- 39 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 22, 1977
- Date of passing: Feb 28, 2017
|To the most loving husband and wonderful father I could ever hope to imagine. We will miss you so much.|
This memorial website is being created in memory of my dearly loved husband and my children's wonderful father. We are so incredibly shocked and saddened by his passing so suddenly and we thank everyone for their incredible love and support during this time.
We would like to use this website as a way to collect everyone's memories of Steve for us to hold on to. While we appreciate everyone's condolences, please don't use this site for that purpose.
I am hoping everyone will share their thoughts on why they loved Steve so much, stories about all the funny, kind and wonderful things he did for those around him, photos and videos if you have them.
One day I hope we can look back with smiles instead of tears and we could use all of your help to do so.
At this time, we are planning a private ceremony for immediate family only. At some point in the future we may try to organize a memorial service to include everyone who knew and loved Steve.
Love Carolyn, Meghan and Cole
"Steve was a great neighbor and friend. We loved how he would roll down the window to wave when he drove by the house…and usually yell something about the state of our lawn or some other words of encouragement! It made our kids and his kids laugh every time! Our gourmet dinners were our favourite time to spend with Steve. He always had a funny story or a quick comeback. He started “Old Man Sweetnam” and it stuck…and still makes us laugh today. Erin loved his practical jokes… stealing her popcorn at the movies or insinuating she was the sandcastle destroyer at the beach. She never was quite sure if he was being serious or not but he always made her laugh.
So many memories, smiles and laughs. We cherish every one.
Steve, Nicole, Ryan & Erin"
"Steve was always a good patron at the kids’ “restaurant” on the beach at Halls Lake. Steve, with his sly grin, would entertain the kids by ordering something complex, and Meghan, and our two kids would run off to prepare it. Of course, what they brought back was just different mixtures of sands and plastic food, but that didn’t matter – everything was excellent according to Steve."
"I will never forget the day that Steve ventured to take not only my two kids (Luke and Ella) but his two kids as well out on the catamaran. Four kids (four life jackets along with some questionable cheese strings and juice boxes for good measure) and 1 adult seemed a bit daunting to me, but not Steve. They were off like a shot and returned soaked from spray and laughing away. But it was Steve who had the biggest grin of all."
"Since he was born, Steve was special. I remember receiving his birth notice in the mail when we lived in England. I kept that picture on me, and often bragged to my friends about my "baby cousin in Canada" and still have that announcement to this day. When we moved here, I loved playing with the youngest of the cousins and tickled him every chance I got. His giggles were contagious. Steve was a great light in our family and a wonderful friend as well. I will forever cherish our inside jokes at the kid's tables over the years that continued on into adulthood. This website is fabulous. Even though I knew him for 39 years, I wasn't aware of all of his adventures and shenanigans. Thank you for sharing! Thinking of you all XO"
"I met Steve when I first started working at Baxter in Mississauga-he was such a down to earth person. He treated everyone with respect regardless of their position. Steve would make a point of coming out on the floor to tell corny jokes-I use to leave some on sticky notes on his desk and he would always come out the next day with a smile on his face. Steve always had time to talk-no matter how big or small your problem was-he took time out of his busy schedule to talk."
"I met Steve in 2010 when I returned to CPL from my mat leave. He came to greet me and told about his son Cole, who was 6 months old. I did not know, at that time, how big impact he would have in my career, from supporting my moves internally, being my mentor to my P.Eng. journey and giving his recommendation to my current job. He brought his joy and happiness to work every day, was kind and treat everyone with respect. I am really fortunate that I met you Steve; and yes, I enjoyed all your jokes. You will be always missed, my friend."
"I knew Steve from high school. Over the years we had a number of classes together. I remember Steve's smile, mainly because it was always present. It was the kind of smile that my kids now give me, when I am not sure whether or not they have gotten into mischief:) He was liked by everyone and seemed to be able to make friends with just about anybody. He was the type of person who you knew was going places and was going to do great things. Judging from the beautiful pictures on the side of this tribute and his lovely family, it looks like he did."
"When I think of Steve, it's that he always approached everything with gusto and enthusiasm. Whether it was Halloween, a turkey fry, an Oktoberfest party, a super bowl get together when he won a flat screen TV, curling, the unveiling of a beautiful little library, a neighborhood pub crawl, or spending time with his family. He was always all IN, never did anything half-heartedly, with a big smile and mischievous laugh. He was a big part of the neighborhood and will be greatly missed."
