For thousands of people wanting to start a family, Dr. Stephen Greenhouse was the man who helped make it happen.
The Bethesda resident worked as a fertility doctor for 20 years. The people he worked with at Shady Grove Fertility say their work family will never be the same.
Greenhouse, 53, was killed near Fenwick Island in a watercraft crash Saturday afternoon on Roy’s Creek in Delaware’s Sussex County.
"He was really one of those great guys," said Dr. Robert Stillman, Shady Grove's medical director emeritus.
Stillman was one of Greenhouse’s mentors and said the doctor was incredibly passionate about helping people.
"It drove him, and it brought him to work every day," Sitllman said.
Colleagues say Greenhouse always gave every patient his personal email address and phone number. He told them they could call at any time.
"It’s just going to be a huge loss," said Mark Segal, Shady Grove Fertility’s CEO. The men were friends for decades.
Greenhouse leaves behind a wife and three sons.
Greenhouse was known for telling bad jokes, but people laughed anyway because he was such a good sport.
He also was known for being very serious about treating everyone with respect. If patients were rude, Greenhouse wouldn’t have it.
"If they were ever abusive to a staff member, he would tell them very politely this was not the right place for them to be and maybe they should seek care elsewhere," Segal said.
Greenhouse was operating the personal watercraft on Saturday when he collided with another personal watercraft, Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police said in a statement.
The Maryland State Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy to determine what caused his death. The crash is still under investigation.
Segal said the thing about Greenhouse he will miss the most is Greenhouse’s friendship. The doctor treated everyone with respect no matter who they were.
"You don’t always get a chance to say whatever it is you want to say tomorrow," Seagal said. "Do it today. Love your family, hug your family."