Steven T. Puglia, 52

Posted on Dec 13, 2013


December 10, 2013, Steven Puglia passed away peacefully at home in the presence of family after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.  Steve’s lifelong passion for photography began with a high school class and continued with a darkroom set up in his parent’s laundry room. Steve attended Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied photographic science and earned his BFA in Fine Art Photography.  He worked at the Northeast Document Conservation Center duplicating historic negatives from cultural institutions before studying at the University of Delaware where he earned an MFA in Photography.  While at UD he met his future wife, Sarah Wagner (a photograph conservator), and many colleagues in photographi preservation, the field that would become his career and avocation.

Steve worked as a Preservation and Imaging Specialist in the reformatting labs at the National Archives and Records Administration from 1988 to 2011, where he set up and became manager of the first digital imaging department and worked on the preservation of records of the government, setting standards and developing new methods.  Since 2011 he was employed at the Library of Congress as manager of Digital Conversion Services.  He was actively involved in his profession, chairing several committees in international standards, lecturing at numerous conferences and workshops, training interns and staff.  His many colleagues around the world will miss his expertise and willingness to share his knowledge, his quiet reserve, kindness and intellect.

In his free time, Steve was an avid reader of science fiction, took classes in timber framing, loved all things dealing with automobiles, nature, visiting New Hampshire, and taking long walks or canoeing along the C&O canal.  He continued to practice his photographic art until his illness.  Despite his professional work in digital imaging, he always said he would prefer to make his prints handcrafted in a traditional chemical darkroom rather than spending time in front of a computer tweaking pixels.

He will be missed greatly by many friends and his family, including Sarah his loving wife of 23 years, brothers Charles (Kathryn) and Alan (Karen), nephew Christopher and niece Alysha (Stephen), mother-in-law Barbara, sisters-in-law Deborah and Brenda, and brother-in-law Paul.

A memorial service will be scheduled for early January.  The funeral will be private and Steve’s ashes will be scattered in New Hampshire along a woodland brook he loved.  A mass for the repose of the soul will be held at St. Michael’s the Archangel in Silver Spring, 7pm December 22.
Donations may be made to:
Remote Area Medical
Food and Friends
Montgomery Hospice