Steve or as many would later call him “Stevie” was born December 23rd, 1962. He was the son of Jerry and Judy (Divida) Slankard and Terry and Susan (Kennedy) Willis of Dover. He grew up in Strasburg, Ohio with his younger brother Ted (Tina) Slankard of Strasburg and his younger sister Tracey (Ken) McCracken of Strasburg. He attended Strasburg High School until he later attended Buckeye Career Center to study Truck Mechanics and graduated in 1981.
In the summer of 1985, he met the love of his life Bonnie (Squires) Willis or as he would call her “Loubie” and later married her on September 30, 1989. He gained a sister-in-law, Missy Squires, and a brother-in-law, Shane (Missy) Squires.
Steve and Bonnie have two children together: Bryan (Kassy) Willis or as he called him “Peanut” of New Philadelphia and Jennifer Willis who he called “Pudd” of Fort Lauderdale. He also leaves behind a granddaughter, Avery, and a grandson who is on the way. He has many nieces and nephews which included Ashley (Robert) Bucher of Strasburg, Rachel (Chad) Bucher of Minvera, and Jarret and CeCe McCracken of Strasburg and many more that will miss him dearly. He died July 11th, 2021 and joined his father along with many cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Steve was a hard-working man. He spent the majority of his career as a heavy equipment operator and spent more of his personal time working to help others. Whether that meant building a pond for his brother, helping friends move, or installing a brand-new kitchen for his wife, Steve always showed up; except for when it came to bailing hay. When he finally found some time for himself, you could find him on the dock or shores of his families’ lakes or in the middle of the fairway finishing up 18 holes. He was a loyal Browns fan, even when they made it impossible. But there was nothing Steve loved to do more than be with his family. His friends describe him as genuine, kind-hearted, and loving. He was never the center of attention, but rather, he enjoyed sitting back watching his people be happy with that infectious smile on his face and would leave every conversation with a big hug and a “Thanks for talking to me.” Steve was beyond loved and will be missed by many.
The family will be greeting friends on Wednesday, July 14th from 5-7 pm in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home and Crematory at 140 South Bodmer Ave., Strasburg. A prayer service will be held on Thursday at 11:00 am in the Strasburg funeral home with Fr. Ed Keck officiating. Those wishing to express their fondest memories of Steve may do so by visiting the online obituaries link on the funeral home’s website.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.