"In our first year of University, Steve had the guts to get to know everyone in our class, become our class rep., and break the ice. I know that went a long way because many of his classmates, myself included, made lifelong friendships with each other. In all the time I knew him I never heard him complain about anything. In the years after we graduated from school we lived down the street from each other and hung out a lot. We'd get together with our old classmates, play games, and laugh for hours...no exaggeration, hours! He was so hilarious he could make anyone laugh. In 2nd year (?) when he lived on Albert st near weaver's arms I remember studying at his place; he played this song- "so what" by Miles Davis. I had never heard it before and right away it became one of my favourite songs (...still is, I think of him whenever I hear it). When we were listening to it I remember thinking to myself, yup this guy is cool!! Not to mention he had a big poster of the electromagnetic spectrum on his wall and the best office furniture I had ever seen in a student's dorm (now I know why). In university he built a potato canon; it could launch potatoes the distance of a football field; I loved it, it was really clever of him to put that together...I had some mischievous fun, learned something, and almost hurt myself, thanks Steve for the countless times you showed us how. The last time I saw him I remember so clearly the smile on his face when he talked about taking his children to disney, I could clearly see that their joy was his joy. He knew what was truly important in life. I will never forget you Steve."
"I first met Steve back in 2007 when he interviewed me for a co-op student position at Ecolab. He struck me as someone who was pretty laid back, but also as a person who genuinely cared about his employees and coworkers. I did end up getting that job, and that was honestly the best job I had as a co-op student, for the most part thanks to Steve. When I graduated from UWaterloo and was looking for work, I reached out to him and he helped me land my first full time job at CPL (where he was working at the time). Steve was the person who by far had the most impact on my career, and without his help and support I would not be where I am today!"
"My son spent a summer at CPL as an engineering student and of course Steve had to tease him every day. Steve's first conversation went something like this..."Oh, I see you're attending Berkeley - couldn't get into Waterloo eh?". On his second day, I noticed my son up at 6AM getting ready for work. When I asked him what he was doing, he said that he ran into "Mr. Hungate" and was told that engineering students were expected to come in before 7AM and never leave before 7PM. When I told Steve that story, he literally had to lie down on the floor, he was laughing so much. Great guy - funny, compassionate....and nothing was impossible."
"There are so many memorable and funny stories when I think of Steve and our wonderful group of neighbours and friends on Rainbow Cres.. Other than the Oktoberfest parties at the Gall's house where we first met Carolyn and Steve (who if I remember correctly came dressed in Lederhosen), the neighbourhood pub crawls, Hungate turkey fry....my favourite memory of Steve was at Hallowe'en when he would take the kids trick or treating. You can imagine also, that Steve not only took the kids around the street, but of course he was dressed up as well. One year he showed up as Walter White from Breaking Bad. Posted that photo above. This past Hallowe'en Steve showed up as some kind of mouse I think? Mike and I were away on a trip and my parents were handing out candy. Steve had quite the surprise when he came to the door ahead of Meghan and Cole expecting a beverage from us, and my mom answered the door instead. She said it was so funny and Steve being friendly Steve, came inside and chatted with my parents for a while until the kids caught up."
"I used to work with Steve in CPL and I still remember his smile every early morning when I see him. The funny thing, when I have moved from CPL to Calea, in my first week there I got a LinkedIn message from Steve and he did say I saw you in the parking lot of Calea as he used to work in the next door company Baxter. I met him the next day and we grappled sandwiches at lunch time. He was a funny, optimistic and smart person and his smile was always there."
"Every time Linda and I would see Steve he would be with his kids…..biking, jogging or heading to the park, always with time to stop and chat with us on Rainbow Crescent. Last October we noticed some digging on the lawn and asked him about it…’Oh you will have to wait and see!’ was his reply! The next week when driving down the street we noticed some neighbours had gathered at the sidewalk celebrating the new ‘Little Library’ Steve had made to surprise Carolyn, Meghan and Cole and the neighbourhood. We stopped for a glass of champagne and snacks to celebrate this great addition to our street. Our grandchildren have enjoyed visiting Steve’s library a number of times. We will remember Steve as a wonderful family man and neighbour."
"Steve, a kind soul. I will always remember how gentle and caring he was with my wife and daughter. We saw the Hungate's once a year for a Christmas dinner; since my wife arrived in Canada and through the years, Steve always made sure he had time to have a conversation with her and listen how her life was going. He made my daughter laugh, asking her questions and playing along with her monologues. He sat there, contemplated life and truly paid attention to what she had to say. When I picture him, I see him grounded, never rushed, never judging, smiling and being fully present."
