On Tuesday, August 20, 2019, Steven Craig Painter, loving husband and father of three children, passed away at age 63 following a long battle with early-onset Altzheimer’s.
Steve was born September 13, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri to Robert E. and Paula (Eastwood) Painter. On September 9, 1978, he married Phyllis Anne Clarkin. Steve and Phyllis shared a rare type of love filled with affection, deep respect, and almost constant harmony. They raised two daughters, Amanda (Painter) Ingham and Stephanie (Painter) Hildreth, and one son, Craig Painter. He was also a devoted grandfather to six grandchildren, Isabella Manes, Dylan Ingham, Colby Painter, Lucas Ingham, Hudson Painter, and Lilliah Ingham. Loving him in life and devoted to caring for him in his final days are one daughter-in-law, Jayme (Grimmett) Painter and two sons-in-law, David Ingham and Steven Hildreth.
He is survived by his four siblings and their spouses, Sherry (Painter) Davidson (Dale Davidson), Robert Painter II (Iris McKinney Painter), Debbie (Painter) Laemmli (Jim Laemmli), and David Painter (Marion Prince Painter).
Steve received his journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and worked as a newspaper journalist in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. He was a distinguished reporter who believed in journalistic integrity above all else. He won numerous national and local awards for the veracity of his stories over the years, including a national award for the impact of the farm crisis on Kansas families in the 1980’s.
Steve will be remembered for his gentle kindness and wonderfully dry sense of humor. He instilled a love of the outdoors in his children, taking them camping, boating, and fishing. He loved watching basketball and baseball, but he especially loved playing sports, a passion that began in childhood and continued throughout his adult life. He enthusiastically and patiently coached his children and their friends in all the sports they attempted. His family called him the baby whisperer, as young children were drawn to his calming demeanor and he would hold and soothe his grandchildren for hours. He loved music and continuously filled his home with the sounds of his favorite musicians, frequented live music venues to dance with Phyllis, and exposed his children to the joy of live music and concerts from an early age. His favorite place to be was at the cabin that his grandfather and uncle built on the Lake of the Ozarks, surrounded by his family and friends.
Steve passed away in the arms of his wife, Phyllis, with his sister, Debbie, who introduced them, by his side.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 24th at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St, Lawrence, KS 66044. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Brookdale Hospice Care or Kansas Palliative and Hospice Care, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.