February 28th, 1953 — May 6th, 2019
Steve passed away in his sleep Monday, May 6th. This ended his long battle living with ‘Pick’s dementia’ now referred to as FTD. He was born in Portland, Oregon, however moved shortly thereafter to Tacoma. He attended Charles Wright Academy but finished his education at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria, B.C. Later, he graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Hotel Management. He embarked on a career dedicated to ‘green furniture,’ ultimately forming his own firm called Resource 3 Northwest. His office/gallery was located in various areas in Seattle but he sold the business in 2015 and retired.
Steve had a long love affair with Vashon beginning with childhood excursions to the island. He loved the natural world he encountered there as well as Vashon’s rusticity. He even rented a weekend home on the island before purchasing, with his partner Greg Arne, a romantic beach house built in 1906 at Cove near the Westside Highway at SW 151st Street. He immediately got involved in community service and was instrumental in helping to preserve and establish the ‘Friends of Fern Cove.’
Tiring of daily commutes to the mainland he designed a small café in the early 1990s called ‘The Dogday Café’ which became a much-loved destination for locals. Steve was admired for his loving nature, physical beauty, charisma, aesthetics, professionalism, and success in providing wonderful food in a lovely environment when the island had only a few other choices. However, he sold the café in the mid-1990s to return to his former occupation devoted to furniture. When he sold the furniture business in 2015 he retired to the ‘Bluff House’ built on a cliff above his old beach house. He was most at peace working in his vegetable garden.
He traveled extensively around the world including Japan, Indonesia, much of Europe and to many National Parks in America with his longtime partner, Terry Welch whom he married in 2013. They lived with one another for almost 26 years.
Steve is survived by his husband Terry, brother Michael, sister-in-law Donna, nieces and nephews, and his beloved dogs, Petey, Bear, and Chico. He was particularly fond of his long-time office manager and frequent caregiver, Jolene Yelken as well as a large coterie of very close personal friends. Although there will be a celebration of Steve’s life later this year, he was hoping that if anyone would care to send me their remembrances, appreciations, or antidotes relating to their relationship with Steve, it would be greatly appreciated. Those could be sent to Terry Welch at 12423 SW 151st Street, Vashon.
If anyone cares to make a donation in Steve’s memory, he was a strong advocate of the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, the Heritage Museum, and the Vashon Opera Company.