It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our oldest brother, Stephen Leonard Tolman. He left his mark on this world and so many people he encountered during his 76+ year trek thru this life. With his love and his light and his insights, he was definitely one of a kind!
Steve started his journey on Nov 8, 1946. He was born the first son of Mary Teresa Leonard and Foster Steve Tolman in Ogden, Utah. Steve attended St. Joseph Catholic schools, so long ago that the elementary school was still called Sacred Heart Academy. Steve played basketball and ran track, and we’re pretty sure he held the school record for the hundred-yard dash (as they called it back then) until his youngest siblings were in high school. He graduated from Ogden High School in 1965.
Steve joined the Navy after high school during the Vietnam War, from 1965 until 1969. He was in the Helicopter Rescue Squadron on the USS Ticonderoga. He had so many stories about his time in the Navy. From ocean rescues, including one where he nearly lost his life saving a pilot to how there was no AC or heat on the ship, so you either froze or roasted in your bunk depending on the weather. And the story of the hazing he received when crossing the equator was one he loved to tell!
He told so many stories. Some of his favorites included him and his buddies and their escapades “dragging the ‘vard” in Ogden. Mike McGann, Bill White, Bill Pettis, Bruce Campbell, and many more. He loved his old high school buddies.
He lived in Ogden; Salt Lake City; San Francisco, CA; San Diego, CA; Taos, NM; and Rupert, ID. So many adventures, so many people’s lives to touch!
On December 28, 1973, he married Cheryl Ann Montgomery in San Francisco. He loved Cheryl, and they spent a few years living in SF, before moving to Rupert, Idaho to live near Cheryl’s family. It was during this time that Steve became a Latter Day Saint and he and Cheryl were sealed in the LDS Temple. On June 29, 1984, Steve and Cheryl were blessed with the arrival of their sweet Emily Ann Tolman. They loved her deeply during her much too short life, as Emily left this world on July 27, 1984. Steve and Cheryl were later divorced.
Steve worked in many jobs, in many professions over the years. His longest, most successful, and most enjoyable job was when his brother-in-law, Craig, introduced him to Local 99/IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Steve worked there for 25+ years, where he became an electrician. We can’t count how many times Steve shared how grateful he was for his time at Local 99. He loved the work he did, the shows he saw, the things he learned. But mostly he loved the people. We could name some of the ones he told the most stories about, but we’d never remember them all, and we’re sure we would leave out someone important, so we won’t. But the connections he made, the lives he touched, the people he helped were priceless to Steve. We’re sure everyone he met remembers him! Most of them fondly, though there are probably a few who didn’t see the good side of him. But that is simply the way he was.
“Dr. Feel Good” was just one of the many nicknames he was given during his life. And he definitely had insight. He helped many people through many difficult times. He was always studying and learning and looking for more ways to connect with ‘The Voice’ (affectionately referred to as EARL!). Music was just one of the ways he connected to the spirit and he used it for healing. He did his best to heal everyone he talked to, whether it was one on one, in line at the grocery store, hanging out at Starbucks, soaking in the hotpots in Lava, anywhere that he felt the need. He reached out to so many.
Steve will be greatly missed by us, his family, and by his hundreds of friends. He is survived by sisters Peggy (Dennis) Miconi, Shelagh (Neal) Beringer, Bridget Mitchell, Kate Keyes, his brother John (Susan) Suski, and Cheryl Tolman. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Suski; Foster Steve Tolman; his stepdad, John Suski; brother-in-law, Craig Keyes; and his daughter, Emily. Steve leaves behind many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews who also found him to be a great source of support and inspiration.
A Celebration of Life will be held on November 25, 2023, from 3 until 5pm. It will be at 1369 Nicholls Rd, Fruit Heights, UT.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.aaronsmortuary.com.