It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to my dear friend and colleague
Steve Opperman. My friendship with Steve goes way back to about 1978
when we both worked in HR jobs with different Federal agencies in Denver.
His reputation as one of best HR practitioners was widespread in the
Federal community. When he retired from the Federal government in 1997,
I was quick to ask him to work with me as a trainer in my company. Steve
and his wife, Lynda, helped me celebrate many holidays and birthdays.
My husband, Ed Corcoran and I, along with Ed’s two sisters—Jean
Christiansen and Ursula Habacker—joined Steve & Lynda and our
colleague John Jones and his wife Shirley on a transatlantic cruise November
1-16, 2013. What a wonderful trip to relax and enjoy our friendship.
Steve had been battling cancer for the last year and this cruise was
on his bucket list. He passed away five weeks later.
Lynda & Steve Oppermann, John & Shirley Jones
Standing: Jean Christiansen, Ed Corcoran, Carrolle Rushford, Ursula Habacker
Lynda & Steve
The following was shared with friends and family at Steve’s memorial
service in Denver January 2, 2013.
Stephen Mathew (Steve) Oppermann, 66, beloved husband, father, grandfather,
brother and friend, passed away Dec. 22 at Porter Hospice Residence with
his family by his side.
Steve was born to Lynn and John Oppermann on April 25, 1947, in New
York, where he was raised until he was 7, when the family moved West
to Colorado Springs. Steve met his wife Lynda Minter in Colorado Springs,
where they were married in 1968.
Steve and Lynda spent 45 years together, enjoying all the world offered,
traveling throughout the country, visiting many national parks (before
retiring from the National Park Service as Chief of Personnel Operations
in 1997), taking annual treks with friends and family to Hawaii and Monterey,
California; accompanying their grandson Zach to his hockey tournaments
in Philadelphia and St. Louis; and sailing the open seas with good friends
on more than a dozen cruises.
In 1993, while with the NPS, Steve won a Congressional Fellowship sponsored
by the American Political Science Association. He and Lynda moved to
Washington, DC for a year while Steve served as a legislative assistant
to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, and helped draft over flight legislation
to protect wildlife in the national parks. After he retired, Steve went
right back to work as a human resources consultant with Rushford & Associates
and others, providing training to federal and state agencies, work he
was able to continue until retiring for good Nov. 29.
Steve played touch football every Sunday during the season with the
same group for nearly 30 years at Mamie D. Eisenhower Park in Denver.
He played tennis (to exhaustion). He skied (too fast). He read (voraciously).
He wrote (eloquently). He ran the Bolder Boulder, Cherry Creek Sneak,
and countless other 5k and 10k races. He enjoyed going to movies and
having dinner out with friends and family. He loved to laugh and make
Steve was blessed with wonderful friends, all of whom loved and admired
his kind spirit, gentle ways, sharp wit, advocacy for a good cause, justice
and honor, infectious sense of humor and positive attitude.
Steve is survived by his beloved wife, Lynda of Denver; daughter Kris
Stern (Jon) and grandson Zach of Greenwood Village; brother Rick (Char)
Oppermann of Allenspark; and nephew Johnathon Oppermann of Allenspark.