Steven Walter von Marenholtz
August 27, 1971 – June 16, 2019
Steve worked for the Port of Kingston for 9 years, and before that as a Harbor Officer in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
He loved the water and was never far from it.
Steve brought joy to his Port families and the many people he came into to contact with during his lifetime.
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Steve was always thoughtful and kind.
Many of my strongest memories of Steve have to do with his kindness. He was always doing kind little things for people. One Friday while chatting with him I made an offhand remark about not having any arms on my office chair and it being uncomfortable. On Monday when I came in to work my chair had arms! Over the weekend he had taken the arms off his own chair in the shop and put them on mine. I wish there were more people like Steve in this world, who do things for people simply because it will make them happy or bring them joy. His kindness reached so many people. I will miss him so very much.
The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce holds several events throughout the year at the Port of Kingston. It has been my great pleasure to get to know Steve in working together on these events. Incredibly talented, kind and professional, it seems there was nothing he couldn’t do. And if ever there was a task he couldn’t accomplish himself, he would go out of his way to see that we always had the help we needed. He was funny, smart and a joy to be around. I can’t imagine Kingston without him. He will be greatly missed.
Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce
Steve had such a great outlook about life. I enjoyed his sense of humor. He laughed easily and sincerely and that made him fun to be around. Also, he was incredibly talented at what he did and took a lot in pride in his work. Sometimes he was referred to as MacGyver because he could do or fix almost anything. He loved the Christmas light display and I think that may be the one contribution he will be remembered for the most. Well that and maybe the Christmas light Carhart he wore. He took great delight in coming up with a new project for the display such as the slug from last year. He shared his joy with everyone and he will continue bring happiness to me whenever I think of him in the years to come. Rest in peace, Steve.
In the summer of 2012, there was an unfortunate drowning of a cow that washed ashore on North Beach. The crew at the Port, quickly pulled it back out into the water so that it would sink. With each tide, it kept returning. The gases in the cow’s four stomachs kept it afloat for many days. She was finally tied to the mooring buoy until she would sink, and became a spectacle for local boaters and kayakers. The poor cow was wrapped in fencing and chains so that she would sink until she finally did. The Kingston cow became the source for news stories and comic strips. Shortly after she disappeared, Dutch was reseeding a patch of grass in front of the stage. Upon the first inquiry of his project, he cordoned the area off and built a cross upon which he wrote: HERE LIES THE KINGSTON COW. This became another tourist attraction for another week or so.
What I have always appreciated about Steve (Dutch) is that he always had time to bail me out (as well as others) when a machine I was using broke or the credit card machine malfunctioned at the fuel dock. He also helped numerous boaters that were were in desperate need of assistance due to mechanical or electrical situations.
Dutch was known for his quick wit. He’d often make a comment and stand back while the humor would sink into his opponents thoughts, bringing forth laughter. He caught me off guard on the day that they were delivering the Seattle Ferris Wheel to the site for construction. He looked at me in all seriousness and told me that they had to close the I-5 between 12 and 2 am so that they could roll the ferris wheel all the way to the waterfront. My mind flashed to power lines and overpasses and when I looked up at him to ask about those logistics, his smile gave away his thoughts that it had taken me way too long to realize that he was kidding.
Remembering 3 years ago, I was at first intimidated by you so we did not talk much. But one day we talked about the festival “Pain in the Grass” and figured out how many bands we had in common. After that day I wasn’t nervous talking to you anymore. You taught me so many things over the years, from different kinds of repairs to fun facts of the day. I will always remember your laugh and big goofy smile. Thinking about it I can almost guarantee you had a story about Dutch Harbor every day. I already miss how you would talk and play with my dog, our Port dog, Gale. I hope you knew how much we all cared about you, and will miss you every day.
For Steve to be here and gone the next day, has felt like a shudder that won’t stop. It has been very hard for the Port to lose a family member that really was an anchor here for so many years. My heart is heavy and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.
I feel blessed that you left a little piece of yourself in each of us. Not just with each of us but in everything you touched. We will miss your smile, your chuckle, your quick wit, your giving heart and of course your stories of Alaska. Always in our hearts and forever in our Dreams.
You will be greatly missed and the big yard will never look the same. God Bless you!
You all did an amazing job with his memorial! Thank you so much! It’s a bunch of amazing people when the people you work with become family. I have never seen the picture of my son and Steve together above! Thank you to who ever shared it. He was an amazing uncle and my children miss him so much, as we all do. What a blessing to be able to remember him at the water. Thank you! As we all share this great loss i hope we all will share many memories of the man we knew who impacted so many!
One fine afternoon I was docking my sailboat at the Marina and this smiling fellow called out to toss him my line. He waited patiently for me to toss it … As we chatted, he told me it was his first day on the job at the Port of Kingston. He was so friendly and helpful, I told him I was glad I’d be seeing him in the future. Little did I know that he would become a feature of my life as a Port Commissioner … a feature and a friend I would hope to see every time I strolled across the lawn enjoying the beauty of the place that he obviously cared about as he cared for it. For all of us. While his functions can be replaced, he never can be! Steve, thank you for the painful reminder to treasure every moment, laugh whenever possible, and offer a hand to whoever might need it!
My good friend, co-worker and younger smarter brother that I never had. You made everyone around you a better person with your kindness, thoughtfulness and wonderful gentle attitude. You were so gifted, talented and a wealth of information. Please know, you will be missed by many and you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.
I have been Steve’s friend for 26 years and his other mom for 23. When I married his dad, Steve was our Best Man. While he was in Alaska, he was third in the world for the online fantasy game he played. He liked playing it in the lower 48, though; because internet was faster and his character was now running instead of walking! He owned lots of games and when his nieces and nephews came over, they would spend hours on play station with him. Steve always had time to play with kids or to teach them some skill. He was really handy – I never heard of him saying he wouldn’t be able to handle any issue. All I had to do was send a lone photo of our pool looking like a green swamp and he would show up after work to shock it back to proper ph levels. He loved to cook during the family reunions and spent days helping set up the shower and tents. He loved his work at the Port of Kingston and his dad and I would go up every holiday to check out his latest light creation. He had so many plans for the Port and for his family. We all miss him so much. Our family scattering some of his ashes in the harbor would have made him very happy
Margie von Marenholtz
Steve loved the water and loved the Port
Steve was always smiling
and his laugh could be heard across the marina. He was never shy about conversing with the residents of the port, who universally considered Steve their friend. He knew the docks in and out, and wasn’t afraid to learn something new. You could often find him on the computer researching how to do just about anything. As a result, he became the go-to expert for whatever odd job might come up, from horticulture to IT.
Steve took great pride in keeping the Port grounds looking beautiful.
Thursdays were his mowing days. Every week from spring until fall you could find Steve edging and mowing and chasing off the weeds in Mike Wallace Park. The pride he took in keeping the grounds beautiful and clean is a testament to his work ethic and the love he felt for the Port and the community.
July 4th, 2018
Steve and I decorated the electric car for the 4th of July Parade. We used a lot of zip ties that day (that was his solution to everything)! We had such a good time doing it, and always worked in sync together. It was a memorable day, filled with fun and laughter. I always loved working on projects with him – he made work so much more fun. Every year Steve worked diligently to make sure the 4th of July Celebration went off without a hitch – events at the Port were important to him.