saw Steve at the Community Cenrer several times every week and always enjoyed hanging out together. Always in a joyful mood, always speaking proudly of his children and his love for them, always a simply wonderful individual to be around. Beyond shocking and tragic. My thoughts are with his family. He will be horribly missed.

  2. Juliet Popper says:

    Ari, our hearts go out to you your family. Your dad raised a wonderful son and he clearly lives on in you❤️

  3. Jennifer Clark says:

    With sadness I write from the house Steve and Beth sold me in 2001 – I have been the custodian of this wonderful place for 15 years. When I first walked into it, I knew a loving and special family had made this home, perhaps outgrown it, and luckily for me, they were ready to hand it off. I sit now in their former dining room, and I think of the hussle, bussle, voices, the good cheer, the home business, the loving vibes. Steve and Beth parented with love and nurturing. Great parents, great kids.

  4. Ellen Ring says:

    My dear Ari, Though I’ve already reached out to you privately I had to comment on Juliet’s comment about you as I couldn’t agree more – your Dad was a special man whose spirit, kindness, humor and love are so evident in you, his wonderful son. Though I only know your siblings through you, I’ve a feeling your Dad’s spirit will live on in all of you. <3

  5. Donata says:

    I’m too sorry! I knew him in Italy at SANA exhibition a few years ago. He was so nice to me!!! I am nearly about to cry…:-(

  6. Thomas Hupp says:

    Dear Steve, Goodbye my dear friend. I miss you already. My main solace is that you had a life extremely well lived. You have been an inspiration to everyone you met. I knew Steve at health food shows around the country, we were business partners as I sold his books for Book Publishing Company. I will treasure our many hours together and send my love and prayers to his wonderful family.
    Sail on my friend to your next adventure go in peace.

    Thomas Hupp

  7. Joan DeBella says:

    When I heard the news I cried.

    I never had the opportunity to meet Steve in person but was on his mailing list and watched many webinars. Was introduced to his products on HA (Rev. George Malkmus) in North Carolina.

    He took the fear of growing sprouts for “older timid”, adults out of the picture. Seventy-eight plus 🙂

    My prayer is that his two sons and wife have the opportunity to continue with his mission. I loved his scientific approach to “healthy” seeds and will pray the family will not let go of his passion.

    The family and future will always be in my prayers.

    joan

  8. Mark Korngute says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss… 💗

  9. Anna says:

    I just saw the “Sprout Brothers’ newsletter and I wondered what happened to Sproutman. I am surprised that it has been over a year since his passing. I was blessed to meet Steve at a Raw Food Festival in Sedona, Arizona several years ago and I also saw him at some other events. Steve was such a kind and caring person who had an infectious enthusiasm for good health. I wish his sons success in their new venture.

  10. Barbara Sanderson says:

    Hi Noah & Ari,

    Thinking about you. Just exploring your web site.

    Love, Barbi

  11. Tiare White says:

    My daughter and I were having breakfast eating our first sprout harvest and came across a video presentation by Steve. We enjoyed his spirit so much we went to the Sproutman site and were so sad to see that he had died in the accident. He was clearly a VERY special person whose legacy does live on and he will be missed – even by us and we’ve only just “met” him via one video. Our condolences to his family. We are so happy to know that his flame burns bright in all of them.

  12. Sandy Weaver says:

    I am very surprised to hear of Steve’s passing. I am so happy to be able to know a little more about him from the above article. I too was born in 1950. I met Steve at the Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona Arizona many years ago and I also ran into him at some event in California. He leaves an impression that one remembers. Very sad to hear he left this Earth. Thank you Steve for all that you taught us and for your contribution to the planet.

  13. Patrick Tool says:

    What a singular guy. A wonderful man. His is the art of a joyful life. 65 going on 25, I say. Nice work, Steve, very nice work.

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