1951 - 2021
STEVEN WHISLER The Lord has a new fly-fishing buddy! Steve joined Him on March 13, 2021, succumbing to cancer. He was born June 5, 1951 in Monroe, MI to Norman L. and Evelyn J. Whisler. Steve graduated from Bentley Senior H.S. in Livonia, MI in 1969 where he was a standout on the high school wrestling team. He attended Central Michigan University, graduating in 1973 with a degree in Psychology and Sociology. Steve worked for seven years in Human Services, managing a homeless shelter and providing substance abuse counseling. He returned to school in 1980, earning a teaching degree from NAU in Flagstaff. He joined the Clark County School District in the Fall of 1981, and continued his personal education by earning a Master's Degree from UNLV in Guidance & Counseling and Educational Psychology. In addition to teaching 5th grade and middle school mathematics, he was a middle school counselor for four years and became an inspiration to all his students. He started the "Trout in the Classroom" program at Garrett Middle School in Boulder City. Steve took great pride in his After-School Fishing Club, which helped develop the skills of fly fishing specifically and life's lessons in general. Steve showed them not only how to cast and tie flies, but how to approach life through patience and humor. In 1986 Steve married the love of his life and soul mate, Val Zupsan, a fellow teacher, and their greatest adventures began. They took hundreds of camping trips together. Steve's fly fishing gave a focus to their summer wanderings, which lead to their discovery of "Paradise on Earth," the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. He spent many hours fishing, volunteering and teaching others how to fly fish, and he often shared his hand-tied flies from his vest or hat with strangers, soon to become friends. His love for nature revealed itself through his patience in showing guests at their Idaho home the beauty of nature while drifting down the river. Through golf, Steve met a wonderful community of friends at Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Henderson. He fully enjoyed and appreciated a rich, warm fulfilling life with Val at his side, saying "I had a good run!" He is survived by his mother, Evelyn Jean Whisler of Reno, his brother Douglas Whisler of Florida and his wife, Valarie Zupsan of Henderson. No services are scheduled, but a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Steve Whisler's name to the Henry's Fork Foundation.

Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Mar. 21, 2021.
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61 Entries
Val, our thoughts remain with you. We cherish our time with you and Steve. The Middle Fork tends to add special magic and we loved sharing it with you guys. All our love!
Samuel Mark LaSalle
June 29, 2021
We wish we had met you sooner and were able to spend more. We loved the few years we had and especially those wonderful visits in Idaho. The world needs more people like Steve.
Bob and Sandy LeVan
April 27, 2021
The world is less bright with the passing of Steve. He was one of the most genuine, kind and generous people I have known. I never left a conversation with Steve without a smile. A special human being, indeed.
Connie Melcher
April 13, 2021
I met Steve in 1990, through the Las Vegas Flyfishing Club. He was one of a kind, funny, warm, caring and generous. I was fortunate to fish with him on and off over the years. He showed me a lot of great places, from the backcountry of Utah and Nevada, Lee's Ferry, a trip in the van to the San Juan, and even a couple hikes to second meadow of Slough Creek in Yellowstone. I will never forget him and all those stories he stand and share at the club. The meeting was never over till he shared a story. Every time I wet a line I will think of him. Val, I'm so sorry for your loss, it must be tremendous. My condolences and sympathy. Enjoy the next journey Steve, God Bless. Gregory.
Gregory Mish
April 8, 2021
Steve was a Fraternity Brother and a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon at Central Michigan University. He has lived a wonderful life and deserves his place in Heaven. My best to the family.
Joe Wakeley, Grayling, MI
April 8, 2021
Mrs. Zupsan I´ve thought about you so many times since middle school PE. Saddened to read the news of Mr. Whisler. May he Rest In Peace. With love, Toni
Toni Radley-Shingleton
April 7, 2021
Val, I'm very sorry for your loss but I'm so glad that you and Steve shared such a wonderful life together. Dan Roman
Dan Roman
April 6, 2021
The world lost an incredible soul. Steve was such a wonderful person, so kind, so generous, so patient. Sending you and your families love and sympathy.
Matthew and Stacey
April 6, 2021
I was so fortunate to know Steve ever since they arrived in Island Park way back when. Always smiling and cracking a joke or two. He will be missed by so many as he touched hundreds of lives, I'm sure. But none more than you Val. I am so very sorry he had to leave you behind to go on to the big river beyond. I am hoping the thousands, if not millions of memories you created together will bring you comfort in the days ahead. Hoping to give you a big hug this summer.
Karen Cameron
April 5, 2021
Sending love and sympathy to Val and all those who knew and loved Steve
Sue Lang
March 31, 2021
Val, so sorry for your loss. Sending my prayers your way, that you may be comforted with peace during a difficult time. Love and Hugs
525 Sheffield Drive
March 31, 2021
Not everyone is fortunate enough to marry their best friend. Steve has given me so much courage and strength. He brought so much happiness to my life. I´ve fallen in love with all the memories we´ve shared and the milestones that wouldn´t mean anything unless we reached them together. Every day I´m so grateful that I found my soulmate and lifelong love in Steve. I´ll love him forever. Val
Val Zupsan
March 30, 2021
Val, sending you love and prayers of peace and comfort.
Sara Dietmeier
March 30, 2021
Steve had so many wonderful qualities - kindness, patience, generosity and sense of humor being just a few. He is already missed by so many.
Beverly Knight
March 30, 2021
My great friend, Val...Truly Heartbroken learning of Steve's passing. The world is yours and I know it awaits for your return. Steven was a gem of a loving husband...Perfect for all your memorable adventures together!!! God's Blessings to you, Evelyn and Douglas. Love always, Marian Palmer
Marian Palmer
March 30, 2021
Death is about the living.... From whenever when, til then. Peace and Love
bill Dwelley
March 30, 2021
Steve radiated such warmth, kindness, and laughter, the world is a little empty without him in it.
Claudia Newbury
March 28, 2021
We will miss you so Steve. You were such a big help to my Steve in his cancer struggle. I can see you two, on the banks for the Henrys Fork waiting for the hatch to start, shooting the breeze. Fish on!
Bonnie Altshuld
March 28, 2021
From the first day we met in the summer between our 8th and 9th grades in Garden City, Michigan, I considered you one of my very best friends. You even stood up in my wedding and we communicated regularly right to the last, even though hundreds of miles, even thousands of miles, separated us. I will miss you dearly my friend but I'm reminded of a saying...and it applies to you and all the loved ones and friends who is not ended, just changed. My prayers for the happy repose of your soul, Steve.
John Gumina
March 27, 2021
Val, So sorry for your loss! I know the fly fishing world has lost a wonderful fisherman. Foo
Bill Sanderson
March 27, 2021
Steve was a great friend, mentor, and fly fishing partner. I shared the water with Steve on and off for over 30 years. The world is already missing his contributions. When you are in the confines of wilderness, forest, or river canyon and experience the natural environment, Steve is with you always and a “ River runs through it”.

“Steve’s Song”

Sunrise comes amid the calm
A fire starts hope to be warm

Fly rods search for Steve this day
A likely rise is on it’s way

A beetle looks to be the choice
I think I hear the fishes voice

The drift is free of drag this time
A trout looks up I think it’s time

The take is soft unlike the wind
A perfect set the runs is on

A big brown shows his color today
The rod is bent oh what a day

The fight is strong but soon it ends
The net is dipped A release
Comes next

A quick measure surprises Steve
The biggest brown he’s ever see

The days been long with fish and friends
A cold beer may be just the cleanse

Stories told and laughter sounds
Memories made beneath the clouds

Steves silent grin sets the tone
I think he’s in the fishing zone

So when your on the water next time
Remember Steve is smiling, because
It’s not the end

