Stephen Thomas Garcia
  • 60 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 3, 1953
  • Place of birth:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • Date of passing: Feb 4, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Bozeman, Montana, United States
Enjoy the little things...for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.

This memorial website was created in memory of Steve Garcia. We will remember him forever.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" -- Ecclesiastes

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Michaela Schannep on 3rd November 2015

"Happy Birthday Dad!

You are always in my thoughts and I hope that your celebrating wherever you are.  It just snowed for the first time this year in Bozeman.  I wish I was there to go on a hike!"

This tribute was added by Greg Marchand on 22nd August 2014

"Hmmmmmm.  My wife and I just learned of Steves death from the St Pius newsletter.   We were all seniors together at PiHi.and while Steve was a jarhead I was a squid for some time after college.  He was a great memory of those years, we had many good times together, and fished some of the  small rivers and streams of New Mexico, and I think his first taste of fly fishing came on a week long backpack to San Pedro Parks Wilderness where we got lost, caught native cutthroats from a stream 6 inches wide, and were surprised to find on our return to civilization that Nixon was out and Ford was President.  He lived larger than life, and truly understood the Latin, Carpe Diem!"

This tribute was added by Michael & Theresa Garcia on 15th February 2014

"Steve will be missed by many who's lives he touched in so many different ways.  Over the years I always enjoyed our lively discussions more often than not that would come back to his latest fishing expedition on one of the nearby rivers or when the next trip was planned to take on a new fishing spot or a re-visit a special place along the Gallatin, Jefferson, Yellowstone, Jemez, Vallacito, Santa Cruz, Chama....  As sure as I write this note I know once the fish here and there realize Steve is resting they too can finally rest.  Invariably our conversation would lead to the family especially what his daughters were doing as they worked there way through the challenges of every day life.   In the end Steve would always express how proud he was of them and all their accomplishments.  In looking back, I only wish we had a little more time to talk about one more misadventure or re-live one more near death experience.  My memory of Steve's life can be best summarized in a Mark Twain quote that goes as follows, "Sing like no ones listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.  As a brother and shipmate on life's journey, I wish now he has Fair Winds and Following Seas.""

This tribute was added by steve james on 14th February 2014

"I’ve known Steve since the 4th grade, we both went to Holy Ghost school
in Albuquerque.  A few comments from my memory:
Steve was a bit more scrawny than I was in the 4th.  We enjoyed each other’s
Company, both in the classroom - acting up, & on the playground.  While in the 5th
grade, the school bully & his larger friend made the rounds every afternoon
at recess.  They made our fun time miserable.  While playing tackle football in
the dirt one day, I noticed Steve squared off against the lead bully, Benny Martinez.
Steve had enough, & stood up for himself.  He did not back down from these two
bullies, who were older in 6th grade.  After a short fisticuffs, both bullies humbly
retreated, & none of us ever again had issues with them.  Very cool, Garcia!!!
After many years, we met up while attending UNM.  I had noticed Steve, in the
student union building, in is NROTC uniform, playing pool.  We regenerated our
friendship quickly.  Among other memories, he soon after bought a large Suzuki
street motorcycle.  Wasn’t meant to do anything else, but ride on paved roads.
However, Steve also used it as a giant dirt bike, frequenting the New Mexico desert
landscapes at street speeds.  Always thought that to be very odd, but there I would be,
on the back of it with him rocketing thru the desert.
Two years later, I transferred down to NMSU in Las Cruces.  We continued to get
together for short hunting outings & reminiscing. While finishing up senior year, during
a phone conversation, we realized that we had both recently taken an oath and were
going into the USMC.  Surprisingly, too, we were going to The Basic School, a 6 month
high level school in Quantico VA, not only at the same time, but because our last names
started with letters that were alphabetically close, we would be in the same platoon, in a
company of 240 students.  How coincidental was that!  Within a month of arrival in Quantico, Steve bought a new Ford Ranger.  He wanted to go blasting through the forest in it, so we loaded some fishing rods and proceeded to Breckenridge Reservoir.  Along the way, after a heavy rain season, we confronted a moderate sized stream.  We stopped,
got out & surveyed the situation.  Remember, this was 1976.  No cell phones & we’re out
in the boonies.  Way out.  It was only a 2WD truck, & because it was a Ranger, was low to the ground.  The energetic & always optimistic Garcia elected to make the call.  And, as you may imagine, we didn’t make it across.  Freezing water was pouring into the cab
and we abandoned the little truck.  It took us hours to hike out, find a pay phone, & get a
wrecker out to our remote location.  He got his truck back four weeks later, and never
would discuss the damage/costs, but he was ready to go, again.  This time, the water level
was lower and we pre-staged the stream with as many large rocks as we could toss in front of our crossing area.  Success the 2nd time.
Another ingrained memory was on a long war exercise, where we were operational 24 hrs/day.  On the 3rd night, Steve had the “watch” duty.  It was miserably cold and pouring rain.  Steve’s job was to make the rounds, in the dark, and be the first alert should our position be attacked.  I was in a shallow, self-dug, foxhole, hating life at that particular time.  In the dark, wet, miserable conditions, Steve “stumbled” on my position, jumped in the one-man hole with me, & over us went two ponchos to help keep the rain off.  We quickly lit up a “burn tab”, into some sticks and got a fire going in-between us.  We quickly had our canteen cups brewing some warm, C-ration, coffee.  For a short time, in a very uncomfortable place, our friendship brought smiles and quiet laughter underneath the ponchos.  That coffee, and the smiles in the firelight, was the best.
Immediately after our time in Quantico, Steve was transferred to another school in Athens, Georgia.  He wanted to take his truck, and asked me to keep, then deliver, his Datsun B-210 station wagon he made the trip from Albuquerque to Quantico in.  This, like his Suzuki motorcycle, was also an “all-terrain” vehicle, which was stuck often on some of our activities in Columbus, Las Cruces, and of course in Albuquerque.   It was a great little car, and I did deliver it 5 months later to him on my way to Pensacola Florida.  Throughout many years, we visited in southern California, Utah, and of course in Montana.  Here’s where I’ll stop, because there are many other stories from other friends pertaining to Steve’s time in Montana.
In concluding, Steve was a good friend.  Enjoyed nature to its fullest.  He actually taught me how to run long distance, as I was a horrible runner.  His coaching and mentoring helped prepare me for long runs as a Marine.  Steve’s memory was not the best, never was.  Sometimes his memory lapses were hilarious, sometimes friends would intervene to keep him on track.  He was always gracious, comical, and fine spirited.  His enthusiasm for life was contagious.  I hope, too, that his enthusiasm was instilled in his three daughters, who he was very proud of.  Never a conversation we had, that he did not brag on his three girls.  I miss him, and will always have good memories of our 50-year friendship."

