Let me tell you a little bit about Steve or ‘Upty‚’ as his friends and comrades knew him. Steve was well liked wherever he worked and lived.
He was a loving‚ caring‚ and devoted husband and father. Steve loved to putter around the house. Gardening and lawn work were some of his passions‚ and he was the one who had the green thumb between us. While working around the house and gardening‚ he loved to listen to music. Jimmy Buffet and Jerry Jeff Walker were his favorites. Steve was so easygoing. He always had a smile. Steve liked to invite our friends and coworkers over for huge BBQs. He loved the outdoors as well and tried to work in hunting‚ camping‚ and fishing trips when possible.
Steve was dedicated to his career in wildland fire for the Department of Agriculture‚ U.S. Forest Service. He was planning to retire at the end of December 2009 with 35 years of dedicated service. During his career with the Forest Service‚ Steve was stationed on the Willamette National Forest‚ Detroit Ranger District; the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming; the Malheur National Forest‚ Prairie City Ranger District; Wallow-Whitman National Forest‚ Unity Ranger District; Deschutes National Forest‚ Fort Rock Ranger District; and Payette National Forest.
Three heliports have been renamed in memory of Steve‚ and Squaw Creek in Grant County has been renamed ‘Upty’s Creek’ in his honor. Senator Ferrioli sponsored Senate Bill 327‚ ‘Upty’s Law‚’ in memory of Steve ‘Upty’ Uptegrove. This bill creates crime of unlawful manufacture of marijuana on public land‚ punishable by a maximum of 20 years imprisonment‚ a $375‚000 fine‚ or both.
Every morning when Steve would leave for work‚ he would always kiss me and tell me he would love me forever and always‚ and I will always love Steve! As one of his crew members‚ friends‚ or family members departed on a road trip‚ he would tell them to ‘drive friendly.’ That was one of his signature sayings‚ which came from the heart.
Steve was the love of my life‚ my best friend‚ partner‚ and loving husband. He will be missed by me; his daughters‚ Savannah and Whitney; and his parents.