Stories: Who We Have Lost

Together, We Remember Steve

Story aboutSteve Johnson

Stories gathered from friends and family have a way of sustaining us in our remembrances. I collected some memories about my husband Steve. When read together, they paint a beautiful portrait of who he was and what we shall remember:

After Steve passed away from hospital-acquired Covid, I came across a video of him. He disliked me recording him, since he walked with a cane due to neuropathy from CRC. As Steve walked towards me he flashed “the one finger salute,” but followed it with bunches of blown kisses! – Cindy Johnson, wife

Steve and Cindy honored their wedding vows “until death do we part.” They accepted each other’s likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, Steve was taken too soon, which deeply saddens Cindy, Erica, all our family, and friends. Steve was a smart, kind, helpful man. We all miss him so much. -Priscilla Bruno, mother-in-law

Dad, an eagle scout, loved taking me into the wilderness. Once, he was demonstrating the “right” way to cross country ski and got stuck in the snow. He always made me laugh, especially with his statement, “walk this way,” and he’d do this funky dance that he expected me to follow. – Erica Johnson, daughter

Steve was a kind and compassionate man, always there for people who needed encouragement. Remembering Steve makes me smile. He was handsome with a smile that would bring people out of the depths of despair, an angel on earth. Hopefully my sons will emulate him. Rest in Peace Sweet Steve. – MaryJo Ganey, family friend

It’s a sunny day and Steve’s driving a pontoon boat on Percy Priest Lake. His shirt’s off, shades on, hair’s blowing, with one hand on the throttle and the other on the wheel. He was truly “living in the moment.” He straps on crutches to disembark with a big smile. – Karen Steward, family friend

Steve was a great friend to me and my wife, Jo. He was a computer and cell phone whiz, and helped us out many times with technical problems and questions. Always patient and smiling, Steve was a true light to be around and we miss him greatly. -Scott and Jo Wetzell, Family Friends

For a holiday getaway we were invited by the Johnsons to join them in Crystal River, FL, where we stayed in a unit on the water. Only Steve caught a fish from the dock, and it was a TROPHY!! – Art Maier, family friend

We were in Nashville. Our wives were on a girl’s day, leaving Steve and I on our own. Time for “CoronaRitas.” We decided to head to the local bar. When the wives joined us, despite his physical limitation, Steve led Cindy to the dance floor and swept her around. -Pete Bonner, brother-in-law

My favorite memory is a conversation I’d heard about Steve: I was eating in the cafeteria at the hospital and I overheard some ladies talking about this handsome man and how he had the most beautiful hair. They spoke of his wife but said if he wasn’t married, they would go after him. Then I heard something about cancer and I knew they were talking about Steve. I walked over and told them that I knew they were discussing my best friend. I was right. I will always remember his spirit, spreading love and light. – Elizabeth Weekes, family friend

Mom's Laugh

Story aboutFran Kapp

When I think of my Mom, I hear her laughter. She had the most wonderful laugh that filled up a room with joyful, loving energy. I recently asked many close friends and family what they remember and miss most about my Mom and they always say it’s her laugh and her heart of gold.

She is also remembered for being a die-hard, lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and she passed down her love for the Cubs and game of baseball to me. The night the Cubs won the World Series we called each other immediately (it was after midnight and of course my Mom was still awake and watching every second). We were both laughing and crying and jumping for joy together, over the phone, she in Chicago and me in Phoenix. She was so happy, and it meant so much to her because it meant so much to the generations of our family that she loved, to the city that she loved, and for the memories that we have had over the years (win or lose and of course there was a lot of losing!) going to Cubs games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and for spring training in Arizona.

My Mom, Fran Kapp, died of Covid-19 on 11/27/2020. She would be here today sharing her heart and laughter, and of course, rooting for the Cubs, if Covid hadn’t taken her. She will always be loved, and the sounds of her laughter will forever be filling our hearts.

El Jefe… Mi Papi

Story aboutMarvin Delgado

Mi papi’s dancing was terrible! He would throw himself on the floor and I would always think “Yep, this is it. He won’t be able to get up.” But he always did. And that is who he was. He always got up. He always kept going. That fight against all odds was his gift to me. I miss him. #Eljefe #ElAbuelo#MiPapi#Tio #ElAmordemimadre

A Walk on the Beach

Story aboutLuis Suarez

My husband of 43 years gained his wings 12/09/2020. We loved to spend time together taking long walks on the beautiful beaches in Florida. Our 11 grandchildren loved to join us at any given time and just talk and walk, looking for shells, handing us silly little broken ones but he would say how beautiful they are. He spent hours with his family and loved to drink wine and have cheese and crackers with his adult children and me in the evening. He was from Uruguay and loved to visit there as often as he could. We loved to travel. He had a laugh that would make us all join in and a smile in his eyes that lit up a room. We cared for foster children for over 35 years and he was so loving and caring to every baby that came to us. We miss him dearly and pray he is at peace with his family and friends all around.

Just a mask, and a happy reminder

Story aboutRogelio "Ro" Lechuga

It’s funny how days go by, and I don’t think about you not coming home or how you used to take care of us. We see masks everywhere. Paper masks on the ground, fancy masks on racks, but this mask, holds sentimental value. We were at the beginning of the pandemic. Everybody was selling masks on street corners that neighbors lovingly sewed to protect one another.

You were talking about going back to work even though you had preexisting conditions. I was so scared. However, I knew I could protect you thanks to this lady, so we stopped at the corner.

I picked up a plain navy one to go with your work shirt and a black one. If it were up to me, I would keep you safe. There was only enough money in my pocket to purchase masks for you to wear. I rubbed my fingers over the pretty light purple mask and exclaimed, “She made this mask for me.” I refused to buy it. You needed protection more than I.

I went to the car and waited for you to come back. You picked up only two masks that day, a dark blue mask and the pretty purple one that made me so happy. You told me, “I will wash this mask every day and be safe. You lit up at that mask.” I knew at that moment, and you so very loved me. You would do anything to make me smile.

I see a million masks a day, even in my own home. Since we lost you, I buy a box every month to protect myself even if I lost you anyway. I was thinking about how much I miss you and don’t have enough memories to keep you in my mind. I was cleaning out a drawer, and wow, that mask made me catch my breath. I choked back the tears. At that moment, I saw your face, eyes, and smile. It smelled like your hair. I felt you again. In this mask, I felt your presence. A mask brought back a million feelings and memories of the love you had for me. Yes, this virus took you from us.

Nevertheless, it cannot erase your memories. In a purple cloth mask, I found you again today. I carry you forever in my heart. I was reminded that you loved your children and me by doing everything in your power to live. You fought so hard and gave us all you could. You still do. We miss you, Ro.

Share Your Story