Steven George Will
Steven George Will, 73, son of the late Stephen E. and Dorothy (Hepp) Will was born November 16, 1945 in Sheridan, Wyoming. Steve attended public schools and was a graduate of Sheridan High School’s class of 1964. His childhood was filled with ranch life duties on the family dairy farm, athletics and active family gatherings with Sheridan and Buffalo relatives.
Steve met the love of his life in 8th grade; he and Dixie Cooper made it official on July 11, 1964. He referred to her as “The Little Helper,” and they were a constant in each other’s lives. They welcomed Steven James “Jim” shortly after tying the knot and quickly added John George to the family. Steve and Dixie were busy with a young family, completing educational endeavors and working many jobs throughout their 20’s. To round out the clan, they added Jennifer Denise.
Steve valued education and modeled this for his family. He was a Sheridan College Honor graduate, member of Phi Theta Kappa, University of Wyoming Honor graduate (Go Pokes!), president of the Early Childhood Education Association, graduate of Purdue University Certified Health Consultant program and a National Alliance for Insurance Education Certified Insurance Counselor.
Steve’s young adult life included a long list of community involvement and volunteerism: Little League Baseball coach, president of the Sheridan Quarterback Club, president of Sheridan High School Booster Club, freestyle wrestling referee, and founding president of the Sheridan Wrestling Club. Steve was also a Holy Name Catholic Church football coach, YMCA basketball coach, Regional Director of Special Olympics Track and Field, and chairperson of the Special Olympics Wyoming State Summer Games. He was deeply engaged in the lives of his children and so many of their peers. Steve was the first to volunteer and often humbly took the lead to help a friend in need or rally behind a community cause.
Steve also believed in a strong work ethic and demonstrated this throughout his life, often working his way up through the ranks. In the early years with Jersey Creamery, he was an ice cream manufacturer, shipping manager, sales manager and ultimately the plant manager. At Decker Coal, he started as a laborer, then was promoted to truck driver, dragline oiler, and finally, utility oiler. Steve later crossed over as a realtor and associate broker at Century 21 BHJ and then to Blue Cross Blue Shield, completing that career as regional manager. His last years prior to retirement were with Talbot BHJ Insurance and HUB International Mountain States. He was dedicated and diligent with all his pursuits, and was well-liked and respected by his clients.
Above all, Steve’s pride and joy (after Dixie Lee) were their grandchildren. He truly enjoyed watching them grow, being hands-on and present in their lives and their many activities. Steve was one of the first to arrive and secure seats at every music concert and athletic event. The kids will miss the Golden Egg Easter hunts, lively patio BBQ’s, Grandpa’s vast holiday dinners, poker nights, sledding, treks to the cabin, his generosity, his few but valued words, and that grin.
Known for his family gatherings which extended beyond bloodlines, Steve would always ensure others were having a good time. He was the consummate host at casino nights, live bands in the garage, Fall Fiasco Golf, and yard parties with organized games.
Steve and Dixie enjoyed many travels, especially with current friends, while creating new friends along the way. Trips abroad included Scotland, Mexico, Taiwan, Nova Scotia, and Switzerland. In the U.S, they voyaged to Mesquite and Laughlin, Nevada, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Poconos, California, plus the Deep South for Blues music. In retirement, Steve made a thousand trips “up the hill” to their mountain cabin.
He was preceded in death by both his parents, his sister Linda Will McKenzie, brother David James Will, and grandson, Cody John Will. His wit, support, and presence will be missed by his surviving family members: beloved partner and wife, Dixie; sons Jim (Jennifer) Will and John (Tracy) Will, and daughter Jenny Will Craft; and his flock of grandchildren: Zach, Hannah, Jamie, Stevie, Will, Nora, and Henry.
Steve was a true friend to so many in his community and someone who lived by the Golden Rule. A longtime member of the Sheridan Rotary Club, he emulated “Service Above Self.” Many have noted his quiet, genuine strength with a tenacious work ethic for good. Memorials would be appreciated for any organization you choose, including Sheridan YMCA’s Give Your Heart to a Child campaign, 417 N. Jefferson, Sheridan, WY 82801, and the Hub on Smith’s home Delivered Meals Program, 211 Smith St., Sheridan, WY 82801.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 16, 2019, in the Sheridan High School auditorium with Reverend Kevin Jones officiating. A reception will immediately follow at the Elks Lodge.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.
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