Steve at Barca
Steve Kale
  • 65 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 21, 1948
  • Place of birth:
    Manhattan, Kansas, United States
  • Date of passing: Nov 7, 2013
  • Place of passing:
    Salem, Oregon, United States
In remembrance of Steve Kale - a friend to many.

A Celebration of Life get together for Steve was held January 3, 2014 in Salem, Oregon.  

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Gustavo Wilson on 21st March 2015

"Miss my walking friend and all around helper, If I needed help with anything he was more than willing to offer his help. I did enjoy his company when we were invited by our friends, the McSwain to their dinning room table for dinners. You are miss Senor Kale."

This tribute was added by John Wade on 31st July 2014

"Steve was a friend, co-worker, supervisor and mentor to me all the way back to his OSU days. I admire his work, his keen mind and the contributions that he made to ODOT, transportation planning and geography. I will miss him and his classic Christmas cards."

This tribute was added by Borna Fuerst-Bjelis on 21st March 2014

"I have met Steve for the first time at the Marginality conference in Switzerland few years ago, and then again in Dubrovnik, Croatia when my Geography department (University of Zagreb) hosted the Marginality conference and I have been leading the organizational team. There we had a lot of opportunities o talk and discuss many topics. I remember him as very broad minded, intelligent, gentle and humorous person, realy a very nice person to talk with. Steve was indeed a personality.My sincerest condolences to his family and friends."

This tribute was added by Shirley Kale on 21st March 2014

"Happy birthday Steve!  We think of you often and miss you much.  Your sister-in-law."

This tribute was added by pat corcoran on 3rd January 2014

"Steve was my major professor in graduate school and single-handedly got me out the door with a degree! Steve was always very patient with me at the office, and very fun to drink beer with afterwards. We kept in touch less frequently after Steve started with ODOT, but I had the great pleasure of hosting Steve twice this past year in Astoria. I am proud to say Steve Kale was my friend. I too will miss him."

This tribute was added by Alex Sifford on 31st December 2013

"Steve & I met when he invited me to speak at his OSU geography classes on renewable energy in the 80s.  That led to collaborating on a book or two and more importantly a good friendship.  I too will miss tales of his travels and talking all things geographic.  A gentle, bright soul who will be missed."

This tribute was added by Nancy Reynolds on 23rd December 2013

"As so many have said, Steve was a good and gentle soul. Steve and I were co-workers at ODOT Environmental Section, where he was a dedicated and hard-working socio-eonomist--and often brought flowered plants to all of the women in the office.  But my most special memories of Steve were the many dinners he, Rose, and I shared together--where the topics of conversation often centered our travels--often with slide shows. Steve had such a love for traveling, and inspired me to make my travel dreams come true and relish the wonderful new experiences. I came to love the southwest as much as Steve did--and we both shared a deep feeling for the beauty of Death Valley. I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Toivo Muilu on 17th December 2013

"We got familiar with Steve in International Geographical Union Commission meetings, first time probably in Spain and Portugal in 1998. We soon noticed that we are “soul mates”, with several common interests also outside the discipline of geography, like nature (and vine & bier!). During the years we met several times in those annual meetings, e.g. in Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia. A nice memory is when Steve drove from his home with his old Toyota to a meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had with him a good selection of products from the vineyard where he was a partner. We appreciated and enjoyed that a lot…

Steve visited twice here in Oulu, Northern Finland. Jarmo took him fishing in his Pike Hill “farm”, a roadless and abandoned but still habitable place in the middle of wild nature. Jarmo took Steve also to a tour to Finnish Lapland, Northern Norway and Sweden. Steve helped us several times with our papers, commented our presentations and told us a lot on the academic world of US.

Last time we all three met together was in Dubrovnik, Croatia in the August of 2012. In the April of 2013 Steve hosted Toivo for two days with his car in Joshua Tree National Park, prior to the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in LA. Sometimes we phoned each other. Jarmo had a chat with Steve via Skype only two weeks before his passing. They agreed to be in touch again in a month.

Steve invited us many times to visit his home, but now it will never happen. In the coming years we'll have to settle for all the good memories on the times we spent together. We have lost a friend.

Toivo Muilu and Jarmo Rusanen
Oulu, Finland"

This tribute was added by Sy Seyler on 12th December 2013

"Steve left our  place in the Eastern Sierra days before returning to start treatment.  His annual visit was a highlight of our months there. The latest was so touching. Our long chats have  replayed frequently for me in those moments before sleep, as we talked about the uncertain way ahead.  He was hopeful and determined to give it his all.  We raised the wine  glasses often as we remembered times spent together, from a night under the southern cross in Argentina to good times in Kansas, Neb., and Cal.  My heart aches for the loss of this good man, my true and unforgetable friend of almost  fifty years."

This tribute was added by James Vosper on 4th December 2013

"I knew Steve when we were in grad school at the U of Nebraska and after he moved to Oregon in the early 1980's I saw him  almost annually.  He was a very bright and persistent scholar and a conscientious eco-citizen.I was glad to encourage his later interest in genealogy and the search for Gottlieb Streit- his great-grandfather.  I will miss him."

This tribute was added by tyson broad on 25th November 2013

"Steve Kale is one of the most influential people in my life, getting me an internship with the U.S. Geological Survey. But his influence continues down many rivers, ski slopes, beers, and heartfelt laughs.

John Vial hit the nail on the head: Steve was a gifted teacher who showed an unusual caring for his students and I felt like he cared about me as person, not just as another student.  