This tribute was added by DEBRA GARCIA on 10th February 2014


This tribute was added by Bill Kobus on 10th February 2014

"I only knew Steve through my Grandchildren, Kiefer and Kassidy Fisk.  Steve was a Big Brother to Kiefer and was an important person in Kassidy's life also.  Kiefer and Kassidy grew up without the benefit of a father and Steve was a Godsend to these kids and their Mom, Judy.  He went out of his way to involve the kids in many activities they would not have known otherwise.  He was an outstanding Big Brother to Kiefer and Kassidy and their Mother, Judy, their Grandmother, Rosemary, and I will be forever grateful.  Rest in peace Steve."

This tribute was added by Cathi Simonson on 9th February 2014

"Steve was one of those friends who you loved to hang out with because he was so much an individual, so real, and so much fun.  His sharp wit brought many hours of laughter and joy to those who were blessed to spend time with him.  He was always surrounded by laughter, very often because of his spontaneous quips that reflected his heartfelt perspective on life, love, family, and friendship.  He was intuitive, intelligent, energetic, and courageous.  He was also stubborn, proud, and always a stalwart friend.   He was first to make fun of his faults, and first to forgive others for theirs.  

I was blessed to share many adventures with Steve, my favorite times being skiing and scuba diving with him, as well as quite a few winter poker tournaments with friends.  I know that many others had wonderful experiences with Steve as he liked to do many things including camping, hiking, fishing, dancing, singing, and probably even sky diving to name just a few.  

Two experiences stick in my mind.  When Bridger Bowl experienced one of the biggest avalanches in years, and then got a foot of new powder, I called Steve and asked if he wanted to go check it out with me.  We went on a Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm.  I proceeded to take off on the trail across South Bowl and came up over a rise and suddenly, dropped 8-10 feet right into the avalanche field. My ski took off down through the bolder field and I hurried to get out of the way so no one would come over the cliff and drop on top of me. Steve came up behind me, crossed safely over to the other side, and skied to the bottom of South Bowl.  The sides of the slide where 8 feet high, and I had no choice but to work my way down through fallen trees, boulders, and debris.  He then waited patiently for me over 20 minutes while I tried to navigate and get down to the bottom of the run.  When I got to the bottom and thanked him for waiting for me he said something like – “Oh, I wasn’t waiting for you, I was improving my tan”.  

Another beautiful memory was on an Easter Sunday, again at Bridger Bowl.  A group of us were going to sunrise services.  Several of us car pooled and we were getting our gear together at the bottom of the lift when Steve realized that he had skis and poles, but no boots.   This was not a problem for Steve.  We rode up the lift, we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise service, and Steve cheerfully slid all the way down the mountain, “skiing” in his tennis shoes.  This was not an unusual reaction.  Steve made the best of every situation and didn’t whine or gripe or complain about circumstances he couldn’t do anything about.  This made him a great companion whether you were on top of a mountain, in the middle of a river, or 85 feet under water.  
Steve contributed so much to others happiness.  He was a long time member of Bozeman Noon Rotary, active in the Optimist Club, and a Big Brother for many years.  He believed in God and he loved his family, his friends, and his country.  