"Deep fried turkey. Heart on his sleeve. Loved his family. Loved tacky Christmas sweaters almost as much. Generous and kind. Beer. Food. Family. Friends. Fun. Threw great parties. Told great stories. Loved an adventure, a race, a challenge, a game, a laugh, a good time. That is what Steve means to me. Great memories. We'll miss you, buddy."
"I met Steve thanks to Carolyn - we were classmates at McGill University, class of 2005. Steve was just a great guy - always fun to be around. We always had a laugh and he always made everyone feel welcomed. We'd have annual Christmas parties and Steve would always have the craziest Christmas sweater - it had Frosty the Snowman on it with a carrot nose, all the kids would get a kick out of it. Steve was famous for his deep fry parties. I remember one year, the Hungates kindly hosted the annual Christmas party and he setup his deep fry in the middle of his drive way. It was freezing cold that night and really windy - he was frying a full turkey for dinner. The turkey was large and so jammed solid inside the deep fryer. Oil was spitting out into the wind, the deep fryer was at the maximum setting and so dangerously hot. We all agreed it was a hazard - but it was still hilarious. We huddled around it to keep warm, just shooting the breeze, talking about life, solving the world's various problems. It was a male bonding moment like no other."
"Truly beautiful how every story post and photo gem captures Steve’s spirit, his silliness and his massive heart for Carolyn, Meghan, Cole and other lovelies. The man operated with humble intent; to bring big laughs, happy times and ultimate joy to the every day. What better life purpose.
I will remember Steve’s talent for elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary. A casual conversation, a car ride, playing with toys, even a trip to Costco were transformed from the banal to the surreal. His comical teasing voices, iconic Cheshire Cat grin, and childlike personas "You said doodie!" always left me in giggles (my cheeks are sore from smiling as I write this). His inane pleasure at driving his navy blue Jetta in super low gear at high RPM, leaving nothing but jerking passengers in a fit of giggles, is still vivid. And as if exclusively cooking a turkey in the turkey deep fryer was not adventurous enough, in went dill pickles and red liquorice too. I recall one potato gun experiment by the mad scientist Steve and the Ronchka bro-conspirators leading to lobster shells flying over Halls Lake. A trip to Costco resulted in some in-store creative play with mini red Babybel cheese rounds – forever changing my perception of this product. Truly, doses of joy whenever Steve was around.
Apart from the incessant fits of laughter, I am grateful for how Steve made me feel. His innocence, compassion and natural empathy balanced all shameless shenanigans. In a moment of silly stress, I once burst into tears in his presence. He quickly responded with genuine concern and kindness. Same response when nervously trying jet skiing for the first time and sailing too. His respect for and his ability to value the needs of others was a true gift. Lovely to read that others have received this gift too. Thank you, Steve.
And to Carolyn, if there is one inspiration that perhaps comes close to capturing all that is Steve’s spirit may it be the song you both chose for your wedding: Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World Medley by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Playful, joyful, and steeped in love. The reverence and adoration you shared for one another will ensure that Steve’s enduring spirit will continue and will be celebrated. Sending to you, Meghan, Cole, and to all who loved Steve, a hug for now and always."
"At a family Christmas gathering at Sue and Rick's home I set my phone down on a table beside Cole and Steve to play pool. The next time I picked it up I had a new home screen photo and many many selfies of Cole and Steve making crazy funny faces. I can still see the two of them watching, waiting and laughing."
"Steve and Carolyn got married at a resort on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and Steve asked Derek Bezaire and I to stand up for him. I had one job and one job only to prepare, namely to bring with me a white linen shirt that I was to wear for the ceremony. Steve had delivered the shirt to me in Toronto before we left on the trip. I was really looking forward to the wedding. I had just gotten past security at Pearson airport when I realized that I had left the shirt in my closet at home. I was horrified. I didn't think Steve would mind too much but, thinking of Carolyn, I was NOT going to be the one to 'ruin' the wedding. Deciding I didn't have enough time to get the shirt and still make the flight, I bailed. Despite the inconvenience and extra expense, I booked an alternate flight and made it to the resort. I arrived in the evening and found Steve sitting with friends outside. He couldn't wait to take the piss out of me. "You know" he said, "there's an entire store FULL of those shirts in the local town here". I thought he was just giving me the gears, but he wasn't - I came across the store a few days later. He made a big deal out of how dumb I was, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being there for him and Carolyn even more."
