A tribute to Steve Stickney

October 17, 2013

EDEN TWP. — This has been a tragic and shocking week for Mason County, particularly the people in the Custer area. First, the news of the passing of 51-year-old Custer Fire Chief John Allison on Sunday night struck everyone hard. Then, on Tuesday, a classmate of John’s (Mason County Eastern Class of 1980), Steve Stickney, also 51, died from an apparent heart attack.

Both were lifelong residents of “South Custer,” as neighbor Deb Laiskonis stated on a Facebook post. Both were givers to their communities.

Dave Purple, also a “South Custer” native, talked about Steve on his Facebook page and gave us permission to share what he wrote:

“When I think of Steve, it is only of the most loving and warm thoughts that will ever come to mind. Steve gave of himself unconditionally to our community, our school, his family, and lastly, which I am most thankful for, my family. We will all love and miss you Steve, but forever remember the great times we shared together.

“Steve and his family, wife Jill, and children Mel, Mike and Laura were always there with all of us whether we were in the gym on the weekends, summer, weekdays, it didn’t matter.” Purple was very active in the MCE basketball program, serving many years as a coach. “Steve helped me raise my two sons, Eric and Kyle with Mike as we hustled a whole crew of boys from their early years together in basketball and also some baseball mixed in. These were some of the most fun and exciting times together while we were all watching our families grow up.

“Our community is so blessed with many loving and caring people, which makes me prouder than words can describe. Forever, we will call Custer home, wherever we are.

“Steve Stickney, I love you and will miss you very much. Thank you for all you did for each and everyone of us! You made our lives a whole let better for having you in it with us. God bess you.”

Steve was a 12-year member of the Mason County Eastern board of education and was also active with Special Olympics. He was also a foreman at the Mason County Road Commission.

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