Steve knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a career firefighter for the City of Pasco, Washington. After graduating from high school, Steve enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served four years. When he completed his military service, he returned home and began working towards becoming a career firefighter. Steve started his fire career as a volunteer with Franklin County Fire District No. 3. In 1978, he was hired by the City of Kennewick, Washington. Steve was a dedicated second-generation firefighter who faithfully served his community and was deeply committed to providing his community with the highest quality service in everything he did. Steve was proud to be part of the first graduating paramedic class in southeastern Washington.
In 2000, once the kids were raised, he also started working on an incident management team, first as a supply unit leader then as a logistics section chief. His commitment to the incident management team brought him to various forest fires in the Northwest and numerous disasters and emergencies across the United States, including spending three weeks in New York City after 9/11 helping with the recovery efforts. During this time, he was exposed to what would eventually cause the rare blood cancer that later would take his life.
In 2011, Steve retired from the Kennewick Fire Department. In retirement, he continued to volunteer his time and expertise at many community events. He also continued to serve on the incident management team, which took him across the Pacific Northwest to manage major incidents. In 2018, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer directly connected to his service in New York following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Steve fought a final two-year battle for his life, head on, with bravery. Despite the numerous ups and downs in his prognosis, Steve maintained a positive attitude throughout his illness.
Steve was passionate and devoted to his career as a firefighter. Before his death, he was asked if he would still have helped with the recovery efforts had he known he would become ill. Without hesitation, the answer was yes.
Those who knew Steve would describe him as a devoted husband, father, and friend. He adored both his children and was proud of all their accomplishments. His granddaughter, Madilynn, was the apple of his eye.
Steve will be greatly missed by those he left behind, including his wife, Kathleen; son, Bryan (Kristi); daughter, Laurie; granddaughter, Madilynn; sister, Jane; and the many other relatives and friends in his life.