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Steven Glenn Valentine, 70, of Richland, OR died January 1, 2019 with his family and four legged friends by his side. There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 1 p.m. at the Baker City VFW (2005 Valley Avenue). A graveside service with military honors will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery later this spring.
Steven was born January 19, 1948 in Baker, OR to Darel and Lorraine Valentine. He was the oldest of four children and his siblings have said “you couldn’t ask for a better big brother.” He was raised on the “Old County Poor Farm” a short distance outside of Baker. His mother said he “rarely asked for anything” but “never moving from Baker” and his “first real gun” were among the things which were important to him. He was later able to purchase his family home and raise his own children there.
At the age of 19, Steven was drafted into Vietnam. He spent six months at Fort Lewis for basic training before being deployed to the jungles of Vietnam; he served as Squad Leader, First Air Calvary. One of his responsibilities as Squad Leader was to delegate who would walk point on their missions; the most dangerous post to have. True to his character, Steven refused to put another man in that position, rather, shouldering the responsibility himself. His mother gave him a pocket size bible before leaving home, which he carried with him through his entire service. She asked that he read the 23 Psalms every day, and she would do the same. This, the love of his family and the friendships he made while deployed helped get him through the darkness that was Vietnam. He proudly handed that bible on to his son years later. After a year long tour, he returned stateside and finished out his military service at Fort Ord before returning to Baker.
Once back, Steven was reacquainted with Regenia, whom he had known since Junior High. Sparks flew, and as they both liked to joke, “She chased him until he caught her.” They married on May 17, 1970. Shortly after, he adopted Regenia’s daughter, Donna and they had a son, Colby, together, completing their family. Steven and Regenia’s home was a well known gathering place for family and friends. It was where to go for a meal, a laugh and, of course, a Heidelberg beer or two.
Throughout the years, Steven worked jobs in construction, heavy equipment operation and gold mining. His greatest passion, however, was ranching. He was most at peace being outdoors, on horseback and mingling with cows. Every calving season Steven could be found out in a pasture, idling in his pickup, watching the new babies run and play and laughing at the “cute little farts.” One of his biggest joys was taking his first-born grandson, Chris, to work every chance he could. He loved having his “sidekick” with him, teaching him the ranching life and how to always take time to appreciate a beautiful sunset. Steven loved this way of life so much that even in his final days, when he could no longer walk, he asked his kids to help him to the pickup so he could go on what would be his last cattle drive.
Steven was a passionate hunter from the time he could walk and carry a gun. He was a natural at the sport and passed that on to his son, Colby, who was his favorite hunting partner of all. He enjoyed fishing and spent the last few years taking his youngest grandson, Wyatt, to the rivers and lakes around Richland to catch some brook and rainbow trout; while also teaching him to always appreciate a beautiful sunset.. He was most at peace in the outdoors and often said he didn’t need to go to church because “I go to church every time I walk outside.”
Steven had an unmatched compassion for people and animals alike. His capacity to comfort was unsurpassed. As long he was able, no animal in his family, whether it be a dog, cat, cow or horse, ever passed on without him by their side. He was a strong, gentle shoulder for anyone who needed it. He told hilarious stories, had a quick and smart wit and always had the most infectious laugh in the room. To know him was to love him, and he was loved by many. Steven’s passing is a huge loss for us all, but it helps knowing that he loved his life and he never took one day with his family and friends for granted.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Darel and Lorraine Valentine; his brother, Bruce; Father-in-Law, Fred Fuge; Brother-in-Law, Brian Fuge; and Sister-In-Law Rene Fuge.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Regenia; his daughter Donna and her husband Carl Carpenter of Baker City; his son Colby and girlfriend Heather English of Richland, OR; Sister Linda Tipton of Baker City; brother Craig of Baker City; and Sister-in-Law, Sheila, of Haines, OR; Mother-in-Law, Colleen Anderson of Baker City; and Brother-in-Law, Lee Fuge of Canby, OR. Granchildren include Christopher Rowe (Winnie Huang); Corey Carpenter; Elisha (Matt) Schlett, Wyatt Valentine; Brooke Anderson and Derick Anderson. Great Grandchildren include, Riley Jo and LC Renae Rowe; Kaden Cinch Carpenter; and Daisie Ranae and Lillie Jane Schlett. Longtime family friends Charlie Brown, Maelene Briscoe and Mindy Caviness.
Memorial contributions can be made to Best Friends of Baker through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com