Remembering Steve...

We met on a Sierra Club hike in the Columbia Gorge in May, 1984. He was cute and funny, and he loved hiking. He would have hiked every day if he could have.

His love of the outdoors grew through Boy Scouts, but he also learned the Scout Law, and took it to heart: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Steve was all of these (well, okay--maybe not so thrifty.)

Steve loved and cared about people. When, at age 52, he retired from a successful technical writing career at Intel, it was to help others full-time through his volunteer work. He enjoyed volunteering at the Arboretum, the Nature Park, and Boy Scouts. But it was when our son, David, played in the school band that Steve found his home at Aloha High. He virtually lived at the school, even after David graduated.

When he wasn't writing band newsletters, he was setting up a student peer tutoring system or advising students about how much college costs, why it was important to go to college, and what actions they needed to take to get to college. He was most proud of his advocacy for students who were at risk of not graduating. He made it his personal goal to assist these students by working with their parents, teachers, and counselors, and by tutoring them. And quite the tutor he was. He bolstered their self-esteem and confidence as well as their academic knowledge.

When Steve was no longer able to walk because of his ALS, I thought surely his biggest disappointment would be the loss of his hiking. But he surprised me by saying he'd be fine as long as he could continue to help kids and teachers at school.

Steve was brilliant in so many ways. He was a born navigator. He loved math and science. He was well read, and kept up with current events. He loved having heated conversations about politics with family and friends. He was also a great writer, and a natural poet. Steve particularly delighted in playing with words and telling jokes to make us laugh.

Family was important. Steve loved being David's dad. He was so very, very proud of the moral, caring, fun, accomplished young man David has become. He often told me that having David was the most rewarding, fulfilling experience of his life.

Steve loved his mom, and in the past few years, they talked every day on the phone. Steve adored his brother, Rob, too. When Steve became ill, Rob made even his busy law practice come second to flying up from southern California to brighten Steve's days. Rob and Steve spent countless hours together reading and talking and playing games.

Steve also treasured his many friends who, even when Steve could no longer hike, walked along-side him faithfully each week as he rolled through the Nature Park he loved.

Steve loved people, he loved the outdoors, he loved life.

- Teri Sall

Photos - Steve and Family
Steve Sall

Interview with Steve Sall

Steve Sall