Stephen A. McCleary peacefully passed away Feb. 19, 2013 at the Los Alamos Medical Center after a swift battle with melanoma. Steve was born in Philadelphia, Pa., where he spent his childhood before graduating from Cornell Hotel School. Years later he landed a job as the manager of Los Alamos National Laboratory's food service and eventually retired from a facilities manager position at LANL. At the end of his journey Steve was surrounded by friends and family, including his mother Lillian, his brother Tom and sister Heather, his son Matthew and daughter Julia, and his loving wife Ellynn. He is also survived by his sister Lois, and father L. Robert McCleary.
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Although he was widely known about town for his efforts to control the gopher population, Steve's true passion was for skiing, often calling him to be on the slopes upwards of sixty happy days a year. He was forever seeking new adventures and experiences, and in the snowless months he enjoyed hiking, camping and fishing in as many beautiful places as he could reach. He seized every opportunity to spend time with his sweet 8-year-old grandson and dear friend, Kevin, and just six weeks before his passing Steve was blessed with another grandson, William, born to Steve and Ellynn's son Matthew and daughter-in-law Mary.
"Life is good," Steve was known to say, even on some of his hardest days; his optimism, sense of humor and incredible vitality will linger in the hearts of his loved ones for lifetimes to come. He was an outstandingly kind husband, father and friend who lived life to the very fullest and consistently took time to make sure those in his life knew they were loved.
An appropriately raucous celebration of Steve's joyful life will be held in his beloved mountains on a warm summer day in the coming months, and all those whose lives were touched by his are encouraged to join. Details will be released at a later date.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from Mar. 1 to Mar. 3, 2013