Richard John Steves
Oct 3, 1930 – Nov 5, 2018
Richard Steves (known to his friends as Dick) was born in Seattle on October 3, 1930, to Grace and Art Romstad. He grew up on Queen Anne Hill with a circle of friends he treasured for as long as they lived. Dick became a Steves when he was adopted by Grace’s second husband, Bill.
With a passion for boats from the beginning, Dick worked several newspaper routes to afford his hobby. His early boats, which he piloted to trophies racing the Sammamish Slough as a teenager, were the first in a lifelong parade — each one a little bigger than the last.
Dick graduated with a music degree from the University of Washington, married June Fremmerlid — his wife of over 50 years — and served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army.
Dick dedicated a long and productive career to bringing beautiful music to our world. He was a beloved band director at several Seattle-area high schools. His brass quintet was in high demand for Easter Sunrise services. He later became a piano technician, then an importer of pianos, and was much appreciated for bringing the finest instruments in the world from Germany to Seattle. Whether tuning pianos or selling them, he gave countless music lovers what came to be known as the “Steves Sound of Music” (which happened to be the name of his piano retail store).
Even more than boats and helping people enjoy great music, Dick’s mission and passion was being a loving and devoted husband and father. He and June had three children — Rick, Jan, and Linda — and were blessed with six grandchildren. And, with the even keel June provided, Dick made sure his Norwegian sense of adventure and love of life was instilled in each child.
Dick loved to travel — whether boating in the San Juans, camping “east of the mountains” in humbler times, or exploring distant corners of our world in his later years. His last boat (the Junie) and his little cabin in the Cascades provided a springboard for wonderful family times and a much-enjoyed retirement.
Dick’s dedicated his last healthy decade to June and her struggle with Alzheimer’s. While devastated by the loss of his wife, his own last decade was marked by a continued love of life, a twinkle in his eye, a positive attitude, and an endless appetite for bacon.
Dick passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, knowing he was a child of God, and confident that he’d soon be in the arms of his savior, Jesus. With his passing, we can be thankful for all he brought the world and for a richly blessed life. In the memory of Richard Steves, we can celebrate a life well-lived, dedicated to love and service, and filled with joy.
If you are moved to make a memorial donation, Dick would tell you, “Treat yourself to a concert, enjoy the music, and support the people who make it.”