Our dear Steve passed away on May 20, 2018, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease and multiple myeloma cancer.
He is sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his family and friends. His kindness, good sense of humor, and artistic talents touched the lives of the many people he met on his path through this world.
Steve was born on June 19, 1948, in Altadena, California. At the age of ten, his family moved to Vashon Island where he remained most of his life. Steve was a “true” islander. He loved Vashon and the people who lived there. In his later years he became an unofficial “historian” of the island, even giving the KOMO news in Seattle the straight scoop on the bicycle in the tree.
He loved being on the water and enjoyed restoring and sailing two sailboats on Puget Sound. He was very involved with island environmental issues and spent many hours in the restoration of Judd Creek.
Steve is survived by his wife and caregiver Julia Lakey; his daughters Coriel, Kaleena, and Christa and step-daughter Megan Gage; his grandchildren Tyler, Kali, Monet, Isabelle, and Ilan; and his sister Marsha Feller.
Steve had a warm, cheerful, and thankful heart. We are all grateful to our Creator for the tender, loving care to Steve throughout his life.
“… surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
STEVE’S MUSICAL LEGACY
Steve’s musical legacy spans five decades, multiple instruments, and many bands. He played clarinet, saxophone, percussion, drums, harmonica, guitar, and flute.
Steve began performing at Vashon teen dances in the early 1960s. He was in a rock band performing with musicians twice his age. In 1964 he put together a band to play at a high school dance. The Plymouth Rockers became highly successful, playing at local teen dances and the first Vashon street dance in June 1965. Steve was proud that the Plymouth Rockers and then Gazebo were the first Vashon groups to do studio recordings and play in the largest NW dance halls. He encouraged local musicians to dream big and develop their musicianship.
Steve moved to San Francisco for the Summer of Love in 1967 and heard all the famous and emerging bands that played weekly at the Fillmore. Then Vashon drew him back and he formed the Doily Brothers rock band. The Doilies recorded and played throughout the NW in the early ’70s.
Steve’s first musical love was blowing saxophone solos on old standards he’d grown up listening to in his family home. He teamed up with Skip Bartells to form the London Flu in the 1970s. He played saxophone, flute, and harmonica for the band.
With a growing family, Steve played gigs closer to home. He joined the Portage Fill, directed the music at the Presbyterian Church, and taught students for three decades.
In the late 1970s, Steve added to his musical range as an original member of Cambria Chamber Ensemble. He contributed creative ideas for arrangements as well as strong musicality. A 1977 concert at the high school was one of the first large, acoustic, classical music events on Vashon.
Steve played with the Vashon country folk-rock band SST in the 1980s. He also played local and regional events in The Island Jazz Ensemble in the 1990s.
Musicians who played with him commented that once alongside him, they were learning from him. Steve was exceptionally talented; on each instrument, he played with great technique and a warm, expressive tone. His music spanned genres and decades.
The memorial will be Saturday, June 30, at 2 pm at the Episcopal Church. Musicians should bring their instruments to join Randy Bruce on keyboard during the reception. Folks with limited mobility can come in downstairs to remotely view the memorial and then enjoy the reception on the same level. A Story Room during the reception allows people to record their favorite memory of Steve.
Donations in Steve’s name may be made to the Senior Center or any organization serving people with Parkinson’s or cancer.