There was hardly a dry eye at Crestview Elementary when news of Steve Anderson’s passing reached students and teachers one morning last January.
Anderson died only a few months after being diagnosed with a fatal lung disease, and left sad hearts at the school he served for eight years as a custodian. Aside from keeping the building and grounds ‘sparkling’ clean, he was a dedicated friend to his colleagues and students.
“Steve was a unique custodian, he knew the names of almost every child at Crestview,” said principal Teri Ann Cooper. “They were the reason he stayed with us for so many years.”
In honor of the lasting impact he had on students and staff, Crestview held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a newly installed bench with an engraving of Steve Anderson’s name.
A few of ‘Mr. Steve’s’ surviving family members joined Crestview in dedicating the permanent memorial.
Here are some more detailed thoughts on Steve Anderson from principal Teri Ann Cooper:
Steve didn’t have children of his own, but claimed all 740 students as ‘his kids’s’! They were the reason he stayed with us for so many years when he had the opportunity to make a lot more money if he would locate to a secondary school.
Steve enjoyed kids and knew how to relate to them. He was also making wagers with the 6th graders on favorite sports teams! He’d bet anything from candy bars to steaks! At Christmastime he jogged up and down the halls ringing his Santa bells as he visited every classroom with candy canes for each child. He had a squirt bottle he used in the lunchroom on unsuspecting students, just for a laugh. He rewarded the students who helped scrub black marks on the floor from shoes, with candy bars, and he often came into a classroom, sat down at a desk and started working just like the students. He loved to rile the kids up a bit, then leave the teacher smiling and rolling her eyes as she did her best to settle her little darlings down.
Steve mentored dozens of teenage ‘sweeper boys’ over the years. He taught them the value of hard work, honesty, good grades and Eagle projects. Each sweeper was required to present a good report card or be put on probation until grades were brought up. He hounded them to finish up and get their ‘Eagle’ scouting award which thrilled every boy’s mother. He attended Eagle Courts, missionary farewells, baptisms and other special events, even as a non-church goer. It was always the kids who mattered most.
He kept the building sparkling, always! He made sure each teachers’ requests were filled quickly and completely. He treated the building as his home and took great pride both in the building and all of the grounds.
His services were attended by an abundance of students, parents, faculty, former sweepers and district co-workers.
His family received a great deal of money from the mourners, which they donated to the school for a memory bench in his name. Now all of us who loved him deeply can sit a minute on the beautiful bench and think of our dear friend.
Steve touched so many lives for good. His passing has left us with sad hearts as well as wonderful memories.