Amy Rees Anderson

Be the Steve in Someone’s Life (in memory of)

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of the death of my best friend Steve Gasser.  Steve was an amazing person.   He was kind, and caring, and he was always thinking of others and doing for others.  The day he died was one of the hardest days of my life.  I didn’t write about him yesterday on the anniversary because it was too emotional of a day for me.  Even as I write about him tonight it about kills me to think how much I miss him.  My heart still aches when I think about not having him around.

I was with my family at Disneyland when I got the phone call that he had passed away.  I was in shock, devastated, angry, hurt, sad, and a million other emotions all at the same time.  I had never lost a friend to death before.  And his death was completely unexpected.  He was healthy and strong and only 46 years old.  He had just recently returned from climbing Mt. Denali.  He was down in St. George in a bike race and he died suddenly during the race when his heart simply stopped.  I had spoken to him right before he left to the race.  He was his usual happy self when we talked.  I still remember talking about how we would be excited to see him after his race.  And then he was just gone.  Just like that.  No warning.  My friend was taken from this life and my family was heartbroken.   Steve was an amazing man and an incredible friend.  He touched the lives of every single person he came in contact with.  He was an angel in this life and I truly believe he is an angel in the next life watching over us today.  My son Dalton was incredibly close to Steve when I was a single mother and he relied on Steve tremendously.  They were best buds.  Dalton has shared many experiences where he has felt Steve’s presence watching over him during tough times, especially as Dalton is out serving his mission.  He has said that he knows Steve is his guardian angel and I very much believe that.  I wish all of you could have known my friend Steve.  Everyone in the world would have benefited from having him in their life.  What a great man he was.  I went back to my old blogs and I found the very blog I wrote the day that Steve died.  I am going to share it again today in his memory because the message I shared that day holds true for all of us now – we should all try to be the Steve in someone’s life…

Saturday, October 16, 2010 – BE THE STEVE IN SOMEONE`S LIFE… 

Without a doubt, tonight`s tweet is the hardest one I have ever had to write. This morning when I had just entered the park at Disneyland my cell phone rang with a call telling me that my very dearest friend, Steve Gasser, had passed away without warning today. He was riding in a bicycle race when he suddenly collapsed, never to wake up again. I don`t even know how to put into words the way I am feeling. Shock, unbelievable sadness, and a deep sense of loss. The loss of a best friend…

I wish everyone in the world was lucky enough to have a friend like Steve. I cannot tell you how lucky I was to have him in my life for many many years. I first met Steve when I was just 17 years old and a freshman at BYU. In the last ten years or so of my life Steve has been my best friend, to both me and my children, and eventually it was because of Steve that I ended up meeting my husband Rollin. You see three years ago Steve talked me into going on a Lake Powell trip with him that I was not planning to attend because of how much was going on with work at the time, but Steve refused to take no for an answer and he convinced me that I should go. It was on that trip that Rollin and I met and were married shortly thereafter. Steve was the guy that while I was a single mother, would come over on Sunday nights to help my son work on getting his eagle scout. Steve was the guy that would come and change your tire in the middle of the night when you were stranded in the middle of nowhere. Steve was the guy that would drop everything just to give you a hug and tell you how great you were. Steve was not only my best friend but he became my husband’s best friend as well. We both loved Steve dearly.

Steve was the kind of friend that was always there for you no matter what. He was never judgmental of your silly mistakes or your personality quirks, he loved you unconditionally. He was always smiling, no matter what. He always found a way to make you laugh and to cheer you up from even the darkest of moods. He lived his life with absolute and total integrity in every way. He said what he believed and his actions proved his believes even louder than his words. He was generous to a fault, giving to everyone all the time, even total strangers. He loved his family. He loved his friends. Anyone who knew Steve loved him. I have never heard anyone speak an unkind word about Steve Gasser. He was a truly great man.

I am going to miss Steve more than I can ever express in words. Sitting here tonight I am not even sure how I am supposed to get past this. I wasn’t sure if I would tweet about this or not because his friendship and his memory is so sacred to me, but I decided it would be good for me to get out how I feel tonight, and to let every one of you know that all of us would be so lucky as to have a Steve in our lives, and even more importantly, every one of us should try out best to be the Steve in someone else’s life.



  • Connie Houskeeper says:

    Love ya, Amy. There are on rare occassions when we have a friend like Steve. I had one as well and she died of bone cancer. She made me a better person and showed me who I could be. I think you are living up to who he believed you to be. Smile you were one of the lucky ones. He was in your life. Hang on to the blessing Steve was in your life.

  • Rahul says:

    Steve was truly your good friend. He loves your family and will always be there to protect you. I pray that God gives enough strength to Steve’s family and may his soul rest in peace.

  • Brittany says:

    My heart ached for you when you first wrote your tweet about Steve two years ago. My heart ached for you last year when I knew you must have missed him so dearly on the first anniversary of his passing. My heart aches for you again today as you remember this special man.

    I understand the pain of losing someone close to you and I’ll keep you in my prayers during this time when the pain of losing him is so fresh in your mind and in your heart.

    I’m so glad you have your family to turn to and lean on, it helps when you have those around you who loved him just as much as you did.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well said Amy…..Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think of him daily and wish he were here to talk to, and to be with my kids. My heart hurts to know that my kids won’t remember him very well. I hope that life is treating you well and that you know how much Steve loved your family. I find myself thinking “What would Steve do in this situation”, or “What advice would he give me” 🙂 I miss him like crazy! Tell your family hello from the Sampsons. xoxo Jen

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember the post and how it touched me when you posted this back then and I still have the same feelings now thinking we do need someone like this awesome man in our lives.

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