"We were so lucky to get to know Steve during his Sarnia years. We always had great times on the golf course as well as various Sarnia locations. I remember one time at East Side Marios I ordered a pasta dish that had crazy hot peppers that looked like mini tomatoes. I asked steve if he wanted my tomatoes and he ate them quickly....turned super red and said "these aren't tomatoes are they??" We had a great time at your wedding in Mexico and loved meeting "Hungate's Mom" in person and still have our cookbook of Hungate's moms recipes!"
"Well, we said goodbye to Steve today - tough day. So I thought I would try to let myself down gently by reading some of the notes here. And there is a common theme - Steve loved life and enjoyed life and enjoyed people. There is something else though - Steve was quietly courageous. I never once heard him complain about the difficult burden he carried, and sometimes you knew it was challenging. But when you asked, it was always, things are great. Would that we all had his inner strength."
"My wife Lisa and I got to know Steve living on Rainbow Crescent. He was always with his children, and always had a smile on his face. We really got to know Steve through our neighborhood pub crawls. He was one of the most upbeat and happy people I ever ever met. He was a gentleman and a great role model."
"Steve was one of the nicest and fun loving people I know. My favourite memory was at your wedding when we went sailing. Even though you both had other friends and family there, he took the extra time and made us feel a part of your whole experience. I remember watching the slideshow that was put together afterwards at your Ontario reception. I still look at my scrapbook of the trip and remember you and Steve."
"We often went tobogganing with Steve, Carolyn and the kids, there's a small hill near the school. While watching the kids slide down the hill and talking to Carolyn, out of nowhere a snowball flies across the field and hits me on the arm. When searching for the source, I found Steve with his mischievous smile, just about to throw another one. We all ended up having a big snowball fight, running around in the snow."
"One day we made a maze with Cole and my son in our front foyer from crepe paper. We pretended the paper is laser and we cannot touch it. The boys had to crawl under/over to get from one side to the next. When Steve arrived, he could hardly enter our house, as the maze started from our front door and went all the way to the living room. Steve was very enthusiastic and went through the entire maze, laughing and making jokes while the boys were cheering and clapping him on.
Steve always had such a wonderful way with the kids. Whenever they came over, he picked up my son and tickled him. He was always up for a good old fashioned sword fight or tag. He made us laugh all the time and was just an amazing person to be around."
"Steve had a way of making you feel like you were part of the group and wanted to make sure you felt comfortable right away.
I remember one time, Steve was living in Sarnia and I was there for a few days for work. I didn't know Steve really well at the time, but when he heard that I was going to be in Sarnia he insisted that I come out for dinner with him and some friends. I thought it was really nice of him to make the offer and I took him up on it. We had a great evening, I got to meet his friends in Sarnia and there were tons of laughs. I could tell that Steve really liked Sarnia, as later after dinner, he took me on a driving tour of all the nice homes in Sarnia and showed me all the great spots! It made those few days of working there very memorable and fun for me!
Another fun memory was when Steve and I drove to Montreal together. Carolyn was living there and we were going to visit her. Steve offered to drive and I was all about a road trip. I don't know if Steve knew what he was in for though...I think I talked his head off for literally 6 hours, ensuring that there was no silence in the car the whole way. I don't think he spoke to me for the rest of that weekend!
I got to know Steve a lot better from then on; with so many fun times together and so many laughs - from weddings to parties, cottage trips, camping to our trip to Portugal together; Steve was always up for anything, anytime anywhere!"
"Here is a story from my mom, Thelma:
Carolyn and my two daughters are childhood friends, and I got to know Steve as he and Carolyn would come and spend time with the girls at our home over the years. In 2016 my younger daughter Deanna got married in Mexico, and Steve, Carolyn, Cole and Meghan made the trip with us, which made me happy. I was glad they could come. By very early on into the destination wedding vacation trip, most of the guests who had traveled with us had learned that I was afraid of these little creatures that roamed freely around the resort. They are called coati, and they resemble raccoons, which really spook me out. I would do anything to avoid encountering these things. Anyhow, Steve got wind of my fear of the coati. One morning we met him on the way to the breakfast buffet. He told us in all seriousness that the night before, a woman on our resort had been attacked by a coati. I started to get concerned for my safety but then I saw that no one else was taking him seriously at all, and then he cracked a grin. I felt like giving him a swat. I can’t remember, maybe I did…"
"I first met Steve during my first job interview. He instantly made me feel at ease, was super casual, and also instantly knew that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life! But he still put his faith in me. It was a pleasure getting to know Steve and working with him. Needless to say, every day with Steve was an adventure, and a fun one at that!
