Steven Raymond Kika
August 12, 1927 – May 14, 2018
Steven Raymond Kika August 12, 1927 – May 14, 2018 Steve, a long-time resident of Boca Raton, Florida and more recently Orlando, was born to Stephen Kika and Barbara Placenik Kika in PortView, PA. Growing up along with his sister Leona in a caring community of Eastern European and Italian immigrants working in the steel mills, he enjoyed riding his bike, exploring the woods, and playing basketball. As a young teen he worked as a soda jerk. He experienced his first taste of art when he apprenticed as a sign painter while attending McKeesport High School. In 1945, before graduating, Steve enlisted in the U.S. Army as many patriotic young Americans were doing at that time. He was stationed in Germany in the Army of Occupation as an infantryman responsible in the “mop-up” patrols. In 1948, as a Master Sergeant in the 382nd MP Battalion, he returned to the U.S. and civilian life. He decided to enroll in the Art Academy of Pittsburgh where he studied commercial art. As a reservist, in 1950, he was recalled to active duty in the Korean Conflict and stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC with the 756th Field Artillery Battalion. In 1953, Steve relocated to South Florida because he said he “didn’t want to be cold ever again”. He continued in the Florida Army National Guard until 1955. After briefly attending the University of Miami, he was hired as Art Director of Gil Sayward Advertising in Ft. Lauderdale. Working his way up, he went on to become Production Supervisor of Boca Raton’s first advertising agency Condon & Watson and then Production Manager of Boca Raton Printing. From 1966 to 1994, he was employed with Florida Atlantic University as Senior Art/Publications Production Specialist, TV Graphics in the Learning Resources Division. While working at FAU, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1980 and his Master’s Degree in Education in 1987. Steve’s daughters, Stephanie and Caroline, would visit him after school and often found him holding court with his students and trying out his new jokes on everyone. He particularly loved sharing his knowledge of the artistic process with students while encouraging them in their educational pursuits. Steve was the go-to person on campus for special events art work and his clothing was as colorful as his character.
Steve’s fine art work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and shows including the Hortt at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of the Arts, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the campus of FAU and private collections. He has, however, primarily specialized and been accomplished in all facets of commercial art work including show card art, mural painting, illustration, calligraphy, caricatures, and reproduction, particularly silk screening and printing. He was an attentive father, always keeping an eye on Stephanie and Caroline. If they were hanging out at the bowling alley with their friends, he would often walk through just to let them know he was watching. While occasionally casting a fishing pole off the beach or bridge, golf was his main passion that even included a hole in one. As a friend of Bill W. for almost 50 years, Steve K. was always ready to pass on his experience, strength and hope.
Steve is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Stephanie and Caroline, nieces Carmella Constancio and Anita Tibau, nephew Val Vazquez, and, thanks to ancestry.com, his newly found daughter Donna Leech Kika, her daughter Charlotte Wise, and grandchildren Amara and Ben Jr. He was predeceased by his sister Leona Kika Vazquez.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to:
Gary Sinise Foundation: https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/# National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: http://nchv.org/index.php/getinvolved/getinvolved/donate/
Stand Down House: http://www.standown.org/
The First Tee: https://thefirsttee.org/about/
- Memorial Service Friday, June 22, 2018
- Interment Friday, June 22, 2018
Steven Raymond Kika
June 22, 2018
My friend Steve Kika was a tremendous influence on my life. In fact, because of my association with him and others in our circle in the 1980s, I am probably alive today. Steve shared important aspects of his life with me that resulted in a friendship of nearly 40 years. His commitment was to help others, enjoy his family, share priorities in a spiritual existence; and he tried hard to not only lead by example, but also reach out to many others who were struggling and were willing to change their lives. He was so proud of his daughters Caroline and Stephanie, and their accomplishments and he always shared stories about them and his wife Susan. Steve's accomplishments as an artist were admirable, and many. His talent was greatly appreciated by the FAU community and far beyond. I am so fortunate to of been a part of Steve's life and to have been very enriched by his presence. I wish I could articulate more about this special being who inhabited planet earth for 9 decades, but those who knew him understand, and they all have their own special connection. Godspeed my friend, with aloha, Kimberly
June 19, 2018
I first met Steve in 1995 after moving to Boca Raton. He was very intrumental in guiding me and many others to a sober life through the " lovely 12 Step Program " of Alcholics Anonymous . Steve typically went out of his way to help others. What I found remarkarble, was his humility, attributable in his words
to a loving God. Over the years we developed a lasting friendship, sharing our appreciation for literature
and patriotism. We also enjoyed talking about major atheltic achievements in various sports, like golf and football. In the last few years I traveled extensively, keeping in touch via cell phone. Steve was always there for me as a friend and a mentor. Always offering love, support and encouragement. He will be missed. Master Sergeant Kika - FOX TROT ZULOO - THIS IS FOX TROT CHARLIE - SIGNING OFF.
June 4, 2018
Dear Sue, thank you for sharing about your husband Steve. He accomplished much in his short time of life here on earth.
May you and your daughters remember all the good and happiness that was shared with him.
He sounded like a wonderful husband, father and person.
May 28, 2018
Uncle Ray always had a commanding presence. His love towards me growing up will remain eternally in my heart. He remains a Soldier! His intense creative passion for all things "Art" continues to inspire me to this day. He told me to create and I did. My time with Uncle Ray was short, but the encouragement he gave me is everlasting. May Heaven rejoice at his returning. Uncle Ray ~ I loved you! My heartfelt sympathy & love to Aunt Sue, Caroline and Stephanie. In Jesus Name...Amen. Respectfully Carmella
Donna (Leech) Kika
May 18, 2018
My sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the entire family. I thank God that I found him and was given time to know him. I may have had a short time with dad, but my memories will be sweet and everlasting. Love and God Bless All...