Steven Danaher, born November 3rd, 1945 to Edward Michael Danaher and Virginia Samuelson Danaher, died suddenly at his NE Portland Home on January 15th, 2022, with his wife Lana by his side. HIs loss is mourned by Lana Danaher, his wife of 49 years, his daughters, Daviree and Stacy, four adult grandchildren and one great-grandson, along with scores of in-laws and his lifetime friend and youthful cohort, Mike.
Steve, know as Boppa by his grandchildren, was born on the naval base in Astoria. At age 3, he moved with his family to NE Portland, where he lived for most of his life.
He enlisted in the Air Force during the Viet Nam War and served in the Air Force military policy until he was given an emergency honorable discharge when his father died. For the first couple of years after the military, he worked in graphic design for Ramsey sign company and as a child photographer (called a kidnapper in that line of work in those days!)
In 1972, Steven met and moved in with Lana and her two children. He attended classes at PSU and was the primary in raising the children. Steven and Lana officially married in 1976. Steve was a house-husband for several years, devoted to raising his daughters and supporting his wife as she started in her career. He was known during these years for his whistle that could be heard for blocks calling the children home for meals. He nursed their banged-up knees and minor illness, and until the children were older, they didn't realize that his habit of using Absorbine Jr. for everything was not a cure all!
He volunteered at the girls' school teaching calligraphy and children's art classes, kindergym, and whatever else was asked of him at whichever community center where Lana was working. Steve later worked with Lana sponsoring refugees from Southeast Asia, especially from Mien Lao and Cambodian, with several of them becoming lifelong friends. For many years, Christmas and Thanksgiving were large, multicultural affairs.
They established and operated Earth Maintenance, a landscaping company, to employ several of the men who they sponsored. Steve worked hard, and after work, he would sit with the refugees, who were by then friends, over dinner and cognac as they told stories.
Times were difficult and he made the most of what was available. He built furniture out of scrap wood and a few nails and glue and fixed almost anything that broke in the house with duct tape because it was good enough.
In 1990, Steve was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and maintaining employment was difficult. They moved to the Roseway neighborhood in 1993 and have lived there ever since, inviting children and grandchildren at varying times to live with him and Lana. As his abilities declined, his humor did not. He was known for his funny stories that he'd told so many times, his family members knew the tales of teen years better than he did!
He struggled with new technologies and was always reluctant to talk on the phone...everyone knew to call him multiple times so he could answer the "not so smart" phone. And they knew what "got to go, someone at the door", really meant.
He was Boppa to the kids, he spoke ill of no one, was loved by everyone and will be sorely missed by all.
Steve loved the Sandy River and went on drives there at least once a week or whenever he wanted to go out for a while, stopping at restaurants and taverns owned by friends along the way. He loved golden retrievers and his dog usually could be seen hanging out of the window as they drove around town. If friends wanted to find him, they could usually find him along his route out to the Sandy River.
For Lana, who long has kept the secret that "Mama Mia!" was Steven's favorite movie, he was her hero and anchor...an anchor that grounded her when she needed it most, though she admits that when they were younger, there was a time or two that it felt like he was dragging her, but above all else, he taught his beloved wife to laugh and to not take things so seriously.
His loss is mourned by many. In keeping with his wishes, there will be no formal service, just the simple cremation he wanted. There will be an informal gathering of his family and his closest friends at the Sandy River in accordance with his wishes. The time is yet to be determined.
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