He was a considerate person who emphasized the importance developing as a professional as well as spending time with family. Looking back, I have a career now thanks to him!
Thank you for everything Steve!"
"Steve was our prankster at CPL. If you left your desk and your computer was open he would send emails to people saying things like I've been working out and you ladies haven't noticed. The things he did made our days at work fun. He was not just a prankster he was an understanding and compassionate person when it came down to family."
"I was fortunate to live across the street from Steve for the first 10 years of our lives, and we were best friends.
Dorland Rd was a special place, and a special time. Playing together in our yards, games on the street and around the neighbourhood. I remember games of hide-and-seek, Coleco Vision, Big Wheels and then bikes.
When the Hungates made the move north of the QEW, I remember riding my bike up to see Steve, riding together through trails and creeks. I think of great times like our trip to Cedar Point. I will remember all of these things, and most of all that Steve was funny and kind--attributes that would have made him a fantastic husband and father."
"I'll forever remember Steve as someone who immediately made me feel comfortable and at ease. I first met him when Carolyn was dating him in University. As I go through the memories in my mind, Steve always shows up laughing and with a mischievous smile. One memory at the forefront of my mind is from when Meghan was a few days old. Steve was a new Dad, and he was giving Meghan one of her first baths. I remember looking at him and thinking of how easily he fell into the father role. He always brought humor to every situation, and even through the jokes I could see the love he had for his new baby and how he was going to be an amazing Dad. I was so happy when The Hungates came to my wedding in Mexico last year. My Mom was excited to spend some time with Steve, as she had known him throughout the years. After the wedding, I told Steve that we should all travel together again sometime and he responded with "So long as your mother can keep her hands to herself, she's been trying to open mouth kiss me all night". I think I actually laughed for weeks afterward. I'll always cherish the great times we all had together."
"I met the Fungates when I was an intern and Carolyn was my boss. Not only did Carolyn get me my first full-time job, her and Steve put a roof over my head for months while I figured out how to become a first-time homeowner. To this day, I have no idea what I did in this life to deserve meeting these two. Carolyn and Steve have been such pivotal characters in me learning to "adult". My favourite memories of Steve:
1) When I had any male friends over, he would make it known that there was an air mattress in the basement...no funny business. He looked out for me as much as he chirped me. He told me what kind of guy I should end up with...Meghan, I'll be sure to pass this on when you start dating (at the age of 25).
2) He once sent me pictures (different angles) of his poor coworker (against his will) attempting to set us up but said the only pictures he could find were of me and the kids picking our noses. He always claimed to be a master matchmaker.
3) He left for work before us and I remember a lot of cold mornings, he would scrape the ice/snow off my mini cooper before I got out of the house.
4) His big head. The only person I know with a larger head is Cole (the cutest big head though, buddy)."
"First year at university would not have been the same without Steve. He just made whatever we were working on more fun somehow. I remember with us all sitting around those drafting tables with Steve making the rounds trying to get everyone to laugh. Always smiling, goofing around, just a genuine great person."
"I remember Uncle Steve at Beavers. Cole and I would always hold his hand. Then we would say our Motto: Sharing, Sharing…… and then we would have to go down to the ground and jump, but uncle Steve couldn’t do it so he would just stay down and slap his butt. It was funny. James Cunningham"
"I remember our yearly Christmas Parties! We would buy a toy we thought the other person would enjoy as a child and then donate it to a children’s charity. We had a blast picking out gifts. My favourite was when Steve gave Sergio a potty, we all had a good laugh! Steve always knew how to make people laugh. As the years went buy Meghan joined our festivities when Steve and Carolyn became parents. Then it was time for a diaper change and Steve thought it would be a good idea to change her on the kitchen table. Well Meghan proved him wrong. We needed a new table cloth, but we all had a good laugh.
We will also never forget his deep fry birthday party. What a night, we remember turning the corner to get to the house, it instantly smelled like a fast food restaurant! I never knew all the things you could deep fry!"
"We had a particularly close-knit and fun Chemical Engineering class at the University of Waterloo. Within that, Steve and Carolyn were part of a group of seven friends that referred to themselves as "the sextuplet" or more accurately, "The Sextuplet, Now Featuring Tommy!" Four, and eventually five from the group lived together at 75B Churchill St, a dump we called home. Steve never paid rent there but his presence was a constant and welcome one.
