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. henrysfork.org
Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Mar. 21, 2021.