Thoughts & Well Wishes

Joel Yang | Nov 24, 2019
It was amazing seeing how many people came out today to paddle in honor of Steve.

the link below is some video footage taken by Rod Parmenter from the event
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Mike Stevens | Nov 22, 2019

I wrote this the other day but didn’t post it, thinking, as we all do in all things, that I had time.  Yesterday I learned that Steve has passed away.  My heart goes out to the family, and to all the people who were fortunate enough to cross paths with this remarkable man.  Here is what I wrote the other night.

I met Steve through my soon-to-be wife Sharree, about 10 years ago.  Steve didn’t know me from Adam but he knew Sharree very well from the many years of their families raising kids together, with soccer and skiing and sailing and school and all that the Gorge offers.  Steve immediately and very simply just accepted me, like I had known him for years, and we hit it off pretty well.  Now, I can’t say I became one of the inner circle of deep friends like so many of the other folks posting here, but I’m grateful for the happy and comfortable friendship we’ve had over these few years.

Sharree and I have had some emotional talks about Steve’s illness and it often comes up that it’s difficult to know what to say to a friend who is dying.  A few years back I came across a quote on the subject that struck a chord with me and I thought I’d pass it on.  Here it is, for you, Steve:  “There are a whole bunch of us who love you.  When you die, a part of us each one of us dies and goes with you, wherever you go.  You won’t be alone.”

Adding to that quote I can personally say that wherever you are going, Steve, it will be a better place because you are there.  You have made a beautiful, loving impact on this Earth, and that spirit will always be yours and will always be with you.  Tailwinds as you fly west, my friend.

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Christopher Farro (Bobo Twin #1) | Nov 21, 2019

Oh man, where do I begin with the impact that you had on my life! I always tell people that ask me how I learned to ski that "I don't remember learning how to ski!"! I was quite literally born into skiing and I have to credit my parents and you for that. Cooper Spur days are some of the earliest memories I have; getting teased by "Mighty(ier) Mites", getting loaded and launched on the T-Bar, rain or shine training days, it was all so instrumental in making me the skier I am today. While Caleb and I weren't always the most fond of "ski racing", we sure did love to get air under our skis and I think that may be the reason I only finished 2 races in one of my faster seasons on skis! While you were one of my favorite ski coaches at Cooper Spur, I do have to say that Coach Will beat you for the #1 spot because he would let Caleb and I slip off into the trees to build jumps :) OH, and while we're on the topic of skiing, tune into X-Games on Jan 22nd-25th because Caleb and I are filming LIVE follow-cams of Ski and Snowboard Big Air; it's a modest 120' jump! It's going to be a blast to hit the biggest jump in all of skiing; and for some reason they are silly enough to pay us handsomely to do it!! Anyways, thank you for contributing to my love and proficiency at skiing!  

8th Grade! Still 4 years from hitting puberty, 4'11" and a whopping 72 lbs (Yes, these are the stats on my driver's permit), you visited our class to speak about the community, your involvement with Big Winds among other things. After class, you came up to me and said you were impressed with my questions and attentiveness and offered me a job that summer if I wanted one! I wasn't a windsurfer yet, but you took the risk to let me join the elite ranks of the Hooker's! There I met Andy Crafts (still one of my best friends!), learned to windsurf (and kite!), maybe drove the Big Winds Vans a little too fast, and ended up having a 5 (maybe 6) year stint with Big Winds! Thank you so much for giving me my first job, continually correcting me on my verbal grammar, and again, being instrumental in me learning another of my favorite sports!  Unlike skiing though, I very very much remember the learning curve of windsurfing and those pesky water-starts!

Thank you for all you have done for so many. You always always greeted me with a smile and made me want to be the best version of myself. Stay strong and keep fighting!


PS - With your Alaskan background, I thought you would be happy to hear that this recent May, on the 29th to be exact, I summited Denali! Together with my two teammates, unassisted and unguided, it was absolutely the hardest 17 days of our lives! 
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Cathy Higgins | Nov 20, 2019
Steve, Ginny, Jody and Erin,
Our first fall living here in 2000 Steve opened the CSRT meeting and I knew we'd found a tribe of both sport and family. More recently we've shared river time in the outrigger.  Brief compared to such a full life but precious and rich exposures to Steve's spirit that shines in every environment.  I am sending your family a full heart of memories and love.  We shall all paddle forward.  Cathy
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Mark Ames | Nov 20, 2019
Dear Steve,


I will forever cherish our friendship, and it's been an honor and my privilege to work side by side with you and share the wind, waves, mountains and trails with you for the past 30+ years! I'm so proud to call you my friend and partner, and will always think of you, Ginny, Erin and Jodie as family. Sending a massive hug your way and wishing you nothing but comfort and peace. See you on the other side buddy, Love Mark
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Dana Love | Nov 20, 2019



Lately I have been using the term "back in the day" a lot. The term brings a big smile to my face as I reflect back on this fantastic wave (life) we have had a chance to ride. We are lucky to have found this little corner of the world where we have been able to connected so well with friends, family, nature, and so thankfully that I have had a chance to share some of it with you.


Dana Love

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Sally LaVenture | Nov 18, 2019
Dear Steve and family, 
Thank you so much for the update Jodie. I am sure it is not easy to write those words, but somehow you managed to reach out to a huge community who all love and support your family and Steve. What a beautiful thing. I was just in Boston sitting with my father the day before he died on Friday at age 97, which is much easier to understand, but still hard. That peaceful sleep is a blessing really, for everyone, especially for Steve. I had time to talk to my father, hold his hand, and I am convinced that he heard at least some of what I had to say despite being asleep for most all of my time with him. It can be a special time, one I felt privileged to be a part of. I send much love to you all and hope that Steve can have a peaceful ending surrounded by family or perhaps on his own. Don’t be disappointed if Steve chooses a time when he is alone, sometimes that is what the dying person needs. I arrived 15 minutes after my father died in the morning, which was hard for me, but knowing my father, he didn’t want to upset anyone by dying in their presence. A true Southern gentleman until the end. Love to you all, Sally LaVenture
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Warren Morgan | Nov 18, 2019
Steve and family,

Having been through my own loss I can begin to imagine your thoughts and feelings now.  I would like to say what a pleasure and honor it has been to know Steve over these many years.  I enjoyed and looked forward to stopping in to Big Winds, chatting with Steve and all the other staff.  Maybe too often I left with a new, unplanned purchase.  But I always felt good about it.  The friendliness and service at the store was wonderful.  Steve’s many contributions to our community are greatly appreciated.  I hope these coming days are as happy and comfortable as can be.

I’ve added a couple of stills from a video from ages ago, showing that even the best of Gorge athletes have to endure a learning curve sometimes.

My best wishes,
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Angie Fields | Nov 17, 2019
Our hearts are full after our visit today. Through tears and a little chuckling, we feel so fortunate to have held your hand and just be silent in your presence ♥️

I am overwhelmingly grateful for the blessing that it has been to get to know you. You are an incredible human being Steve. No matter what crazy and unfair curveballs life may throw, you have been a light, a force of good and an example of integrity and grit to all who know you. 

Thank you for simply being you. I love you. 💕

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Susan Jones | Nov 17, 2019
Hey, Steve,
Remember when we were in high school, in Houston, and Dad would take us down to the Gulf for you guys to surf?  The water was so salty we had to take water with us to rinse off with.  “Anything to catch a wave” was pretty much Dad’s philosophy and it rubbed off on you.  You were right on that interview—saltwater DNA.
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