The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Silver Taps: Stephen ‘Steve-O’ Oluwafemi Oderinde


February 12, 1997 — January 22, 2024

Stephen “Steve-O” Oderinde

Unwavering, loyal to family and dedicated to his passions.

To change the world, Stephen knew he had to step outside of the box.

At 26 years old, Stephen was already achieving his goal. At Texas A&M, Stephen was completing his master’s degree in microbiology. Stephen’s career was about to take off, and he was set to graduate in May. Stephen was passionate about conducting neuroscience research, and his opinions and contributions were sought after for his previous work in artificial intelligence, his father said.

Raised by his parents Victor and Esther in Houston, Stephen was immensely close with his brothers, Martin and David. Stephen was born in Texas shortly after his parents relocated from Nigeria so his father could complete his medical residency. 

Attending the same Baptist church all his life, Stephen was a faithful Christian, and his father said his strong beliefs led him to study at Baylor University for his undergraduate years. Stephen earned his degree in biochemistry and participated in a medical student organization. Initially, Victor said Stephen wanted to pursue medical school to become a doctor, in hopes of changing the world.

Inspired by his father, a psychiatrist, Stephen was passionate about advancing treatments for mental health. However, along his path to A&M, Stephen fell in love with researching neuroscience. Combining both of his passions, Victor said Stephen realized the best way to help was to step outside of the box and tread on new ground. 

When Stephen was applying for graduate school, he felt attracted to what A&M could offer him. At A&M, he would be closer to his younger brother David, a current student and athlete, and connected to significant research resources. Not only that, Stephen loved the unique atmosphere of Aggieland.

“I think he felt that at A&M, he was able to explore his horizons without feeling like he was hedged in by a boundary,” Victor said. “He felt free to explore the skills he had, and he felt it was more of a laid-back environment compared to Houston, which he liked as well.”

While researching, Stephen studied under professor and neurology researcher Lee Shapiro, Ph.D, for over a year. 

“He was always talking about it,” Victor said. “You could see his face light up when he was talking about brain cells, injured brain cells and what he could do to try to get brain cells repaired … He believed he was going to help find that missing chemical element that will allow brain cells to recover from injury.”

Alongside being a dedicated academic, Stephen was known as a witty, fun and loving person. At A&M, Stephen’s circle was small yet tightly knit, and he spent a lot of his free time with his brother David, often tagging along to hang out with other members of the swim team.  David said one of the best ways they bonded was by playing video games together, such as Smash Bros or Elden Ring, but his overall favorite game was Overwatch.

To his friends, David said Stephen was always very supportive and the “first guy you call when something went wrong.” Recounting a time during his freshman year, David said he was hit by a car and suffered a concussion. 

“I didn’t really remember anything that night,” David said. “He came the next morning just to check on me. I didn’t even know he was coming.”

After Martin got married, Victor said his younger sons grew closer together and were like best friends. Victor said they spent a lot of time together, but all of the brothers always remained very close. When Martin and his wife eventually had their sons, Victor said Stephen loved playing with them. To them, he was their beloved “Uncle Steve.”

Victor said Stephen has always shown great promise. Stephen pushed himself to achieve greatness and participated in a multitude of activities, like his brothers. During his childhood, Stephen practiced taekwondo and obtained his black belt. At school, he even played soccer and football. Likewise, he was an avid music lover and played the saxophone for the band in middle school, and later learned how to play the guitar.

However, one of Stephen’s first signs of greatness was teaching himself how to read.

“I didn’t realize he can read at the age of 3 and a half years,” Victor said. “One day, I went to his room and I saw him flipping from one video game screen to the next one. I’m like, ‘How do you know how to do that?’ He said, ‘Dad, I can read.’ … He started reading words on the screen flawlessly.”

Aside from learning, one of Stephen’s other greatest loves was traveling. Victor said the Oderinde family are all very outdoorsy people, but Stephen first connected with nature as a child in Cub Scouts. Until he was a teenager, Stephen was involved in Boy Scouts, soon earning Eagle Scout honors. Since their mother was an assistant scoutmaster, all of the Oderinde boys were in Boy Scouts, and all were excited to go on camping trips and travel together, his father said. 

David said Stephen loved Dubai, and it was his favorite destination. Stephen loved being physically active while exploring, including snowboarding, zip lining, scuba diving and more.

Above all, Stephen loved his family and friends the most. 

“To our family … [he] was the glue that held everyone together,” his obituary reads. “… In our grief and pain, we gaze upwards and give gratitude to the Lord Almighty for the privilege of having loved Stephen.”

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About the Contributor
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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Comments (7)

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  • J

    JulieMar 11, 2024 at 11:38 am


    A remarkable young man from a remarkable family . I didn’t know him personally , but have worked alongside his dad at different times over the years . I heard many stories about all his sons , and judging by the character of his father , I know that he was an exceptional young man. Prayers always going up for his family

  • M

    Mary NixonMar 6, 2024 at 8:18 am


  • H

    Holly VeechMar 5, 2024 at 10:56 pm

    So very sorry for your profound loss. May you have comfort in your memories and may God be with you all as you grieve.

  • R

    Ricki RyanMar 5, 2024 at 10:27 pm

    In the Aggie Tradition…I offer “Here”….here to represent in your son’s absence but also to say we are ALL “here” to lift you up in prayer, to be “here” for you in your grief.

  • M

    Mary Kaufmann YarbrayMar 5, 2024 at 9:05 pm

    He accomplished so much in such little time. God must have some amazing plans for him in heaven.

  • C

    Candy DayMar 5, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    Wish I had known such a remarkable young man. I’ll look him up when I see him again.

  • D

    Dana PorterMar 5, 2024 at 1:07 pm

    God bless you and your precious family. May you feel God’s love so profoundly in your grief.