Jon C. Stephan, a resident of Entiat, died Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.
He was born July 14, 1962 in Spokane, WA to Ed and Claire Stephan. Jon met and married the love of his life, Suzi Balmes in 1988. Their first home was a picking cabin in the middle of an orchard located in Oroville, Wash. After getting married he was accepted into the tree fruit production program at Wenatchee Valley College and moved to East Wenatchee, Wash. He received the “Outstanding Student Award” in 1990. His professional career began with Wells and Wade fruit company working as a horticulturist and continued employment at Chelan fruit, Orondo Fruit Co., McDougall & Sons, and Agrofresh.
He developed a wide network of friends and acquaintances in the industry. He was an active participant in the Apple Maturity Program and Pacific Northwest Fruit Testers Association. He traveled to Tasmania and Australia to attend the International Tree Fruit Association Conference. In the NCW Field Man Association he was an active participant and past president. He represented Chelan and Douglas County as a pest board member. He participated in the Entiat Watershed Committee and Chelan County Growth Management at public hearings. In addition to attending numerous educational events, he was a session chair and presenter at several meetings. He was always learning and sharing new information with colleagues and growers.
He also owned and operated a pear and apple orchard. He grew fabulous Honey Crisps and shared them with visitors and friends. He introduced many people to this new variety. He attained great satisfaction helping growers improve production, quality and returns.
He had a passion for helping others. He believed he could make a difference by sharing this passion with everyone he met. He loved Blues music and shared some good times with friends and family over the years at concerts. He rarely missed an opportunity to attend a Too Slim and The Taildraggers event. His friends referred to him as a “slim head.” He enjoyed the outdoors, especially in the mountains where he hunted, fished, canoed/kayaked, camped, snow shoed and snowmobiled. He didn’t have an opportunity to say goodbye to all his friends, so please remember him smiling and sharing his passions with you.
God saw he was getting tired and a cure was not to be, so he put his arms around him and whispered come with me. With tearful eyes you passed away, although we loved you dearly we would not make you stay. Your golden heart stopped beating. Hard working hands at rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST.
He is survived by his wife Suzi, of Entiat, sister Sandy (Jim) Roloff, of Medical Lake, mother Claire Fleischman and father John Moses of Oroville. He is preceded in death by his sister, Katie Stephan.
Services will be held at the Oroville Free Methodist Church on Nov. 5 at 11 a.m.
Memorials may be made to Washington Apple Education Foundation or the Oroville Ambulance Association.