During one summer school term, I took it upon myself to plant some flowers in the backyard. I chose a location with lots of sun, and prepped the flower bed before planting sunflower seeds. I was very much looking forward to watching the sunflowers grow. One day not long after, I came home from school and checked on the garden, hoping for signs of progress. I was pleasantly surprised to see some maturing sunflowers! I was so pleased with myself and chalked up the growth to the sunny location. I went inside the house, beaming with pride. Steve was there with the others and it soon came out that I had been pranked! Steve had taken the time to repurpose some sunflowers he had gifted to Carolyn by planting them in the garden, and he was SUPER pleased that I had fallen for the gag. I was embarrassed and choking on the pride that had blinded my reason but one invariably comes out feeling great when Steve turns his attention to you. I'd like to think I wasn't a regular target of Steve's pranks due to being on the less gullible side but Steve's creativity, commitment and execution exposed my hubris. He got me good! I can still see him grinning and laughing, saying "you are SUCH an idiot!"
Steve had a signature move around birthdays: he would (generously) get an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. Many a cake were consumed on Churchill and elsewhere over the years, all courtesy of Steve. The twist from Steve was a special message for the recipient, written in icing on top of the cake. Examples include "hope you choke" and "your parents never loved you". How funny is that? I think it was one of Steve's favourite gags because he enjoyed every step of the process, including asking the Dairy Queen staff to write these absurdities, showing others his handiwork, taking in the ultimate reaction from those celebrating a birthday and, of course, his giddy anticipation throughout.
For the benefit of others and building on Naomi and Amy's comments, I'll explain the 'Hot and Cold' game Steve LOVED playing on longer car rides. If it was summer, Steve would roll up all the windows and turn the heat on full blast, including seat warmers set to max. If it was winter, Steve would roll down all the windows and turn the AC on full blast. The game was simple: first one to complain lost. His commitment to winning was unrivalled. He often had rivers of sweat running down his back and beyond in service of watching others squirm. Why anyone agreed to play this game is beyond me but as with my participation, you often followed Steve and indulged his ideas because it usually ended in a good place with smiles all around. Steve was an expert at finding and creating fun."
"I remember the numerous road trips on the way camping or the cottage. But one particular trip I recall was driving to Quebec. I think it was winter, as Steve had a blast lowering down all the windows in the car, while driving on the highway, to see how long we could stand the cold. Steve always knew how to cheer someone up with his jokes, his sense of humour and friendliness were contagious."
"Steve had a way of making you feel like you were at home and among friends, no matter the circumstance. If you were feeling uncomfortable or a little ill-at-ease, he made it his business to seek you out and secure your participation in his reindeer games. This is a gift that not everyone has. He had great generosity of spirit, which he tried -- never successfully -- to conceal beneath a crooked grin and a relentless barrage of fart and poo jokes. It was my good fortune to have known him."
"Steve made me laugh, all the time. He’d get away with telling the corniest jokes, like “What is brown and sticky?...A stick” or ask you to pull his finger and then fart. It came in handy because he teased us incessantly. “STEEEVVVVE” was commonly heard throughout 75B Churchill. But we couldn’t stay mad at him because he would just crack a joke and all would be good. Sometimes, the antics went a little too far. Like one time at the cottage, he was chasing me around the dock, threatening to put a slippery, slimy frog on me. My only defense was a canoe paddle…so WHACK!!! right on the side of his head. Oh, we were so dumb and immature…but we had so much fun!
He was also kind and generous. We also worked together at Campbell’s in Toronto in the winter of ‘97 for an internship, making soup in a test kitchen from 9 to 5. He was living in Oakville with his family, and I lived a few houses down from Carolyn on Rainbow Crescent. Despite having to spending a full day of work with me, he’d give me a ride everyday, enduring the grueling 401 traffic AND my propensity to sing along with every Jewel song that played on the radio. And although he always threatened to leave me on the side of the highway if I didn’t stop singing, he never failed to pick me up the next day.
I’ll always cherish that time in my life with Steve and Carolyn, hanging out 24x7 and goofing off. Of course, we would continue to have more fun throughout our years at Waterloo. But there was something memorable about that time, the making of some really special friendships."
"After moving to Rainbow Crescent in 2008, Mike and I got to know the Hungate's over the years. From the day we met Steve, he will always be remembered as the guy with a twinkle in his eye and smile that was always so warm and authentic. Steve was witty and always fun to be around-never a dull moment in the years we knew him. The Hungate's were best known as the Fungates, bringing neighbours and friends together, finding occasions to celebrate and having spontaneous get togethers without the formality of planning. Steve especially enjoyed teasing me about being from Winnipeg-he always found ways to include a funny 'Winnipeg' wisecrack directed at me of course when we got together. I would spar back and we would always laugh about it in the end. I would often see Steve pick up the kids at PLASP and on occasion, he would watch me on the other side of the door (I was of course outside in the cold-while he was inside) with a smirk. Steve knew he was the door master and took the opportunity to have me ask him nicely to open the door. Steve was the type of guy who loved to have fun, he loved his family and he loved life-this was apparent in all the actions he took each and every day. We will savour all the fun-filled times our families spent together and we will miss seeing him."
