Many of you know, my father in law passed last Friday. Although he was not the type to join an internet forum such as this, he would have fit perfectly on this forum. I was privileged to know him, my son was privileged to know his Papa for the time he did and my wife loved him dearly. You all at least deserve to meet him.
Steve was born in Everitt as the son of a policeman who eventually became chief of the local police. His father Loren exposed him to the Washington outdoors and the hunting, fishing and shooting to be done there. He married Debbie in 1979. They moved to Alaska in 1984 after having their first child, Nick. They had two more, my beautiful wife Shayna and her younger brother Jake. They originally lived in Anchorage, but built their own house in Peters Creek and have lived there since 1994, I think. Steve worked for GCI until full term retirement which he began two years ago. He lost his battle to lung cancer last Friday.
Like any hunter/fisher, Steve had moved to the ‘Promised Land’ and wasted no time in getting out into the great outdoors. He took moose, caribou, black bear, Kodiak deer and has been part of brown bear hunts. You name it, he’s fished it. A back injury in the late 90’s curtailed most of his outdoors activities but he maintained an annual trip to Talkeetna to fish for silvers. He frequently brought the whole family along, especially fishing and camping. My wife still remembers the annual summer trip to fish as some of her favorite family memories. My family was similar (different river, same tradition) and I intend to keep that tradition as long as my kids live in this state. Few things are as fun and memorable as family fish camp in the Alaska sun (or rain).
Although he was past his prime outdoor days, Steve was the supreme storyteller/advice giver/total bull****er as long as I knew him. He was always ready and willing to tell me stories about Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Cantwell or wherever else he had been. He was always ready to talk guns, reloading, animals, hunting areas and all other forms of life (family, kids, finances, cars, home repair). I could tell he was pleased that his daughter had married some guy who shared some things with him and I felt warmth from him about the status of our life. That’s a blessed thing, to know that your in-laws actually approve of you. Not that it matters, but still….