The man is all that we can ever ask for in a friend and a mentor. The holidays will not be the same without Steve's letter and familiar wave."

This tribute was added by John Vial on 22nd November 2013

"I first met Steve while I was attending Oregon State University where I took several classes from “Doctor Kale”.  Steve was a gifted teacher who showed an unusual caring for his students and I felt like he cared about me as person, not just as another student.  I often sought his academic and career advice where he was always gracious with his time.  Years later when I came to work for ODOT we reacquainted our friendship and we worked together on a few freight transportation issues.  In some way, I’m not sure I understand how, Steve helped me to have confidence in myself and believe in myself.  That is a special kind of gift.  Thank you Doctor Kale, I will miss you."

This tribute was added by Linda Willnow on 19th November 2013

"Steve and I worked on the same team for the ODOT Planning Section.  He was both a good friend and valued co-worker, always happy to assist and mentor.  Steve organized numerous "Planners' Nights" at Thompson's Brew Pub where a group of us would enjoy debating the latest political topic over a craft brew. I always looked forward to getting Steve's picture Christmas card with his unforgettable wave."

This tribute was added by Dorothea Schneider on 19th November 2013

"I knew Steve through Heide & Richard McSwain.  Steve was a wonderful guy. Sweet and kind.  I remember joining him on a canoe trip; he never complained about my limited canoeing skills and simply adjusted.  A real Mensch.  What a loss to have him gone.  My sincerest condolences to his family and friends."

This tribute was added by Ted Dahlburg on 18th November 2013

"I met Steve when he was the Chair of the TRB Intermodal Transport Committee in 2000.  Since then, Steve became an integral and wonderful part of my life. He was an incomparable friend, and I was joyful that he came to my wedding in Philadelphia earlier this year. We spent many happy, memorable times together and I will miss him deeply. Sincere condolences to the Kale family for your loss."

This tribute was added by Bryan Stone on 18th November 2013

"Steve was a good and greatly respected friend. We worked together in the Intermodal Committee at TRB, he always enjoyed meeting my wife up to her death in 2005, and after my retirement he visited me several times here in Switzerland, as we researched his family history. He was a 5th Generation descendant of Gottlieb Streit of Thierachern, in canton Bern, and before he died we had found the whole story. He was greeted on his last visit in mid 2012 by the Mayor of Thierachern as a returning Prodigal Son. I am happy that he could see that project through. He was always the earnest researcher, but we laughed a lot, enjoyed the white wine, and he rejoiced to meet the people of the villages whence his ancestors had come."

This tribute was added by Rose Owens on 18th November 2013

"I have known Steve since he started working in the Environmental Section of Oregon Department of Transportation in 1989. We stayed in touch through all the years since then. In the last year or so, we enjoyed walking in his neighborhood, canoeing the Willamette, wine tasting, and going out to dinner together. Steve has always been a gentle, sweet, intelligent friend whom I miss dearly."

This tribute was added by Carola Stauch on 17th November 2013

"I met Steve in 1985 when I was an exchange student at OSU. He definitely enriched my life in a foreign country and made it easier. I was very happy that he went out of his way visiting me in Germany three times. We traveled through the black forest to switzerland, went hiking in the Alpes, visited the Daimler museum and went to a country fair. I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Dwight Schulke on 15th November 2013

"I last saw Steve in 2012. Although we did not see each other but a couple of times in the last 40+ years he always kept in touch as if it had only been a short interval. He said one of the items on his bucket list was to try every Oregon craft beer. I know he is enjoying them now."

This tribute was added by Karen Green on 15th November 2013

"I wouldn't have "lasted" or been as successful in my brief stay/ career in Oregon if it wasn't for Steve. He was, all at the same time: voice of reason, instructor, "dad", friend, jokester and drinking buddy! He also routinely went out of his way to get together whenever work or travel brought him East (after my return there). RIP, my mentor and friend."

This tribute was added by Steve Soberski on 14th November 2013

"I met Steve in 1975 when I was in Graduate School at UNL. Over the years we have keep in touch during his visits to Lincoln, I have always enjoyed seeing Steve and sharing what was going on in our lives. Life is too short, I will miss Steve."

This tribute was added by Richard McSwain on 14th November 2013

"Steve was a neighbor, co-worker and very good friend for many years. I will miss his patient manner, tales of his travels, shop talk about work, social and political perspectives, humor and wisdom. A very decent  and generous soul. His passing leaves a void for a lot of people. I will have to recruit someone else to watch KSU and OSU basketball games with."

This tribute was added by Shirley Kale on 13th November 2013

"Steve Kale was a thoughtful, caring person.  He cared for people and he cared for the environment.  Steve reminded me a great deal of my husband, his brother.  They were both endowed with the "Kale humor."  I will miss both of them."

This tribute was added by Richard Marston on 13th November 2013

"Steve Kale was named Distinguished Geography Alumnus in 2009.  We were happy to honor him for his contributions to the discipline of Geography as a graduate of our program at Kansas State University."

This tribute was added by Dan Kale on 13th November 2013

"Uncle Steve was one of the most interesting people I have known having traveled widely, camped often, visited many, and was a contributor to the many communities with which he associated in his life.  He was both conscientious and a deep thinker and made an effort to stay connected to his far flung family and friends.  I will miss him."


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This memorial is administered by:

Barbara Fraser
Dan Kale
Richard McSwain

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