"He was always able to squeeze out a smile, no matter how hard you tried not to. Steve hugged me so hard one time, that I let out a tiny fart, and was forever known to him as princess tootsalot. My first memory of him was that we were one of the rare few in Chemical Engineering who actually chose Chemical Engineering as their first choice, and this created a bond. We spent a summer in Calgary in 1998 on a work term, taking advantage of being out west. We photobombed a high school group picture before the phrase existed, and pretended to be a young pregnant couple at the Zoo when the rain was going to damage my camera, trying to collect as many disapproving looks as possible, then feeling the guilt when truly pregnant women were trying to find a place to sit. Being with Steve meant it would be effortless fun and laughter. Even stories I shared with my colleagues recently of hot/cold games in the car have them in giggles. His music tastes were broad, but not pretentious. And his friendship was warm, but not overbearing. I was thrilled to hear when he started dating Carolyn, my first work-term buddy, and to see pictures of their kids via Facebook as our lives took us in separate directions. Such a goof, and such a guy."
"He liked hot wings, and hot sauce. He was a fan of classical jazz. He was the only other person I knew to own a Los Lobos album. He rubbed his nose a lot, with the back of his hand or using his index finger and thumb, side to side, especially when he was tired. He had a big head (but not the biggest) and as long as I knew him he kept his hair short. He rarely grew a beard. He didn't have an athletic build but he was sneaky fast when he ran. He took pride in and enjoyed being a part of small sporting fraternities, like rugby and curling. He never prioritized his own emotions beyond a laser focus one one thing: fun. His legendary pranks were thought out and executed with care, and enthusiasm. He relentlessly teased but never in a mean way. His feigned anger was as unrealistic as it was hilarious. He was loveable, and he was loved. Despite it also coming naturally, he worked at being affable. He was always trying out new material, from jokes that made you groan to personal stories the details of which were invariably less interesting than how they were described. He fashioned himself an engaging storyteller. We humoured him, and against all odds, he delivered. He loved movies and attended many of them, with Carolyn, and cheaply. As a friend, he was reliable and fun to be around. He looked for adventure and shared experiences. When I think of Steve I find myself remembering more of Steve's personality traits and core values than I do specific experiences. He had a lot going for him. He loved his family and his friends with everything he had, and that's why it felt so good."
"I remember Steve as a dedicated and devoted dad. He used to spend hours to play with Meghan and Cole after work in his backyard. In the summer time, I could hear and see he talked, giggled, chased the kids around or swung them in the swing hung in his backyard big tree. He was so friendly and always appeared with a big smile when he came to my house to pick up Meghan. In some weekend mornings, when I made a walk around the blocks of our area, there was him running around with his family."
"I remember being in a meeting with Steve a couple of years ago, regarding a particularly.....troublesome...client. After some time of heated debate, and looking for my usual ally on these things, I turned to Steve, who'd been sat next to me, on his phone, the whole time (which was pretty standard for him), and said "What do you think, Steve?"...he looked up, startled for a second, then gave his trademark grin and said "Oh, sorry, I was sorting out swimming lessons for my kids!" (I think it was swimming) I think that sums Steve up - his heart was always in the right place, and no matter how frustrated you may have been with him, you couldn't help but smile back when he gave you that grin."
"Steve (a.k.a. “Fungate”) was the sort who would make a beeline for you just as you were getting into the swimming pool, and, sensing you were trying not to get your hair wet, he’d either do a cannon ball into the water right in front of you, or if he was already in the water, he’d out and out heave a big splash at you with all his might. He was mischievous, to say the least. He’d barge in to your room in the morning (when you were hoping to catch a few extra winks of sleep before getting up) and abruptly flip on the lights. He could tease, sometimes almost mercilessly, and he was always out for a good time and a good laugh. And with his sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing, laughs were pretty much guaranteed just about every time you were in his company. He was always warm and affectionate, and also always very likely to greet you on any given occasion with an invitation to “pull my finger”.
