Steve Waldron, 53, died April 18, 2009, at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise
There will be a traditional funeral and a celebration of Steve’s life at 2 p.m. Thursday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Halfway. The Rev. Bill Shields, Gordon Bond and Father Rob Irwin will officiate. Vault interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck reception after the interment at the Halfway Lions Hall.
Steve was born on Feb. 11, 1956, at The Dalles. He was raised and educated in Washington, Oregon and California, graduating in 1973 from Foothill High School at Citrus Heights, Calif. Each summer during his youth, he would go to Halfway to stay with his Granddad Clifford and Grandma Ellen Waldron.
He had the best of farm life during his stays, helping Granddad with the fences, milking the cows, fishing on Pine Creek, haying, spending time with “Stubby,” and listening to Granddad sing and cook breakfast in the morning. It was a time in Steve’s life that always held fond memories.
Steve met Tami when she moved into the house next door to his. They were married the next year at Rancho Cordova, Calif., on Oct. 12, 1974. Their first home was at Woodland, Calif., where Steve worked for a crop-dusting outfit, but Steve’s love for Halfway was always a driving force.
One day he came home from work and said, “I quit my job, I’m moving to Halfway,” and he did. In 1977, Steve and Tami moved into the old Littlefield place.
They couple had two children: a daughter, Stephanie, and son, Steve Jr. Steve loved the “Waldron Ranch,” and took great pride in his place.
He was always so tickled to know that his kids, after they were grown, would continue to enjoy the place that he loved. He built beautiful rock ponds, water features and rock walls all around his home and was so proud of all he had done.
Everywhere you look on the place, Steve left his mark, including just the weekend before his death, setting his chair up in front of the barbecue in preparation for the summer.
Steve worked on the Oxbow and Brownlee dams in construction. He was a member of Local 121 working for Wildish, DEBCO, Peter Kewitt Construction, MK Construction and Western Construction. Steve enjoyed the challenge of surveying and did so for 25 years. Many of his friends enjoyed referring to him as “Wally.”
Steve had the gift of music and he loved playing his guitar. He never took a guitar lesson and learned to play by ear. Steve was one of the original members of the “R.V. Jones Band” and loved playing the lead in his style – loud.
Steve started his career out in the band, sitting on a stool, with his back toward the audience. It took almost two years to get him to turn around and “wow” his audience. He was always in search of the elusive pick, which explained all of the matchbook lids in his pockets.
He was so talented with rockwork, and did various projects in Halfway including: Wild Bill’s flower beds and bench, the Telephone Company, the U.S. Post Office and the Pine-Eagle High School reader board. He always took the time to find the perfect rocks, for the perfect corners, for the perfect spacing with each and every project, his family said.
Steve relished the opportunity to tell scary stories and loved to scare his family with the often-told “hook” or the “swamp monster at Holbrook.” He was always ready for a good scary movie as well.
With Steve working away from home, every weekend home was one that he cherished with his children whether it be camping, fishing, hunting or snowmobiling. Steve really enjoyed hunting, and the one year that he was successful in filling his tag, it turned out that he put the wrong bullet in the rifle, took a shot and had absolutely no idea that he had actually gotten his elk, until several hours later.
“He was so proud of that elk, but we are all still scratching our heads to how that actually happened and how that rifle didn’t blow up in his hands!” family members said.
He was proud to become a granddad to Sterling, Savannah and Daniel. He built memories with them of walking to “drinking water” to throw pennies in and make wishes, color, play dolls with Savannah (for hours) or just sit in the chair on his lap. He loved it and he loved them so much.
Steve was the maintenance man working with Tami and Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home since 2001. And he was thrilled to be called the “guru”” of unemployment, his family said. He drew unemployment far too long this time, and was proud of it, his family said. As timely as it is, the agency officially sent him a letter this week stating that his claim was expired.
“This last year, Steve loved saying that he was retired,” family members said. “And we heard him say it over, and over and over.”
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Cliff and Ellen Waldron; Aunt Grace Ritter; Uncles Jim, Clair and Perk Ritter; niece, Kayla; and his cow “Lily,” beloved “Puppy” (our firstborn whom we had for 16 years) and black lab, “Tony,” who was a part of the family for 16 years, and Stubby.
Survivors include his wife, Tami; daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Sam, of Bend; son, Steve Waldron Jr. and his wife, Laura, of Anderson, Calif.; grandchildren, Sterling, Savannah and Daniel; parents, Bob and Freda Waldron of Baker City; sister, Valerie Feeley of Baker City; brothers, Mike Waldron of Sacramento, Calif., and Jim Chandler and his wife, Sharol, of Halfway; Aunt and Uncle Bill and Veryl Waldron of Halfway; many nieces, nephews and cousins; his Yamaha Brother Jamie Bula; horses, Jasper and Coco; the cats, Lickerson and Baby; his herd of ducks; and many longtime friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Eagle Valley Ambulance Equipment Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 22, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor