Steve was a fighter, and did not go gently into that good night. Diagnosed with hydrocephalus dementia in 2017, he never admitted there was anything wrong with him. Even after breaking his hip in 2018, he still claimed to walk as well as anyone, resisting use of cane or walker, making his last two years in care facilities quite challenging. Steve passed away October 22, 2020 at Swedish hospital.
Steve was born in Minneapolis, MN on January 1, 1944 to Harrison Wilson and Bernice Stevenson. He grew up in Golden Valley, a suburb of Minneapolis. He was a boy scout and earned his eagle scout badge. He attended the University of Minnesota (1961-1965) where he majored in geography and was in ROTC. He entered the navy and served on the USS Kittyhawk. It was during the Vietnam war but the Kitty hawk never saw action. Steve left the navy and entered Oregon State University in Corvallis Oregon where he majored in resource geography, earning a Master’s degree in 1969. There he met his wife Louise Kulzer, and they were married in July 1969. They left Oregon for more schooling, this time at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. After leaving Kansas, Steve and Louise chose to return to the west coast, settling in Seattle, where they lived ever since. While in Seattle, Steve worked mainly in the area of real estate appraisal, mainly commercial property appraisal. After retiring, Steve went back to school at the University of Washington, earning a master’s of Social Work degree in 2011. To celebrate this achievement, Steve and Louise spent a month driving the Blue Ridge Parkway where Steve connected more fully with the bluegrass music he loved.
Steve enjoyed hiking and birdwatching. In later life he would memorize the Latin names of wetland plants to “exercise his brain.” He also had a long-term project of memorizing the periodic table of elements. Steve did volunteer work for Seattle Tilth and the Seattle AIDS Support Group for many, many years. He joined University Meeting in the 1990s helping where he felt led. Steve also volunteered with North Pacific Yearly Meeting helping organize many annual meetings.
Steve and Louise raised three children: Christopher, Alexander and Benjamin Wilson. When the kids were small, he liked to read them stories, especially Mr. Gumpy’s Outing. When they were in elementary school, Steve would like to wake them early on Saturday mornings by playing Copeland and Dvorak, turning the volume up very loud for selected passages. He thought that was really funny.
Steve is also survived by a sister, Mary Ellen Bennett who lives in Orono, MN. The family will have a private ceremony in spring to remember Steve and scatter ashes at a favorite birding spot after the COVID pandemic is over.