On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, Steve Girard went home to heaven, where he is in the loving arms of Jesus. He was born on October 4, 1957 in Madison, WI.
Steve lived a life serving others. He had little, but gave much! The evidence of his joy in loving, giving and serving others was clearly shown in his laugh that we remember so well. Just that laugh brought joy to others. Every family member, and there were more than 60 family members, received a Culver’s gift card for their birthday. At Christmas, each adult received chocolate dipped pretzels and each of the kids received candy and gifts. That was just family! Many others in his life were given gifts from his heart. Even though he had little, he gave generously. Steve gave time, a listening ear and encouragement to anyone who needed it. He sponsored many who were in life crisis. When visiting a store, he would note the name of the staff from their name tag and greet them by name. To Steve, every person was a new friend. He judged no one, but loved everyone! So many have said they consider him a very good friend!
Steve’s early years were spent in Madison. His Dad owned a grocery store where he taught his children the grocery business. His Mom was a stay at home Mom who loved her nine children well. In his elementary years the family moved to Elkhorn to open another grocery store. Grocery business became a big part of Steve’s life. Steve attended Catholic elementary schools and Elkhorn High School where he graduated in 1975. He attended UW-Madison. Years later he earned a welding degree from Gateway Technical College. During his years at UW-Madison, Steve learned he had a lifelong mental illness. It was a very difficult first few years for him, but he fought that battle, and through it kept joy in his life and served others well.
Steve was a lifelong Catholic, and committed to his faith. He loved the Lord with all his heart! He sang in St. Patrick’s Church choir beginning in high school, and served faithfully until he died. Another community where his love shone for others. He also sang in community choirs and in a men’s quartet. Steve’s grocery career included Skelly’s grocery (his Dad’s business), Eagle Foods, and many years serving the people of Elkhorn at Frank’s Piggly Wiggly. Frank referred to Steve as “The Mayor” because he knew everyone and everyone knew him. He loved them all and made their day better as he served them. There were so many interests and gifts in Steve’s life. He loved to play Cribbage with family and friends. And enjoyed a good game of Scrabble. He was a good golfer and connected with many at the course. He was a huge fan of the Packers, Badgers and Brewers! Music was a big part of his life. Steve could listen to a few notes of a song and tell you the name, artist and year it came out.
How can we say what an amazing man Steve was? He touched so many lives! It can be summed up in what the Bible gives as the Fruit of the Spirit. God’s love shone through him – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness ... it is who Steve was.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Gladys, his brother Larry, his sister Jacque and brother-in-law Jim. He is survived by siblings Geri, Jan (Dick Babler), JoEllen (Jim Treslley), Judy (Dennis Speckman), Robert Jr. (Thess), and Dan (Maria), along with 40+ nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Steve is also survived by his very special friend for many years Lorraine DeMott, who he loved and served so well.
A family organized visitation and funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at St. Patrick’s Church, 107 West Walworth Street, Elkhorn. Visitation will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Funeral will be at 3:00 pm. A light meal will be served at 4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Patrick’s Church Choir (107 West Walworth Street, Elkhorn, WI 53121), the Clothing Outreach Center (58 West Market Street, Elkhorn, WI 53121), or Mt. Zion Food Pantry (2330 WI-120, Lake Geneva, WI 53147).