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Steven Ingram Walsh
December 8, 1946 ~ January 12, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Steven I. Walsh, of Sierra Vista, Arizona, passed away in the early morning of January 12, 2024, at the age of seventy-seven. He began his great life journey on December 8, 1946 in Salina, Kansas. His birth would mark the beginning of a life of triumphs and trials, defined by an unrelenting passion for excellence in all his pursuits.
One of Steve's earliest passions growing up was sports. He could barely recall a time in his childhood when he wasn't outside playing sports with his brothers, his friends or through school. He was the 6th man on a state champion Salina High School basketball team, was the quarterback of the Salina High School football team, played American Legion baseball, and was named outstanding Salina High School Athlete during his senior year. Steve went on to play collegiate baseball at the University of Kansas. He was still throwing perfect spirals with either hand and playing basketball with his sons and grandsons until the end.
Steve also excelled academically. He was a National Merit Scholar and Kansas Math Champion. He pursued higher education at the University of Kansas as an undergraduate, and later, as a medical student. He would remain a lifelong Kansas Jayhawks fan, and an Arizona Wildcats fan after completing his radiology residency and fellowship at the University of Arizona. Steve would credit sports with teaching him lessons on the importance of teamwork, discipline, goal-setting, persistence, and accountability. These lessons would serve as the framework for all he would accomplish in his life.
For over thirty years, Steve would dedicate his life as a doctor to serving the communities of Cochise County, Arizona, as a radiologist. Excited by the challenge, he co-founded Sierra Vista Diagnostics and helped build a coalition of doctors that culminated in the building of the Sierra Vista Medical Center. He enjoyed many years as a successful doctor, businessman, and respected colleague in the community.
Medicine was only one of Steve's many interests. With misplaced optimism, he took his love of sports to the golf course, joining the brotherhood of struggling golfers and enduring the years of self-imposed torture. He had a passion for music and was the lead singer in a college band, The Happy Medium, and later sang in the Sierra Vista Community Chorus. He played the guitar, piano, and occasionally his childhood trumpet that his father had bought for him as a kid. He was a distance runner in his twenties and thirties, having competed in several races, including a marathon which he completed even after tearing cartilage in his knee near the halfway mark. He would retain that affection for running throughout his life. He developed a love for skiing and being in the outdoors. Steve would lavish in hiking in Ramsey Canyon just outside his doorstep, particularly when the leaves were changing colors. He enjoyed a good book. His library contained pages on everything from human evolution, politics, and the metaphysical, to James Michener novels and handbooks on personal growth by various authors. Steve loved to travel and immerse himself in culture. He learned to speak German, Italian, and Spanish at various points in his life and traveled to Europe multiple times. He was an avid and dedicated aviator, relishing in the challenge of flight, owning his own plane, completing multiple ratings and achieving over 1200 hours of flight time. In his seventy-seven years, Steve enjoyed many accomplishments.
But, he was happiest and most content when spending quality time with his family. He considered his greatest achievement, and the one for which he was most proud, to be his three sons. He was a dedicated and loving father, an ocean of wisdom for his boys, and their guiding light. Steve was a family man first, considering that his most important work. He delighted in being a grandfather. And he was a caring and committed husband to his wife of forty-two years. His family will miss him dearly, while continuing to cherish his memory and legacy.
Steve is survived by his loving wife, Becky, and their three sons: Josh (49), Jake (42), and Cary (39). He also leaves behind five cherished grandchildren: Thomas (16), Austin (14), Colin (11), Ethan (6), and Anna (2).
A private family service to honor Steve's life is planned for February. In the future, a celebration of life open to the public will be arranged, allowing friends and community members to pay their respects. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made to one of the charities that Steve favored, including the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, The Nature Conservancy, the Salvation Army Western Territory, and World Central Kitchen.