Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Steven C. Bryson, 73

| May 15, 2024 12:00 AM

Steven C. Bryson, 73, passed away unexpectedly but comfortably in his home the morning of March 30, 2024. Steve was born on August 6, 1950 to Betty Potter. He grew up in Redfield, South Dakota, and most enjoyed the company of his grandmother, Emma Baltazore. In his youth, Steve forged his path as Eagle Scout, pheasant hunter, and wrestler. After graduating high school, he worked at Iowa Beef Packers as a meat cutter before entering the Navy in 1972. As a Naval Corpsman, he served at San Diego Medical Center in the Coronary Care Unit and at China Lake Navel Air Weapons Station in Sierra Search and Rescue. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Steve started his next chapter and entered nursing school at the University of South Dakota where he met his partner in life, Cooky Stratton. 

Upon graduating, Steve and Cooky married and moved to Opportunity, Montana to work at Warm Springs State Hospital. Soon Steve was recruited to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington to work as an in-patient psychiatric nurse. While at Harborview, he contributed to early research in antidepressants, as well as Seattle community support in mental health. A forever student, Steve completed his masters level education in Communication and Mental Health at Seattle University. 

In the early 80's, Steve and Cooky moved to the small town of Whitefish, to be in the mountains where they could raise a family while enjoying skiing, hunting, hiking, and boating. In the Flathead Valley, Steve worked at Immanuel Lutheran Home, served as Director of Nursing at Glacier View (Pathways), and finally practiced as counselor in private practice for over 25 years in Whitefish. He was an active member of the community, and was especially involved in serving the valley's youth. 

Over the years, he served as Care Board President, was a key member in the development and operation of "Roy's" Youth Center, and facilitated a team building and leadership development high ropes course program (SOAR). He was also an avid environmental activist and served on the Haskill Basin Watershed Council. 

Steve has left behind a strong community of family, friends, and neighbors who have been greatly supportive to his grieving family. We will remember him in so many ways; proud, devoted, and loving father to his daughters, Emma and Abbey; adoring and supportive husband of 49 years to his wife Cooky; considerate father-in-law, grateful brother, kind friend, expansive thinker, loyal pet owner, earnest counselor, behind-the-scenes activist, ski bum, old soul, story teller, public lands explorer, hunter, Montana Public Radio supporter, martini enthusiast, amateur astronomer, music lover, and Trekkie - Live Long and Prosper. 

No formal services will be held. If you would like to honor Steve's memory, his family recommends you spend time outside with your loved ones, or donate to the Abbie Shelter or Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers - two causes he strongly believed in.