Steve was married to his beloved wife Donna Auch for 12 1/2 years. He was an extraordinary “father” to her three children, Brad, Laura, and Heather. He always asked his grandchildren, “Who’s a genius?” to which they would reply, “Pop-Pop Steve” and give him the thumbs up. When they heard he died, one of his grandchildren said, “God must have needed a genius.”
He was an avid competitive bicyclist for many years. He loved to play golf and was an avid sports fan. His enthusiasm for and optimistic view of his beloved Indianapolis Colts football team was well known.
The firefighters in Steve’s battalion would be the first to say they had the best battalion chief on the job: “He was knowledgeable and fair. He really took care of his firefighters.”
“Two other adjectives that describe him are humble and self-deprecating. He had a great sense of humor,” said close friend Chief Dan Hansman.
Steve was one of the original IFD members who worked on FDIC since its first year in Indianapolis in 1995. He worked tirelessly and without complaint year-round on every aspect of FDIC planning—from obtaining sites for hands-on training to lining up local dignitaries to speak at the Opening Ceremony to obtaining “firehouse” furniture for the stage for Bruno “Unplugged,” an FDIC favorite.
FDIC Education Director Bobby Halton reflected: “Steve was an outstanding officer. He carried himself with a dignity and grace that was unflappable. Steve championed ethics and professionalism and was giving to beyond expectation. All who knew him called him their friend, and they were well justified in doing so. No one was ever more honest in his dealings with his fellow firefighters and friends. The fire service is better for having had Steve for as long as we have. We honor Steve’s life, we grieve deeply for our loss, for Donna his wife’s loss. We pray for his family, we offer them whatever they need from Steve’s other family of firefighters who are mourning with them across America.”
Halton continued: “I am reminded of these words when I think of Steve, his personality and character. Steve loved his work, he loved his FDIC, he loved his city, he loved his family, he loved ‘Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.’ God bless you, Steve. May the angels carry you home to your rewards for life well lived and for all you have given to all of us. We will remember you forever.”
Funeral arrangements are pending. Send cards and condolences to Steve’s beloved wife Donna at 1605 Forest Commons Court, Avon, IN 46123.