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Steven Peter Okerstrom

1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Steven Peter Okerstrom Obituary
STEVEN PETER OKERSTROM ~ March 17, 1941 October 15, 2018 Steven Peter Okerstrom passed away on Monday, October 15th, 2018 following a two week struggle in intensive care at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, CA. A resident of Willits, CA, he was born to Merle and Astrid Okerstrom in Santa Cruz, CA on March 17th, 1941. Steven was just five years old when the family moved to Branscomb to begin their life in Mendocino County. He is survived by his loving wife Rita, sons Ryan and Sean Okerstrom and step children David G. Castino, Sr., Douglas Castino, Laurel Webster and beloved grandchildren David G. Castino, Jr., Sarah Castino, Jacquelyn Castino-Reynolds, Ben Castino & Remo Webster. He loved his sons Sean and Ryan deeply and was their fiercest advocate. His family mattered and he considered it one of his greatest fortunes when he married Rita Rubattino in 1992 and her family also became his. He was much loved and will be greatly missed. Steven lived a big life. There was no half-way. He had big ideas, big dreams and a very big heart. He was generous and kind, a 'softy' at heart. He had a big taste for life from fast cars to high performance speed boats. He especially loved sharing these passions with his son, Sean. Steven loved music and in his youth mastered every brass instrument in the high school band. He loved to reimagine things, and oversaw the exquisite completion of many projects -- from auto restoration to remodeling his home and landscaping his hilltop in Willits. He was a skillful wood worker, imagined the best and oversaw the transformation of his home in Willits with care and very high standards. Steven graduated from Laytonville High School in 1960. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and worked at Yeager & Kirk Lumber, before returning to Mendocino County in 1964 to join his father in the family business, Okerstrom Logging. It was a decision that shaped his life for the next four decades. Initially with his father, Merle, and later his nephew, Todd McMahon, Steven grew Okerstrom Logging. As a co-owner, then owner, he was innovative and pushed to make a competitive edge for the company. He constantly looked for ways to improve production and generally had the best crews and equipment. The company grew to become a significant employer in northern Mendocino County. In the early 1970's, Okerstrom Logging brought the first swing yarder to Mendocino County at their logging operations in Rockport. In 1989, they brought the first feller-buncher to the county and started mechanized logging. It was eventually replaced with two others, which included one Steven helped design with Ross Equipment Company, considered at the time the biggest, most powerful feller-buncher ever built. In 1995, a second company was formed, "Timber Management Services" (TMS) which utilized a "cut to length" harvester and forwarder which had been manufactured in Finland. At its peak there were over 90 employees, which included 3 yarder crews, 2 cat crews, 10 log truck drivers, 20 timber fallers, mechanics, and admin staff. Steven was preceded in death by his parents, Merle & Astrid Okerstrom and his sister, Geraldine Ferreira. He is survived by his wife Rita, sons Ryan and Sean Okerstrom, dear friend and right hand man Sirio Palio, his sister Elizabeth Murguia, nephews Todd McMahon, Greg Myers and Darren Ferreira, as well as numerous great nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution be made in Steven's memory to , the or a . A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 17th, 2018, 2 4 pm, at Willits Harrah Senior Center, 1501 Baechtel Rd., Willits, CA 95490.
Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on Oct. 28, 2018
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