He was patient, willing to help, willing to listen, willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, willing to try new things, and willing to forgive when he was wronged.  It was easy to be his friend, and he was a blessing in my life.  I will miss him so very much."

This tribute was added by John Hazen on 9th February 2014

"When I look back the last few years since I met Steve, I can say that we laughed a lot, sang a lot, joked a lot and poked fun at each other.  He for being an immigrant and me for working in poo.  It was fun to sing karoke with him and see who could insult each other the best.  Sometimes He won and sometimes I won.  No matter what, we had a good time .  I will miss his showing up on our doorstop needing knees mending like a little boy and going to Easter Sunday with no boots.  Love Ya Steve."

This tribute was added by Kathi Lytle Bare on 9th February 2014

"This is so hard.  There is so much say but so hard to find the words to express what I am feeling.  Steve will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.  He was such a giving person.  He was deeply involved in the Bozeman Community.  Over the years he gave generously of his time to make Bozeman & the world a better place.  He was involved in Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, the Bozeman Running Club and he was a Big Brother.   And these were only the things I know about.

I will miss the his laughter, the sparkle in his eyes, his singing, his deep rich voice when he answered the phone so formally “Well good day Kathi and how are you this fine day”.  

In 2006 we spent a week in Aruba.  During our stay we rented wind surfers.   He could not turn around & had to be rescued twice.  He was sure he would never life that one down.  True…but it was such a good story that he would prompt me to tell of the time he set out to sail to for Venezuela.  I also remember one morning four of us got up early to snorkel.  At one point I looked over at Steve.  He was vertical in the water surround by an eddy composed of thousands of small fish.  It was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.  He would ask me to tell that story when we were out in a group.

In 2005 Steve & I started a group called “The Boomers.”  It was a way to keep in touch with our friends & meet for bon fires or drinks.   It is still going today.

Steve loved his daughters and was so proud of them and their accomplishments.  One of his great joys was being a Big Brother.  He was from the He felt so privileged to have Keifer & his family in his life.  And Diane, who he loved so deeply for the last 10 years, my heart breaks for you.

To all those who loved him, as the pain of his passing lessens, look up & smile."

This tribute was added by Lizzy Leekley on 8th February 2014


You were the funniest man I had ever met. I so enjoyed being with you at Boomers and Bon Fire Party.  You always brightened everyone's day with your jokes and your humor, especially your singing around the campfire. I always looked forward to seeing you and spending time with you. God Bless you Steve for you will be remembered for your spirit, strength and kindness.  You will be missed. You are the salt of the earth.
Blessings.  Liz Anderson"

This tribute was added by Lynne Conkling Benton on 8th February 2014

"Michaela - thank you for initiating this !!  You may not remember me, but my husband and I were at Alana’s wedding.  I first met your family when my four children and I were attending resurrection parish, maybe 20 years ago ??  Your dad led an overnight expedition to Yellowstone Park with our two families - your family including you 3 girls and your mom, my husband and I, and our four children - all under the age of 12 and all carrying rack packs for the first time in their lives.  Later that night, Steve snuck (is that a word ?) out of the tent when everyone was asleep, and he started howling like a wolf, scaring us all.  That was the beginning of my lifelong friendship with your father.    

Like your dad, none of us are perfect. But your father had many enduring qualities.  I loved his quick wit, his sense of humor, and his giving nature.  For example, he would go out of his way to visit some of his more reclusive farmer clients, he gave generously of his time as a big brother, and when I hosted my annual Christmas Caroling party, he was always gung ho - even the year it was 20 below, and he would always stay late to help clean up.  I will miss his encouraging nature, his optimistic attitude, and his relentless pursuit and faith in me and others, encouraging us to be the very best we can be.  He was always available to talk when I had issues weighing heavy on my heart.

But mostly, he loved you three girls more than anything in this world and was sometimes frustrated that he did not know how to be a better father.  He spoke of you often and was always very proud of you.  I can see him now, smiling from heaven, wishing he could be here, but knowing that you girls will carry on the values he cherished.  Although I selfishly miss him, I am comforted, knowing he is finally at peace."

This tribute was added by Michaela Schannep on 7th February 2014

"When I look back at my dad's life, there are a lot of adventures (and some misadventures) but mainly great memories.  My dad loved to tell stories, jokes, and sing songs.  He loved the outdoors and shared that with all of us.  He was a great runner too. Some of my earliest memories of spending time with him are pedaling along on my bike while he went on his daily run.  His passing was sudden and sad and I am still working on dealing with that finality. I would like this page to be a place of remembering. I would love to hear other people's stories and adventures with my dad.  Please help us create a living memorial.  Thank you."

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This memorial is administered by:

Michaela Schannep


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