The family of Stephen Wade Naylor is deeply saddened to announce his passing on June 8, 2022.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, Steve contracted Covid at the end of April. He fought a tough battle, but other complications set in and it was just too much. Pneumonia was the final straw. In the eight and a half years since his single lung transplant, he fought off many challenges. He was a “scrapper” and remained positive that he would get through this one too! In his last week, he still said that he had no regrets about his life after the transplant.
Steve was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta on March 25, 1950. His family moved to the Kootenays where Steve lived in Nelson before he started school, and Castlegar through his primary and secondary school years. Steve was fond of music even at a young age and played piano and clarinet in his youth, spending his Saturdays being driven from Castlegar to Trail for lessons. During his university years, Steve completed his Associate Diploma at the Royal Conservatory (ARCT) in clarinet - this was his proudest achievement. In order to achieve this level, he also became a very accomplished pianist.
Steve attended Selkirk College for two years, and graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelors of Arts and a Diploma in Education. He later received his Masters in Education from UVic.
After graduation, Steve taught for two years in Castlegar, and for the rest of his career at Salmon Arm Secondary teaching English 11, English 12, and Literature 12. He had a way of making English come to life for his students, and his classes were entertaining and rewarding. Steve was the Direct Resource Teacher for Language Arts for several years. In this role he supported teachers throughout the school district. He also was a member of the BC English Teachers executive for many years.
Steve was always amazed at the talent his students had. He came upon the idea of doing a Remembrance Day show which started just for the school in the beginning, with students doing all the parts. It became a show for the public, with dancing and singing as well. Many of us remember “I’ll be Seeing You.”
He started his first dixie band with students from the high school. The school band invited him to join them in their concerts. He directed several musicals at the school and acted in “To Kill a Mockingbird."
Steve was a pillar of the community in Salmon Arm. In addition to being a teacher at the high school, Steve was also renowned in the music community for playing clarinet in Dixie North, the Salmon Arm Community Band, the Black ‘n Bluez, the Clarinet Quartet, the Wind Quintet and Eclectix, a wind ensemble with a cello. Steve also directed and sang in the Shuswap Singers choir for 40 years, and sang in the Men’s Chorus.
Over the last two years, Steve decided to learn to play the oboe, with considerable success, and was able to add that part back into the wind ensemble.
He was a member of Shuswap Theater in the 80’s and performed in several musicals and plays with that group. He even learned how to tap dance!
While the clarinet was the second love of Steve’s life, the biggest love in his life was his family. He was incredibly grateful for the tremendous support of his loving wife, Jan, throughout his life. He was very proud of the adults his daughter and son have become, and was so happy to know that they found wonderful partners for their lives. Steve loved to watch his two little granddaughters play, grow, and learn.
Steve is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jan, his daughter Stephanie (Stasia), son Scott (Tiffanie), granddaughters Charlotte and Gemma, and his brother, Bill.
Please carry a memory of a funny story that Steve told, or a joke where you walked right into the trap. We will continue to remember him with the music we hear in our hearts. He is playing still.
Thank you to Doctors Howatt, Main, McKee and Hepburn and the wonderful staff at Shuswap Lake General Hospital for the care and caring that was given to Steve in his last few days. The transplant team at Vancouver General Hospital repeatedly helped Steve over the past nine years.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks those who are able to please consider becoming an organ donor and/or giving blood.
A donation in Steve’s memory to the Vancouver General Hospital, Solid Organ Transplant fund, Attention Dr. Yee, lung transplants, would be very welcome. Donate online via the link below in the donations box. Note: use the comment box at the bottom of the donation page to indicate you would like to donate directly to Dr. Yee’s lung transplant program.
Steve’s Celebration of Life will be hosted in the Naylor’s yard
What: As Steve always loved a tea party, bring your own chairs, tea, and “High Tea” style snacks (fancy sandwiches, treats)." There will be music and a few speeches.
When: Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 11 am - 1 pm
Where: 1401 4th Ave. SE, Salmon Arm
Bring a tent, umbrella and “weather appropriate” clothing as the celebration will be held outside on the lawn.
Parking will be limited at the house. For those without mobility issues, please consider parking in the subdivision above the house.
Out of respect for Steve, his family, and others attending the event, please observe COVID protocols including social distancing and, if you are near others, putting on a mask. The family asks that you save your hugs for another time.
There will be a portable toilet available on the driveway. The house will be accessible to immediate family only.
If you have a short story to tell about Steve, we will love it!
Dr. Yee's Lung Transplant Program