It is with deep sadness that we share that our beloved teacher, mentor and friend, Andy Stapp, passed away peacefully on the morning of September 3rd. For our community, it is a loss almost beyond words. We were privileged to have Andy Stapp at our school for thirty-two wonderful years. He taught three generations of Hudson School students and will never be forgotten.
On Saturday, November 1st, Mr. Stapp’s family held a memorial service at the 1199 Service Worker’s Union Hall in New York featuring Mr. Stapp’s longtime friends and comrades. Andy’s old friends shared stories of his days as a organizer and bold agitator in the anti-war, anti-racist, anti-bigotry and anti-imperialist movements of the 60s and 70s. Throughout the night we heard about Mr. Stapp’s remarkable intelligence, his wit, his kindness and, above all, his passionate advocacy of the oppressed. Hudson alumni in attendance included: Mr. Stapp’s daughter Kitty Stapp MS ‘83, Yotam Marom ‘04 and Anschel Schaffer-Cohen ‘11 – each of whom spoke, Sara Herrera MS ‘86, Gabe Hernandez MS ‘99, Sara Barnes ‘06, Steven Cornell ‘97, Ezra Miller ‘10, Jeremy Pesner ‘05,and Justin Cornell ‘05. Hudson faculty in attendance included: Suellen Newman, Charles Case, Anne-Marie Marcazzo, Catharine Baldwin, Gerri Wasserman, Kathy Prussack, Bruce Prussack, Jerry Coggins, Lisa Wittner and Chris Stodolski. We were each moved and inspired by Andy’s legacy of courage and advocacy. We look forward to the evening November 25th when the Hudson School community will come together to celebrate our remarkable teacher, mentor and friend. We hope that alumni will reach out and share their memories of Mr. Stapp. Please see the invitation here.
ANDREW STAPP was born in Philadelphia in 1944. In 1964-1965, he took part in archaeological expeditions in Egypt (Luxor) and Greece (Corinth). In 1966 he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he started the radical American Servicemen’s Union. He wrote about his military experience in the book Up Against the Brass, published by Simon and Schuster in 1970. Mr. Stapp taught history at The Hudson School from 1982 to 2014.
Yotam Marom ‘04
Yesterday, Andy Stapp – my former high school teacher, a friend and a mentor – passed away. Back in the day, Andy burned his draft card, and then decided to enlist in order to organize from inside and stop the war in Vietnam. He founded the American Servicemen’s Union, organizing hundreds of thousands of enlisted soldiers from here to Vietnam, playing a part in finally ending the war. Much later, when I was in high school, he taught me history. I learned more smoking cigarettes and talking revolution on lunch breaks with him and Dr. Case than in most of the rest of my high school career combined, and it was in his footsteps that I went to my first protests against the war in Iraq – my own entryway into the movement, now more than a decade ago. He was always kind and humble and generous, had a hearty laugh, cared about real people even more than big ideas, and really believed in the movement and the struggle for a new world. Andy had his flaws too, and actually it’s one of the things I thank him for; alongside everything else, there was something tragic about him, something heart-broken, and that’s how I learned that heroes are real people – even the ones you read about in books (like his book, Up Against the Brass, which was part of my journey into political consciousness). And still, none of that ever took away from how much he gave and how many of us he shaped. He was larger than life, truly. What an honor, to be taught history by someone who made so much of it. Miss you already, Mr. Stapp.
Catherine Cookie White (Hudson Parent)
A truly amazing man to have touched so many lives. He lit the spark, then watched it burn… R I P Mr. Stapp… you were an inspiration for my son, he loved you as a teacher… thank you for your influence in his life…
Chloe Estes ‘09
RIP Andy Stapp What accomplishments, knowledge, and so much kindness. Thank you.
Meredith May Jolivert MS ‘86
What a tremendous loss. He was a truly brilliant man and teacher.
Nadia Oatridge (Former Hudson Faculty)
He was, beyond everything else, one of the kindest people I have known.
Adam Anthony Harriott ‘10
Even in a school so full of amazing and dedicated teachers as Hudson, Mr. Stapp shone bright as a diamond.
Robin Claire McGrath ‘05
Dear Mr. Stapp,
Thanks for showing me that history teachers could also be the ones making history. You were a wonderful teacher and a lovely human being. You will be so missed.
Peter Kapelyan ‘95
One of my favorite teachers ever, he knew EVERYTHING.
Olivia Newman ‘96
What a unique and beautiful soul! His incredible lessons, stories, humor and great big heart will be so, so missed! RIP Mr Stapp.
Carrie Pearlman ‘12
Taking the time to look back on the life of a man who lived such an incredible and special life, Andy Stapp. He was a wealth of knowledge, a kind soul to everyone he met, and a role model for what an educator should look like. His students will continue to tell his stories for generations to come. Mr. Stapp made a great impression on every person he met and he will be greatly missed. RIP