The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 11, March 17, 2019, Article 9


Paper money author Steve Whitfield passed away on March 4, 2019. Here's an excerpt from his online obituary. -Editor

Col. Steven K. Whitfield Col. Steven Kent Whitfield 78, (U.S. Army, Retired) passed away peacefully in his home on Monday, March 4th after a long illness. He was surrounded by his wife and children.

He was born in Providence, RI to George E. & Grace K. Whitfield in November 1940. He proudly served 26 years as an officer and engineer in the U.S. Army. During his military career he attended Ranger School, Airborne School, Command General Staff College, completed two tours in Vietnam, and was awarded 2 Bronze Stars, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals.

Upon retiring from the military, he continued his work in the engineering field. He was a passionate historian and numismatist and is a published author on these topics.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Diana (Cabral) Whitfield, two children, Stephanie Kent Nielsen of Papillion, NE, and Jill Kent Whitfield-Wooley (and husband, Daryle) of Elkhorn, WI. He was a grandfather to Grace Kent Nielsen and William Darin Nielsen, and great-grandfather to Georgiana Whitfield Hunt.

He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was happiest spending time with his family, working on his hobby, spending time by the ocean, and sharing funny stories. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy continues through his family who loved him deeply.

Steve will be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society ( or the American Parkinson Disease Association (

To read the complete article, see:
Obituary for Col. Steven K. Whitfield (

Kansas Obsolete Notes and Scrip book cover Kansas Paper Money book cover

Wendell Wolka writes:

Steve was an old school paper money guy, always on the hunt for the historical info on his bank notes and other areas of interest to him. He authored two well written and researched books on Kansas obsolete notes. A fine gentleman always willing to lend a hand and share what he knew. I will miss him.

Mark Anderson writes:

He was a big part of the Society of Paper Money Collectors, wrote a column, and was very much a gentleman.

Loren Gatch of the SPMC writes:

Steven Whitfield began publishing in our journal as early as 1972, and did so for nearly forty years, in the last years as a columnist. He was also an officer of the SPMC, and served the organization in several capacities.

Whitfield published numerous articles in Paper Money, Bank Note Reporter, and The Check List, the official publication of the Check Collectors Round Table. His book on Kansas paper money won a Numismatic Literary Guild Extraordinary Merit Award in 2010, as well as runner-up for the SPMC's Wismer Award for Book of the Year.

Peter Huntoon writes:

My last contact with him at an International Paper Money Show or some such convention several years ago was after he had retired from the military. At that time, he was genuinely enthusiastic and energized by his current work for the Army Corps of Engineers on their major environmental restoration project to restore the hydrologic integrity of the Everglades in Florida. They were attempting to mitigate earlier work where land speculators had attempted to drain the Everglades, which partially dewatered the place thus causing major havoc to wildlife of every type including birds, fish and animals.

He was a key player in the construction of huge-scale levee water-retention and controlled-water-release structures that were designed to retard the runoff of fresh water from the Everglades swamps to the ocean. If I recall correctly, he mentioned that the project also was designed to facilitate recharge of surface water into the Floridan limestone aquifer under the Everglades region in order to mitigate sea water intrusion into that aquifer along the coast, which was despoiling aquifer water quality. This project was and continues to be a world-scale environmental restoration project that involved the heaviest of machinery and logistics.

I recall him telling me that he was living every civil engineer's dream by marshalling that scope of work using that scale of machinery supported by that size of a budget. He simply wasn't the least bit interesting in retiring. What I don't know is who he was working for; that is, as a direct contractor to the Army Corps of Engineers or one of the major engineering/construction contractors carrying out the work. In terms of his professional career, this was an achievement for which he wanted to be remembered.

In numismatics, he collected and delved into the history of obsolete and national currency from the locations he lived in, first Kansas, then Rhode Island and lastly Florida. He published as widely on at least Kansas and Rhode Island as the demands on his time from his professional life permitted.

Sorry to hear this. Thanks to Loren Gatch and others for alerting me to the news. -Editor

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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