I just got the very sad news that a former colleague died last week. I only had the pleasure of working with him for a year, but it has hit me square in the chest. Steve was a very special soul. His caring, funny, and passionate nature was immediately obvious from the day I met him. When the world loses a light, especially one so bright, how can it not darken the mind, body, and soul?
Steve was a remarkable person. He cared so passionately about the people and the world around him that he spent the week in DC to work for UCS, returning to be home with his wife in Afton, VA only on the weekends (a commute of about 3 hours each way).
Steve joined us to work on biofuels. Before Steve, we’d dabbled, but did not have the capacity to dive in with much depth. Steve helped us open the door wide on a difficult issue that has only gotten trickier since. He was a talented engineer who dove into the numbers and helped us all better understand the technology and its issues. He also had an impressive knack for visualizing concepts. In working on a report he would sift through photos, cartoons, or easy-to-read graphics that made the science explainable—always with a big smile on his face as he quested to find just the right one.
We at UCS will always be indebted to him for his contributions. And I will always be indebted to him because of how he helped me open my mind with his work and with stories of his life, his travels, his wonderful wife, and his farm.
After UCS, Steve shared his passion and knowledge by teaching science and engineering to middle and high school students before eventually returning to work as an engineer.
Though his loss brings darkness, Steve’s memory, like his life, brings light.
Photo used with permission from Steve’s Facebook page.