Stephen D. Ousley, age 61, passed away on Sunday, November, 6th 2022 at home. He was born on the 10th of March 1961 in Cheverly, MD as the third child of the late Gilbert Wesley Ousley and Mary Faye Ousley.
Steve received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Maryland in 1985, and his Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Tennessee in 1993 and 1997, respectively.
He had a long and productive career as Biological Anthropologist and Data Scientist. Among other positions, he was the Director of the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He subsequently taught as an Assistant and, later, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Data Science at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA , and finally as Adjunct Professor at the University of Tennessee. After his retirement he remained very active in research projects with colleagues. He was author or co-author of numerous publications and a recipient of many research grants.
Steve greatly enjoyed collaborating with his colleagues, contributing much to the research and the pleasure of traveling to work in museums all over the world. With his friend and doctoral supervisor Professor Richard Jantz, he was the primary developer of the internationally used software FORDISC that has become the international standard in forensic practice. The impact of his work is felt in many different areas of anthropological and forensic research where he made significant contributions that enhance our understanding of the archaeological past, modern human variation, quantitative genetics, skeletal biology, and medicolegal investigations. He was notable for his generosity and humility in research collaborations, and much sought after for his perceptive and always helpful anthropological and statistical input and advice.
Steve was a wonderful and openhearted person, and a devoted, caring, and faithful friend. He touched the lives of so many people, and was always generous with his time and energy. He had a special sense of humor and he loved to laugh. He was a creative host, a careful listener and a thoughtful human being.
He loved traveling, the arts and music, reading, and had a passion for film and history. He loved spending time in Germany with his wife, their family, and numerous friends there. He spoke German fluently, loved the German way of life and the beer. He loved to have fun.
He left behind his wife Gudrun Richter, his siblings Deborah Barrett (Wendell) and Wes Ousley (Cindy), and his nieces and nephews Shannon Wood, Lisa Williams, Lauren Knausenberger, Sean Barrett and Scott Ousley.