Steve died at age 55 in his home in Lacey, Washington on April 20, 2017.
He was born in Texas City, TX on December 17, 1961, the son of Damon and Ann (Reding) Harkreader. Steve was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition. He graduated from LaMarque High School in 1980 and attended Baylor University where he earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Sociology. After working at Battelle in Richland, WA, he moved to Tallahassee, FL to attend Florida State University where he completed his Doctorate in Sociology. Steve worked at Georgia Institute of Technology, the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy & Government Accountablity, and the Washington State Auditor's office.
Steve loved the outdoors. He took many paddling trips on the various rivers, swamps, lakes, and backwaters of Florida and the boundary waters in Minnesota. Steve found a loving group of friends to share his enthusiasm and helped multiple generations appreciate the outdoors. He did not have the time to fully explore the great Pacific Northwest, but would lose himself in winding forest and mountain roads on his motorcycle. He lived with the mantra that we should not live to work but work to live.
Steve was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 2015. Those of us who had the privilege to live, work, and play with Steve will remember him as a person with a kind spirit, keen mind, and humble nature. He was a wise and willing mentor and a supportive colleague. Steve was a true friend, a loving son, a caring brother, and an amazing uncle and will be sorely missed.
Steve is survived by his parents, Damon and Ann Harkreader of Springfield, MO; former wife / best friend / life partner Susan Phillips of Lacey, WA; his sister, Beth Kick and her husband Robert of Springfield, MO, and their children Laura (her husband Paul), and Daniel; his brother, Larry and his wife Sue of Lafayette, CO, and their children Matt (his wife Colleen) and Ian (his fiance Sarah).
With Steve spending two distinct pieces of his life in Tallahassee and Olympia, the family is hosting a memorial in Olympia in May and Tallahassee in June. Friends who would like to express their love may make a memorial in Steve's name to either the Evergreen Chapter of the ALS Association or the national ALS Association.
The ALS Association of Evergreen Chapter; 19226 66th Ave. S. #L-105; Kent, WA 98032
The ALS Association; Gift Processing Center; PO Box 37022; Boone, IA 50037-0022