Steve Soldan, 81, of rural Winlock, Washington, passed away on Nov. 4, 2022, in Centralia, Washington. Steve was born in rural Saline County, Kansas, to Robert Kale Soldan and Frances Mary Brown on May 2, 1941, the 11th of 12 live births. After his father died (Steve was 11), the family moved to Salina, Kansas, where he attended high school before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1960.
While serving at a Nike missile radar site near Redmond, Washington, Steve and Lucy Anne Kezele were introduced by mutual friends. After attending a USO event and a short courtship, they married at Sacred Heart Parish in Bellevue, Washington, on June 7, 1963. Some of Steve’s eight brothers were not sure he should marry a Catholic, but he persevered. They would have been married 60 years in June 2023.
While living in the Rosehill area of Kirkland, Washington, son Tracy Arthur and daughter Susan Marie were born. In 1966, they moved to Okanogan in Eastern Washington. Their third and fourth children were born in nearby Omak; Nancy Ellen and Mary Louise.
Steve loved being outdoors. While still a teenager, he worked making deliveries for a Dr. Pepper bottling plant and, later, with his brothers building grain elevators. After marrying, he found employment in forestry related jobs, including lumber mills in Omak, Washington, and Fox Park, Wyoming, and as a timber faller in Colville, Washington. Being the breadwinner was very important to Steve. He had a hard time adjusting when he had to retire on disability in the early 1990s. He encouraged Lucy to pursue a career in the USDA-Forest Service “because you can do it.” So the family moved from Omak to Laramie, Wyoming, then back to Cle Elum and (later) Colville in Washington. In 1998, Steve and Lucy moved near Winlock in Lewis County to be closer to Lucy’s aging parents and to their daughter, Nancy, and her two children.
Steve's favorite pastimes included bowling, hunting and fishing. Later in life he enjoyed target shooting, visiting favorite fishing spots to swap stories with others he knew, working in the yeard, feeding birds (and squirrels), and helping family, friends and strangers.
Steve is preceded in death by both parents and by all but one of his siblings. Porter B., Robert (Bob) K. (Jr.), Ralph V., John E., William (Bill) E., Daniel L., Carl A. and Elizabeth (Betty) A. Bond, Cynthia F. Cunningham and June R. Labes all predeceased him.
Steve is survived by his brother, Michael G. Soldan, of New York state; his wife, Lucy; their children, Tracy, Sue, Nancy and Mary; grandchildren, Sarah, Dustin, William and Cody; great-grandchildren, Davina (Nina), Ryker-Lucius, Jon Jr. (JJ), Lavina (Lovi), Leon and Kazimer. He is also greatly missed by his kitty companion, Lady Ebony.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, at St. Francis Xavier Mission Parish, 139 Spencer Road, Toledo, Washington. After the service, Steve’s cremated remains will be buried at the adjacent cemetery. All Steve's friends are welcome to attend and to share remembrances of Steve. Please enjoy a lunch prepared by parishioners in the parish hall afterward.