Michael Cook
March 26, 2021
Val, I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband Steve. Losing a spouse is really a life changing event. May your memories comfort you during this difficult time. Fondly.
Joan Rensch
March 26, 2021
Such a great picture of Steve attached to his obituary. His warmth and kindness shine through even behind the sunglasses. Nice fish, by the way. Sending you thoughts of peace and solace and a virtual hug.
Judy Wondrak
March 26, 2021
As a WOW member, I offer our sincere sympathy for the physical loss of your husband. He will be with you in your heart forever.
Mike & Patty Mayne
March 25, 2021
We know he is getting bigger fish in the sky above.
Terry & Sue Hall
March 25, 2021
Steve was a good friend, and a faithful volunteer at Harriman State Park of Idaho jack Fence project. I will miss him.
Jim Kemp
March 25, 2021
Val: I met Steve at the Reel Recovery Retreat and I was fortunate enough to have him as my roommate during the retreat. His humor and optimism helped everyone in the group get a better prospective to their life before and after having heard we had cancer. He shared many stories and jokes with us over those four days. One of his jokes was appropriate but somewhat off color. The punchline to the joke was "Don't look Down" Later that night we were talking and he incorporated that same line in the context of life. He said no matter what we go through in life we must always "Look Up" as looking down will never get you anywhere. Looking always down you will miss something meaningful but always looking up you will see love in a way that most people in their everyday life take for granted. I share this with you now as I think Steve would want you to look up. Remember your life together and get comfort in that life on earth is so very short compared to the eternity you will share with him when you met again. Thank you for sharing Steve with me as I will cherish the brief time I had with him. God Speed. Mark
Mark A. Fertitta
March 25, 2021
Here is one more picture of Steven (with Justin Short, a counselor) at the conclusion of the Reel Recovery fly fishing retreat for men with cancer that was run at the Dome Mountain Ranch in MT in 2019. Steven was a huge asset to this event; he kept our spirits up with his contagious enthusiasm and jokes.
Frederick Thurber
March 25, 2021
I taught with Val at Burkholder Junior high in the 70's. She was/is a handful. So what can I say about Steve? He was a saint. He'd have to be in order to handle Val. And he was lucky to have met Val as well. What a great pair! Our sympathies to Val and all is his friends and family. The rivers of heaven have just acquired a special fly fisherman.
Phil McKinley/David Manning
March 25, 2021
In every picture of Steve is a huge smile. Such a happy guy with so many great adventures! A rich, full life lived to the fullest! Such great times you and Val shared! Big hugs to you, Val!
Patty and Jim
March 25, 2021
I am so so sorry, Val, my heart breaks with you at your loss of Steve. I remember his wonderful smile.
Diane Anderson
March 25, 2021
So sorry for your loss Val. We have many happy memories of Steve. He is in the arms of God now.
Bill and Barb Reiss
March 25, 2021
I met Steven along the Yellowstone at a Reel Recovery retreat in 2019. His participation at it helped many others in their battle with cancer. His care for others, love of fly fishing and zest for life was impactful and fun! Be Well Steven! Fish On! Tim Rote
Tim Rote
March 25, 2021
I have to smile when I remember Steven being a bit apologetic (at the fly fishing retreat for men with cancer) about buying his new car. I approached him later and said not to worry; we are all older guys here and understand the need for such a toy! He then invited me out for a drive and thus began our big adventure at the retreat...
Frederick Thurber
March 25, 2021
Dear Val, I just heard the sad news. Please accept my condolences; we never met but Steven was a great friend to me at the Reel Recovery fly fishing retreat in Montana. Here he is at breakfast with us at the Dome Mountain Ranch.
Frederick Thurber
March 25, 2021
Val, Just heard today the sad news about your husband passing. So sorry for your loss, Val.
Janet and Rick Sitts
March 24, 2021
Condolences Val. Steve was the best. From the first trip to the San Juan river and Lee's Ferry in 1988 to the last float on the Henry's Fork, it was always a pleasure spending time on the water with Steve. We learned the sport together, he will be missed. Steve, I hope your drifts are long and drag free in the hereafter. RIP old friend. Steve Marcino
Steve Marcino
March 24, 2021
Val, we were shocked by this news! Steve was so full of life that is hard to believe he is gone. We were still hoping to do the Jenny lake canoe trip with you guys some day! Wish we had one more Steve hug and smile. Too many friends gone to cancer. We love you, and you both will be in our thoughts and prayers. Its the memories that will make you sad but in the end, sustain you and lift your spirit. Our hearts go out to you girlfriend!
