Steven Dale Lightfoot
November 25, 1957 – April 23, 2021
Many things can be said about Steven Dale Lightfoot. Known to friends and acquaintances as a friendly, energetic, empathic and decisive man, his compassionate nature would always shine through, revealing his charm, warmth and conscientious demeanor. He was warmhearted, gentle and organized in all the things he sought to accomplish. Steven was a mentor, a natural “teacher” capable of seeing things clearly, leading others and bringing out the best in all of those around him. He generally had a focus on harmony and peace.
His parents were Patricia and Dan. When he was young, Steven's friends and family found that “straightforward” and “honest” were perfect words to describe him. Even as a child, Steven demonstrated strong qualities of self-confidence, perceptive ability and a disposition that was enjoyable to those around him.
Steven grew up with two siblings. He had one younger sister, Lisa, and one younger brother John. Steven was constantly involved in all sorts of activities with his family. He was even-tempered, taking care not to get involved in too many family conflicts. This quality served him well, in perpetually bringing harmony, understanding and a sense of peace to the family. Steven carried these traits into his adult life and served as one of many reasons why family and friends found him pleasurable and delightful to be around. Steven was a person who genuinely understood and cared for others, making powerful connections with those he knew.
As a young boy, Steven was imaginative, ingenious, clever and a “novel” thinker. Regardless of whether his peers were older or younger, or came from different backgrounds, Steven could easily relate to other kids. He was an active child who took part in baseball, swimming, and football. In his spare time he liked to watch and participate in sports. However, to Steven, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with his many friends.
During his high school years, Steven had a natural flair for cheering on and applauding just about everyone. He was constantly offering his support and encouragement to fellow members of the groups and activities in which he participated. He did well in school and genuinely enjoyed telling stories in a way that drew people to him. In this way, Steven had a talent for becoming the center of attention, a kind of social catalyst. Steven was often found to be the lead person facilitating a group activity, frequently filling the role of being “the life of the party.” Teachers and classmates knew Steven as an excellent listener. He placed a high value on learning and always understood that there was a new lesson to be grasped waiting for him just around the corner.
Steven did well in college, as a result of his being intuitive and finely organized. Graduated from Texas State University. The skill of being a good communicator helped Steven immensely during his college days. He was comfortable with abstract information and theories and tended to thrive on the subjects that forced him to think. No matter what class it was, Steven was always very perceptive and embraced the mental challenges that his college experience provided.
Compassionate and devoted, Steven worked hard to make his new family happy. He was always generous with his time and this meant that Susan came first in Steven’s book. He was always caring and made certain that he considered Susan’s feelings. By trusting his emotions, Steven did his best to make sure that both the marriage and home life ran smoothly. This is just one more example of how Steven was truly a person of empathy.
Steven’s quality of being a caring and tolerant person who was very accepting of others translated to being a good father to his children. Steven shared these values with his Eight children, John, Jeremy, Jordan, Zachary, Ethan, Susie, Emma, and Layla. Steven was also blessed with One grandchild, Gavin. Steven related well to children of all ages and was able to connect to them on their level. The children always loved him and he was completely and totally devoted to them.
Steven experienced success in his work life over and over again. His primary occupation was a writer and journalist. He was employed by Texas Parks & Wildlife. Steven always made the effort to understand what was needed at work, and was well known by his colleagues as a team player. Steven took pride in managing his professional responsibilities and seemed to always know what was necessary to successfully complete a project. Steven was one to take the initiative and his skills at working cooperatively were highly valued. Steven continually sought to learn what his co-workers did well and how they were most effective, a talent that enabled him to help them develop their own potential.
Because he was organized and methodical, Steven took great pleasure in his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were following his favorite sports teams, hunting, and fishing. Steven enjoyed sharing his passions with others and could singularly focus on one hobby at a time.
Steven derived much satisfaction from sports. Because he was so instinctive and could always grasp the big picture, Steven delighted in the strategy and inner workings of a competition. In high school, Steven played football. Steven was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite teams' events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were baseball, football, basketball, & hockey.
Steven enjoyed traveling, and because he was so well organized, he would take on the responsibility of planning and scheduling all of the family vacations. His gift for keeping things lively meant that vacations with Steven were always enjoyable. Favorite vacations included spending time in the outdoors, whether it be in the woods, or at the beach.
When Steven’s retirement finally came in 2020, he was well prepared. Being the focused and organized person that he was, Steven had taken care to plan for this part of his life. When that time eventually arrived, Steven knew exactly what he wanted to do. His new life involved relocating to Copperas Cove, Texas.
Steven passed away on April 23, 2021 at Copperas Cove, Texas. Steven fought a brave battle against cancer. He is survived by his wife Susan; his children John, Jeremy, Jordan, Zachary, Ethan, Susie, Emma, & Layla; his grandson Gavin; and sister Lisa.
Throughout his life, Steven was a gregarious and enthusiastic man. He was generous in sharing his personal attributes, giving and helping those he knew and loved. He would often fill the role of coach, bringing out the best in everyone. He was imaginative, original, tender hearted and easy to get along with. Steven leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and cherished memories. Everyone whose lives he touched will dearly remember Steven Dale Lightfoot.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Steven Dale Lightfoot
May 10, 2021
Zachary could not be at the service on Saturday, but he sent a letter he wanted to send his Dad. Zachary said " Dad I love and miss you. When you see my twin sister, Myla, up there, please treat her like you did me with love and happiness. I love you Dad!
May 4, 2021
Steve --you were always low key, humble and fun to speak hunting with...a logical and practical thinker about all things present and future when it came to the outdoors. And, you could put such thoughts in your writings, so succinctly and beautifully. Way to go "Stevers" (my nickname for him) -- you left a legendary status behind in Communications at Texas Parks and Wildlife (and NSSF before that!). We will surely miss your talents at Texas Parks and Wildife. We will surely MISS YOU dearly. Godspeed Stevers!
April 27, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family and friends! I am so sorry to hear of the loss of such a great soul here on earth! I met Steve in the early 1990s when he started working for TPWD in Tyler. I was a wildlife technician there who was asked to do a little radio spot on a local channel once a week and of course when I met Steve we connected over “wildlife communications” stuff. He would shunt things my way if there was a local need for an interview regarding a wildlife issue which, of course, helped build my introvert confidence and encouraged me to reach out more to the public. Today, my job as an Urban Wildlife Biologist forces me to speak to the public all the time—so thank you dear Steve for helping me overcome my public speaking fears!
My earlier days in Tyler were truly some of the best years of my life with TPWD—because of the people I got to work with—people like Steve! I cherish the memories of those days! I loved it when we would get together for a coffee break at the old Management & Research Station there in Tyler or head into town for a lunch to celebrate a birthday or some event worth getting everyone together for and just hanging out, sharing stories, and just laughing a lot! After I relocated to San Antonio with my new position, I hadn’t heard from Steve for years, but then one day I got a call…about a wildlife issue in my area. It was Steve asking for my help. I was so thrilled to hear from him and to catch up on our lives! The best part of working for TPWD is that the people you work with are also the people you want to be friends with. The heartbreaking part is when we lose our friends. But I like to think that as we go through life, the people that come and go in our lives, help us grow into the person we become. So there is a little bit of Steve in all of us who spent time with him. And for that I am most grateful!