June 3, 1954 - January 2, 2021
Stephen Salvatore Cusenza passed away on January 2, 2021 in Walnut Creek, CA, surrounded by his loving family.
Steve was born in Visalia, California on June 3,1954 to Jasper and Evelyn Cusenza. He attended George McCann Elementary and Mt. Whitney High School. As a young man growing up in Visalia, Steve spent endless hours working in his father's hardware store while enjoying his free time with friends hiking in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Steve lived in Visalia until his college years where he attended Santa Clara University and studied Civil Engineering. At Santa Clara, Steve met LeeLee Daschbach, his wife of 42 years.
Following Santa Clara, Steve's career in Civil Engineering focused on the planning and design of public utilities for the cities of Santa Cruz, Taft, and ultimately Pleasanton where he spent 21 years with the City of Pleasanton Public Works Department.
Throughout his life, Steve found joy and freedom traveling the world with his family and many friends. He often played the role of tour guide, where he created countless memories for those traveling along with him. His recently acquired dual Italian citizenship often brought him and LeeLee to Sicily where he reunited with his Italian roots.
Along with travel, a constant throughout Steve's life were his friends. His kind smile, genuine approach, and jovial demeanor warmed the hearts of those he met. From Visalia to Pleasanton and everywhere in between, he treated his friends as his own family.
In every role he played within his family, he was beloved. As a husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, son-in-law, and brother-in-law, his family often leaned on him for guidance, friendship and love. In expressing love, Steve was known to communicate through his service to others. For friends and family, he could often be found helping them solve their problems, checking in at times of need, and even playing the role of "Mr. Fix-It" for various house projects.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jasper and Evelyn, and is survived by his wife LeeLee and their three children, Siena, Michael, and Marisa along with his daughter and son in-law, Shane Salvata and Tyler Johnston. Steve's grandchildren, Hailey, Jasper, Sebastian, Cleo and Ayla will forever remember Steve as their "Popo", especially Hailey who Steve was helping raise in his own home with Siena and LeeLee. Steve is also survived by his brother Joe Cusenza, and sisters Jane Creech and Mary Ann Cusenza, along with brother-in-law Randy Creech and many admiring Cusenza, Creech, and Daschbach in-laws, nieces and nephews.
To know Steve, was to love Steve, and he will be remembered by his glowing smile, humble nature, giving heart, quick wit, and easy laughter. He was a favorite of many and loved by all. Although he left us too soon, the impact of his love and friendship will live on through his family and friends forever.
A funeral will be held to honor Steve on January 16th at 10:30 at Nativity Catholic Church in Menlo Park, California. Due to capacity restrictions of the pandemic, the funeral will be viewable virtually. Please contact his family for details.
We love you Popo.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2021.