MISSOULA — Steve (Steve) Henry Rouse, 61, passed peacefully away at Marcus Daly Hospice Center from gastroesophageal cancer on Jan. 24, 2019, with his parents at his side.
Steve was born in Bozeman on Feb. 18, 1957, to Barbara and Ralph Rouse. The family moved to Sheridan when he was 2. When Steve was 5 his father died in an airplane accident. He lived in Sheridan until age 12 when his mother remarried and they moved to Butte. He attended junior high and high school in Butte and after his junior year the family moved to Hamilton. He graduated from Hamilton High in 1975. After high school graduation he enrolled in Montana State University. College was not for him and he went to Seattle to enroll in a diving school to learn underwater welding. Unable to equalize pressure in his ears, he was forced to abandon that career. He returned to Hamilton and worked for a time at Victor School where he met Cindy Burrington in 1978. They married in 1979 and the couple and their cat Coca traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, where Steve entered Wyoming Technical Institute in auto body repair. After graduation from WYO Tech they moved to Missoula. They then moved to the Bitterroot and he worked in a garage in Darby for some time before they moved back to Missoula. He worked for several years in auto body repair. He left the auto body business and went to work in the parts department of Williams Equipment for 11 years and then on to Sun Mountain Sports for 15 years until his deteriorating health made work impossible.
Steve had an active and fun childhood learning to ski at 9, camping, backpacking and hiking in the hills became his favorite pastime. He still hiked until unable to do so.
Steve was preceded in death by an infant son Zachary, his birth father Ralph, his maternal grandparents Henry and Arlyle Bingham, paternal grandparents Ralph and Lila Rouse, his step-grandparents Clark and Valborg Ormiston and his faithful cat companion Jupiter.
He is survived by his son Justin (Nikki) in Minnesota, his daughter Shelby in Missoula and two much loved granddaughters, Cailey, 11, of Minnesota, and Rylee, 6, of Missoula; brothers Kevin (Tracy) of Orofino, Idaho, and Scott (Dara) in Missoula. He is also survived by his parents John and Barbara Ormiston of Hamilton, two nephews and a niece in Idaho, a nephew in Portland and a niece in Missoula, a great-niece and two great-nephews in Idaho. He is also survived by his uncle Larry (Carol) Bingham in Illinois, and his former wife Cindy Miller of Turah.
Steve leaves behind many friends, his love of the Seattle Seahawks and NASCAR, and his deep love of the outdoors.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Siobhan Lynch and staff at Community Cancer Care and Prevention in Missoula and Marcus Daly Hospice and staff in Hamilton for their compassionate care of Steve.
As per his wishes there will be no service. Scattering of his ashes will take place by family at a later date. Memorials may be mailed to Traditional Bowhunters of Montana, PO Box 275, Boyd, MT 59013. Condolences may be left for the family at dalyleachchapel.com.
“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound/in fear of what my life and children’s life will be/ I go and lie down where the wood drake/ rests his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds/ I come into the peace of wild things/ who do not tax their lives with the thought/ of grief. I come into the presence of still water. /And I feel above me the day-blind stars/waiting for their light. For a time/ I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
—Wendell Berry quoted in New York Times and High Country News.