Steve was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from Ankeny High School in 1970, and then earned his forestry degree from the University of Montana at Missoula.
Steve had a long, dedicated and rewarding career with the U.S. Forest Service and with private timber companies, working throughout Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
He proudly aided in the preservation, protection, harvest and reforestation of some of America’s most precious natural resources.
Steve also was an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman. He was a team roper in rodeos, guided hunting pack trips in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and rode in the famous 1989 Montana Centennial Cattle Drive.
He had a great love of the outdoors and Western history, especially the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This love led him and his wife, Karen, to partner with special friends Gary and Amy Neely to own and operate Starwest Adventures, a canoe guide and outfitter service in the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River Monument in north central Montana. Steve served as the outfit’s lead guide, chief historian, head storyteller and jokester. He held many an audience captive around the campfire as he shared his wit, wisdom and “occasional” disdain for political correctness.
His greatest joy was sharing his love of the West with his 6-year-old son, Colter.
Steve is survived by his wife, Karen, of Powell; son, Colter, of Powell; stepchildren DarylAnn and Jared Patterson of Collins, Iowa; mother, Evalynne (Buzzie) Higgins of Ankeny, Iowa; sister, Robin (Mark) Allen; nephew, Eric; and great-niece, Madison Allen, all of West Des Moines; and nephew, David (Amy) Allen of Watertown, Minn.
His father, Dr. Glenn Higgins, preceded him in death.
Two memorial services will be held: one on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. at the Ashton Chapel, 8887 W 122nd St North, Mingo, Iowa; the second on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at Celebration Community Fellowship Church, Hwy 87, Lewistown, Mont.
For those who wish, memorial contributions can be made to: Lewis and Clark Natural Historic Trail Interpretive Center, P.O. Box 3434, Great Falls, MT, 59403; or the American Cancer Society.
If anyone has special memories or stories about Steve, the family would appreciate letters to his son, Colter, to be kept in his Memory Box for when he is older.