Steve Radvak . Steve was born the youngest of four boys in Olsinkov, Slovakia on May 17, 1928 and died on June 15, 2014 at the age of 86 in West Vancouver. He came to Canada in 1939 at the age of 10 with his parents and oldest brother John. His brothers Andrew and Bill were held back due to the war, and the family did not meet again for 32 years. Steve was predeceased by his parents, John and Helen (Hamilton, ON) brothers John (Hamilton, ON) Bill (Czech Republic) and Andrew (Slovakia). Predeceased by his son, Michael, in January 2014, Steve is survived by Clarisse, his wife of 57 years, daughters Joanne Lustre (Tony), Marie Whelan (Steve Kitson), and sons Steve (Silvia) and Bill (Ann Marie), as well as 16 treasured grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, Robeen and Lily, who was just born on June 6th. Steve was the quintessential self-made man. As a teen, he noticed in his small Quebec mining town that the mine managers lived in the big houses on the golf course - this shaped his early dreams and life-long accomplishments. A high school education in his small town was not an option, so Steve worked very hard at a variety of odd jobs, won a few good poker hands and set out on his own to get his high-school education. His grand plan required an engineering degree, so he completed his first year at Queens University in Ontario and, during a summer job, discovered the beauty of British Columbia. He moved his studies to UBC and, as a proud 1956 engineering alumni, he encouraged his children and grandchildren to follow in his footsteps. No matter their path, Steve was immensely proud of all his children and grandchildren. Steve and Clarisse married in 1957 and had five children by 1964, moving from Quebec - Gaspe, Labrador, Chibougamou, Montreal - to his dream job of mine manager in Osoyoos, BC and, finally, to West Vancouver 45 years ago. The family was active in local sports and music activities and enjoyed decades of community life including Hollyburn and Capilano Country Clubs. Some may still remember Steve at the side of a field or rink "coaching" his sons, or enjoying a cigar while walking the West Vancouver seawall. He was memorable. Steve was an avid golfer and swimmer, continuing to work out daily at the gym and chug along the West Van seawall at a speed much beyond his years. He loved to travel, and his work and family took him all over the world. Steve will be remembered for his sincere joy at being in the presence of babies and children, a good game of golf, playing cards with his friends, cruises, dancing, a great meal, and most of all ice cream with his grandchildren - anything he could do to spoil them and get away with it brought him joy. He was most happy and proud when his family was doing what he thought they should be doing, but the best stories revolve around the times that they were not. He never tired of telling those stories, and most would end with him laughing so hard he had to wipe the tears of joy from his eyes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation Hope Center. A celebration of Steve's life will be held on Wednesday, July 2nd at 3pm at Capilano Golf and Country Club. Hollyburn Funeral Home 604-922-1221 www.hollyburnfunerals.com
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Published in The North Shore News from June 25 to June 29, 2014