Stephen W. Firmender, 70, of Stratford and Manchester, Vt., husband of 46 years to his childhood sweetheart, Joan Gazley Firmender, died April 15, 2010, in his home, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Bridgeport on Aug. 15, 1939, to the late Stephen and Mary Olivia Firmender and was a lifelong Stratford resident.

A U.S. Army veteran, Firmender was employed at Picker X-Ray Corp. for 20 years. In 1985, he founded Medical Imaging Systems, where he was CEO.

He was a graduate of Stratford High School, class of 1957, graduated from St. Vincent Hospital School of X-Ray and graduated from Bryant College with a degree in business management.

Firmender was a world traveler and enjoyed boating, sailing, fishing and surf-casting, as well as golfing and both downhill and cross- country skiing. Spending time with his family was always his greatest joy.

Firmender was a member of the Milford Yacht Club and Oronoque Golf Club and was a former member of both Bronson Country Club and Mill River Country Club. In earlier years, he was a member of the Stratford Lions Club and the Stratford Jaycees. He was a longtime devout parishioner of St. Mark's Church, where he was a former usher.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, Joan, include his son, Scott M. Firmender and his wife, Holly of Milford; his daughter, Carrie E. Lester and her husband, Randy of Fairfield; four grandchildren, Ethan and Hope Lester and Marshall and Michael Firmender; a brother, Edward Firmender of Asheville, N.C.; two sisters, Dorothy Edgerton of Fairfield and Marion Duch of Melbourne, Fla.; a niece, Donna Milne and her husband, Gordon of Fairfield; as well as several additional nieces and nephews and many treasured friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday in St. Mark Church, Wigwam Lane, Stratford; interment followed in Putney Cemetery, Stratford. Calling hours took place Sunday in The Gregory F. Doyle Funeral Home, 291 Bridgeport Ave., Milford.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Firmender's memory may be made to the Kennedy Center, 30 Lindeman Drive, Trumbull, CT 06611.