Cover photo for Stephen Joseph Garger's Obituary
Stephen Joseph Garger Profile Photo
1949 Stephen 2021

Stephen Joseph Garger

May 26, 1949 — May 17, 2021

Stephen “Steve” Garger, PhD, aged 71, of Post Falls, Idaho passed away on May 17, 2021 just 9 days shy of his 72nd Birthday. Steve was the son of the late Joseph and Mary (Repko) Garger and the beloved brother of Elizabeth Garger and her husband Christian Dewailly of Ghent, New York. Steve was born on May 26, 1949 in the Bronx, New York. He received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from Manhattan College, New York, a Masters in Theology from the University of Ottawa, Canada and his Doctorate in Education from Seattle University in Washington. Steve worked as an accountant, a coal miner in South West Pennsylvania, and then dedicated the rest of his life to education. He held key leadership positions in secondary and higher education, in Montana, Iowa, Oregon, Vermont and New York. At Trinity College of Vermont he designed new graduate programs, forged international partnerships and mentored new faculty, all with the poise and creativity that made it look effortless. He was an ongoing recipient of Teacher of the Year awards. In 1985, he co-authored Marching to Different Drummers, with Pat Burke Guild, a book which made a profound impact on educators across the country and internationally. More recently Steve has written a multitude of articles about knifes and knife makers, featuring profiles of masters of the craft for Knife Magazine, and several articles about local businesses in Idaho. Steve had many interests including music, art, films, the environment, baseball, books and animals, especially his 14-year-old companion dachshund Jasper, and his newly acquired Cardigan Welsh Corgi, “Russ.” Late in life he wrote, “Jasper’s Person, A Guy and His Dog” about his beloved dog Jasper who passed a few months ago. He acquired his black belt in martial arts studying in Seattle with Jesse Raymond Glover, who was Bruce Lee’s first student and first assistant instructor in the U.S. But mostly, he will be remembered as a wonderful and extremely generous friend, always there to help and provide endless love and guidance. His strong and lasting friendship has changed people’s life for the better and opened up doors that they may never know even existed. He loved speaking with and sharing ideas with his close “buddies.” We will all remember his favorite meal, frozen pizza, Haagen Dazs ice cream and bourbon. His time with us was far too short but his impact will last all of our lives. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Kootenai County Humane Society 11650 N. Ramsey Rd. Hayden, ID 83835, or Spokane Humane Society – 6607 N. Havana St. Spokane, WA 99217.
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