Steve Russ making a short movie

Steve Russ made a short movie for his website. Steve has since passed on. He was a real friend. He often came over to drink beer and talk about love and life and our wins and losses. Steve was an engineer. He worked in the early years of Apple, and contributed to its success. The following is his obituary.

Steven Thomas Russ, born on July 17, 1951, in Fairborn, Ohio passed away on December 11, 2022 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Steve acquired a love for the ocean and a passion for sailing during his early childhood days in Florida. His natural thirst for knowledge and inquisitive mind led him to a life of designing, inventing, and building. At age 18 in Santa Cruz, California, he developed, manufactured and marketed the prototype to today’s surf leash—a device that prevents surfboards from being lost while surfing.

Over the years, Steve built 3 sailboats, all launched in Santa Cruz. The 1st was 42 foot ferrocement sloop. Next, with Alicia, his wife of 17 years, came sailboat #2, which the couple sailed to Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, and back to Santa Cruz. To finance their cruising, he and Alicia built & remodeled homes in Santa Cruz County. Ever the entrepreneur, Steve started Russ Lumber, bringing train car loads of Oak for friends and his interior finish projects. While sail-cruising in Mexico in the late 70’s he became a HAM radio operator, N6BYZ. Back on land in Hawaii, he built several homes, water tanks, hot tubs and fences out of ferrocement. His inquisitive naturel directed him to learn all about computer programming, starting first with the Apple III Computer. He was tutored by the infamous John T Daper, aka Capt Crunch, which lead to writing two media exchange programs “Let’s Talk” and “Let’s Talk Back” that predated Facebook. These programs caught the attention of Programmers at Apple Computer, landing him a job as a software engineer/supervisor.

Not to be held by a corporate job, Steve started traveling again and he built Sailboat #3. This vessel took him single handed on a 4 year adventure to Australia and back with extended stays on islands in Micronesia, Hawaii, and in-between.

After returning to the USA he stayed in Santa Cruz to help care for his father. For a few years after his father’s death, Steve lived in Idaho. There he became a ranch manager, inventor and entrepreneur. However, wander lust hit him again. Living a nomad lifestyle he spent the last few years summering in Idaho and wintering in Arizona; alternating between parking his van & trailer near pickleball courts and fishing spots, and at friends’ houses. Friends in Idaho describe him as bright, joyous, and adventurous man that loved craft beer, a good game of pickleball, and chats about love, life, and adventure.

He is survived by sister Pat Bonar, niece Chrissie Bonar Reynolds, nephew Steve Bonar; sister Deb Kaulukukui and nephew Noi Kaulukukui; and former wife Alicia Starsong.

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