Cathy and Gary Gross
March 24, 2021
So sorry for your loss, Val. Steve was a great guy. Your partnership was one of the best. Thinking of you as you grieve. Hope to see you this summer.
Sue McKenna
March 24, 2021
Steve was always so very kind and thoughtful. He was a true friend. He has been part of my life for more than 30 years. I have been blessed to know him.
Kathleen DeVleming
March 23, 2021
We will miss you Steve. Your generosity of spirit and appreciation of life were contagious. May you find the best fly fishing the hereafter has to offer. Love and God bless. Jennifer & Darryl.
Darryl Peterson
March 22, 2021
We are so saddened for your loss Val. We have fond memories of Steve.
Jennifer and Darryl
March 22, 2021
Dear Val, I taught with Steve at Garrett. I am so sorry for your loss. He was an incredible guy, and I will always remember him for his kindness, professionalism, and wonderful smile. I pray God will comfort you!
Cathy Braithwaite
March 22, 2021
Dear Val, I always loved the way you talked about your husband and you adventures together. I can only imagine how much you love and fun you have shared with the man of your dreams. I will keep you in my prayers. Hold on to the Joy!
March 21, 2021
Steve always liked the corned beef and cabbage at the annual dinner at our house, we missed him this year and always--great guy!!! Toni n Butch
Toni Young/ Butch Ivey
March 21, 2021
Val, I am so sorry for your loss! I met Steve through my life partner, John, who owns a cabin just down the road from Steve and Val's in Island Park. Steve was generous with his time and knowledge -- he gave me fly fishing tips and instruction and let me join him on his drift boat-- and with his sense of humor. He was fun to be around! I will miss him.
Sharon Staples
March 21, 2021
May the peace and comfort of the Lord be with you and your family during this time. Rest in Heaven Steve
Cheryl Hartfield
March 21, 2021
Going to miss Steve and his smile, and laugh. Always a friend. My deepest sympathy Val.
Gordon Hanson
March 21, 2021
I have been blessed to have had Steve as a buddy for so many years. Memories that will stay with me forever! My heart is with his family and close friends during this difficult time. Rest In Peace my friend.
Pat Duffy
March 21, 2021
So many memories of get togethers and family reunions.Lots of laughs and lots of love. We´ll miss you, Steve. Joyce,Charlie and Nikki
Joyce,Charlie and Nikki Swarts
March 21, 2021
Steve......a great guy, a great friend, and now a great void in our lives.
George Grove
March 21, 2021
Steve, was a wonderful son. He will be missed by so many. Rest in peace. Mom
Evelyn Whisler
March 21, 2021
Steve's smile, which is imprinted in my mind, was worth a million words, his laugh contagious, his fishing "addiction" was infectious, and his love for you, Val, was and still is admired. I believe Steve planted a seed in all of us to be better human beings and to live life to the fullest and with a little zest everyday! Thank you Val and Steve for enriching my life! God-speed.
Nancy Willard
March 21, 2021
Val-so very sorry for the loss-he was a very good man. We were very fortunate to float the Henry's Fork with you and Steve this Past August 2020 and spend some quality time with both you and Steve. I am so very happy and honored that he let me "row his drift boat" down the Henry's Fork for him to fly fish on one of his last fishing adventures-albeit- I am sure there are plenty of good waters for him to fish in heaven. May he rest in peace.
Kevin and Kim Leary
March 21, 2021
Arnie Kelley
March 21, 2021
Tempus Fugit, Vita Brevis, Carpe Diem. The best friend of my life. Call me lucky
Bill and Denise Kolton
March 21, 2021
Steve, enjoy the heavenly fly fishing. We will look out for Val down here. Rest in peace.
Nita Marmouget
March 21, 2021
Steve was a wonderful friend, and we treasure many fond memories. It was a privilege to have known him and our lives are richer because of him.
Gary and Sally
March 21, 2021
Our sincere sympathy for your loss. Steve was your love of your life and we know that he will be missed by you and all that knew him. Many blessings and love your way. His memories will live forever in your heart. Love you
John and Peggy Miklos
March 21, 2021
Steve enjoyed life and lived it well with no regrets. Rest In Peace with all of the Saints.
Fan & Marcia Whisler
March 21, 2021
Whenever you were around Steve you felt better about yourself. He made everyone feel like they were the only person on earth. It was remarkable. His laughter shook the room. And the love for his beloved wife Val, and his fishing adventures were nothing short of inspiring. There will be a little less light in the world without Steve in it. He was a very special man and an even better friend. We love you Steve. See you soon.
Pat and Cari Leary
March 21, 2021
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