Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Steve Hooks left us yesterday. After a surprise accident and routine surgery, he suddenly and unexpectedly perished, leaving us all stunned and saddened.

 It was impossible to not love Steve. He had a boundless spirit that lit up the room. He was loud, playfully provocative, funny, and a joy to be near. He treasured his friends and made sure that we knew it. His love of life was infectious. His unflinching embrace of the human struggle he shouldered was humbling.

 After reconnecting with some of our AHS classmates, I have been a more frequent lurker on Facebook. One night, I got myself into deep Facebook water by pledging to get down with my bad self and dance the night away with Robin. Knowing that I have no dance skills whatsoever, Robin mercifully has not called me on that pledge.

 But shortly after that exchange, 70’s disco and funk favorites started popping up on my Facebook timeline. Steve had appointed himself as my new minister of music, and had taken it upon himself to prep me for my dancing debut. From Shalamar to Joe Tex, and Kool and the Gang to Instant Funk, he diligently built me a library of danceable late 70’s tunes. His last submission was ten days ago; James Brown, “People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul.”

 That was Steve. He loved to laugh. He wanted to ride in every Corvette he saw. He made the people around him feel good.

 A while ago, Steve posted something that, paraphrased, read, "Don't wait and say nice things about me at my funeral …tell me now." Thanks to Steve being the person that he was, many of us did get the chance to do just that. That is comforting today.

 We have a limited time in this world, and our fortunes can change in a moment. Bearing that in mind, I will remember Steve for many things, but importantly for the lessons he taught me. Steve has helped me to value the friends I had forgotten. He has taught me about humility and perseverance. He has made my life more meaningful by including me in his.

 He always ended with, “friends for life.” Even longer than that, buddy. God bless you Steve.

1 comment:

  1. There will be dancing, Thom Ketring ... mark my words ... there WILL BE DANCING! Love you! Friends for life!!!!