Steve had a big, kind, generous heart. And he was genuinely interested in others. On more than one occasion I’ve witnessed him meet new folks for the first time, and seen how his down to earth nature made them feel at ease. He was a great person to have around in new social situations. While he had an unending curiosity in general, I found him especially inquisitive about people. He asked folks questions to learn about them and get to know them better. I think he was so likeable too, because he was also open and sharing about himself in exchange. Steve could talk, but he was also a good listener.
There are so many memories and stories that I look forward to sharing and re-sharing over and over again with Carolyn, Meghan and Cole in the years to come. Some memories are happy ones, like when Steve invited me to come to the jeweller’s to help him pick out the engagement ring he planned to surprise Carolyn with. And some of the memories I have were sad. Like how I can remember him driving us to my dad’s funeral in his blue Volkswagen Jetta. But I am now coming to cherish even those sad memories, because together with the happy ones, they are all a testament to the richness of my friendship with Steve over the years, a friendship for which I am grateful and truly blessed."
"I will always remember Steve for the joy and light-heartedness he brought every time he entered the room. Steve was a truly warm, truly funny and truly caring individual. I had the pleasure of being class-mates with Steve for 5 years and over those 5 years I remember many times when Steve would tease me about any number of things, always in a fun way that challenged me to think and kept me on my toes. Steve had a contagious smile, and always a twinkle in his eyes. Steve was a very good friend and we were very lucky to have him in our graduating class."
"Though I didn't know Steve well I was fortunate to cross paths with him a handful of times after graduation. Steve was the kind of guy who lifted the mood of any gathering. His sense of humour and friendliness were contagious. I was always better for having spent time with him and wished I'd had the opportunity to do so more often."
"I will always remember Steve as being ever approachable, friendly, and considerate. He was such a good friend to everyone and had a generous smile and easy sense of humor. My sincere condolences to Carolyn, their children and family."
"I remember I was playing with my brother, we were running around, when Dad was making yorkshire puddings. The oil overflowed and started a fire in the oven. When Dad opened the oven a big fire ball hit the ceiling, when he opened it again, it came out again, but this time even bigger. We all had to go outside because of the smoke. Meghan:)"
"One of our favourite memories was Steve having a turkey deep fry in the front yard. All the guests were gathered in the back and we left the pot unattended in the front driveway. The oil flowed over the pot, melted through the hose and flames started shooting everywhere as the flaming hose flew around. Carolyn and Cole"
"I remember Dad talking about firing Fluffy (our hamster) out of his potato cannon. He never really did it though. He always made the noise of it though.
"So I was there at the inaugural deep fried turkey roast. It happened at Halls Lake around 2007, but the date is fuzzy as perhaps some liquid assistance was involved. Anyway as you might expect from two chemical engineers - Steve and I - conducting a 'chemistry' project of sorts, we had this nailed down. Steve had arranged the high test burner apparatus and I think I grabbed a sufficiently large pot. Steve brought the oil - there was a lot of oil. So we filled the pot probably 3/4 full of oil and lit the after burner. The thermometer let us know it was time to immerse the bird. This is where physics comes in and we chemical types were never stellar at physics. Apparently we neglected to consider that the bird also took up space and upon immersion hot oil immediately came flowing out of the pot. No damage, the cottage did not become engulfed in flames and we had no nocturnal bear visits. The pot did get pretty black. And Steve, to his credit, took it to the lake and made it shine. The turkey was great! I never got to participate in another turkey deep fry, but I hear that Steve became an expert and it was one of his favourite things."
"(A litte bit of context - Steve is our next door neighbour - and we share one big backyard with no fences ) I have lots of great memories of Steve. However, one particular memory stands out - It was the 2014 world soccer finals - Germany vs Argentina - Our living room and front driveway was full of german flags and Germany fans - it was half way through the game - and suddenly out of nowhere -Steve runs into our living room via the back patio door - sporting his blue and white Argentina jersey - makes a lap in our living room, with a big smile on his face and then runs back out back to his side of the yard to the boos and heckles of the disapproving german fans.
ps- I also have vague memories of him hanging bananas from the tree in the back as some kind of kid birthday game :)"
"John and I will forever remember Steve at the Ronchka's Thanksgiving dinner table, shooting little cannon balls from the Pirate Ship centerpiece, laughing especially loud if he happened to score a hit.. A truly great and fun guy."
"When I think of Steve, i think of his mischievous smile. It was like he was giggling "guess what I did". I often wondered what he was up to but I also knew it was likely going to be funny and it usually was. He was always wanting to have a good laugh and enjoy peoples company."
"I'll always remember the great times we had with you, your family and our circle of friends."
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