Stephen H. Sylvester
April 28, 1948 ~ November 16, 2019
Stephen H. Sylvester passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on November 16, 2019 due to complications from a fall. His wife was by his side. He was a warm, funny and dearly loved husband, father, granddad, brother and friend.
He was born into a military family on April 28, 1948 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His parents were Major Russell B. Sylvester (retired) and Vivian James Sylvester. Steve moved all over the world with his family, beginning at 6 months old and continued until his father’s Air Force retirement brought the family to Ogden, Utah in 1963. That was where Steve learned to ski and it became a life-long passion. His goal, after retiring in 2010, was to ski 90 days a year and, in a heavy snow year, he accomplished that.
Steve graduated from Bonneville High School, Weber State University with his Bachelor’s Degree, and later earned his Master’s Degree in Business Management.
He married the love of his life, Shari Mendenhall, on March 8, 1974. Their first AF assignment together was in Germany, which allowed them to travel and ski in many parts of Europe. They had one daughter, Jini Nicole. Steve was a very involved father and granddad. His love of skiing carried through to the entire family, including his three grandchildren. He taught them to ski and really enjoyed skiing with them. Steve also enjoyed golfing in Arizona, although he claimed to play just to kill time while he watched for snowflakes to fall so he could get back to skiing. Shari and Steve celebrated a wonderful 45-year anniversary this year.
Steve was always a warrior. He had a very successful career in the U.S. Air Force. He was strong, determined and always a team player. He was a true patriot – he would have proudly given his life to protect this country. He retired as a colonel after 27 years. He, Shari and Jini shared many wonderful assignments, both in the states and overseas.
After retiring from the Air Force, Steve worked in several fields: as a financial advisor, for America West Airlines, and as a JR ROTC instructor. This last position was a true calling to his natural teaching abilities and connection with teens. He made such a positive impact, over 6 years, in the lives of many students at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona. He was tough but fair. They loved him!
Steve is survived by his wife, Shari; their wonderful daughter, Jini; a great son-in-law, Matt Maxwell; three fantastic grandchildren – Rye Errae, Crease Henry and Ash Cadence; and Steve’s three siblings – Michael J. Sylvester, Jan S. Shaw and Ben R. (Julie) Sylvester.
Rendering of Full Military Honors will be at 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Leavitt’s Aultorest Memorial Park, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah 84403. A Celebration of Steve’s Life will follow, with a light lunch, in the Leavitt’s Waterfall Atrium Room.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.leavittsmortuary.com.
To send flowers to Stephen's family, please visit our floral section.