Obituary of Steven Douglas Stankovitch
The world lost a beautiful soul on the afternoon of April 30, 2023 when Steven Douglas Stankovitch passed away suddenly of natural causes. Steve, known to many as “Stanko”, was born on June 14, 1960 to Peter and Marilyn Lois (Siegel) Stankovitch of Waukegan, IL. He graduated from Waukegan West High School where he met his best friend and the love of his life, Laura Marie Fredenburg. They celebrated their love in marriage on July 9, 1988 at First United Methodist Church in Waukegan, IL and remained lifelong residents.
Steve was an extraordinary person whose personality would light up the room. He was energetic, and a kid at heart. Steve was witty, funny, charming and had a unique sense of humor. He loved to make people smile and laugh, and he tried to keep them from taking life to seriously. It was his medicine for the world.
Steve developed a love of nature, sports, music and cars early in life. His appreciation for nature began when the family took summer vacations and continued throughout his life. He loved being outdoors. It renewed him, nourished his soul, and gave him joy. He loved camping and fishing as much as he loved sitting on the beach soaking up the sun. He especially appreciated the moments of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, watching a full moon rise over the lake, or watching for falling stars. One who lived in the moment, Steve was always quick to say, “Look!” and to point out something awesome in nature so it wouldn’t be missed.
Sports were always a part of Steve’s life. He participated in many sports growing up and enjoyed playing baseball, tennis and skiing, but he was best at playing hockey and it was his favorite. As his love of sports grew, he became an avid Chicago Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears, and Bulls fan.
Music spoke to Steve. He loved it. It always filled the air. No matter where Steve was, music was with him. His music career started early when Steve began playing drums on pots and pans and he developed into a very talented drummer. He was proud to be the original drummer of the punk rock band URBN DK, and to join Curtiss Lowe & the Reverb Kings and contribute to the CD, Pain in the Neck. While he loved all types of music during his life, the blues became his favorite. He loved playing and performing, and he noted performing on Beale Street in Memphis and at the Chicago Blues Festival as highlights of his life.
Steve’s love of cars began with his Hot Wheels Collection and grew to include his first car, a 1967 Dodge Dart. It then developed into a lifelong career in the auto industry where Steve achieved great successes in sales and management. He was a national top producer in sales and he quickly advanced into management. He continued to learn and excel in all areas of dealership management. Steve was the consummate professional and he was an achiever for his own sense of self-satisfaction. He would say about many things, “If I can figure it out, I can master it.” Eventually, he would set his own records in the industry and break them. Along with these achievements, Steve was very proud of his early notable accomplishment of receiving The Eagle Scout Award. What is required to achieve this award, and what this award represents, helped to shape and guide Steve’s life.
Steve was a loving and devoted husband. He brought Laura laughter and happiness, and expressed his love to her every day. As their love grew, they shared interests and hopes. Steve and Laura indulged in life and had fun. They enjoyed spending time in Chicago attending concerts, festivals and sporting events, and they enjoyed numerous vacations. They loved the nightlife and late nights. Steve and Laura enjoyed hosting parties and entertaining. They loved bringing people together and taking time for family and friends. They cherished their free time together and they cherished birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Steve and Laura enjoyed doing many things together, but mostly they just loved being together. It didn’t matter what they were doing. They were inseparable and loved spending time relaxing by a fire, camping, and going to the beach to absorb the sun and fresh air, to search for beach glass or to do nothing at all, to be with nature and to be renewed. This was their bliss. This was their heaven on earth.
Steve was creative, kind, and a gentleman, genuine, and in some ways old-fashioned and sentimental. He had a loving and generous heart, and a zest for life, living like every day was the weekend. He had the uncanny ability to see anything through the lens of humor and to find happiness in daily activities. He had a wonderful smile and a contagious personality that was simply unforgettable.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents Peter and Marilyn Stankovitch; his Aunt Mary and Uncle George Stankovitch, and his Uncle Marvin “Butch” Kenimer. Steve is lovingly remembered by his wife, Laura, as her best friend and the light and love of her life for 44 years, who is eternally grateful for his gift of unconditional love; and by his brothers D. Kaine (Jan) Stankovich of Chippewa Lake, OH and Gary (Cindy) Stankovitch of Winthrop Harbor, IL; his Aunts Judith Siegel and Joan Miller of Green Oaks, IL and Joan Kenimer of Lake Villa, IL; and his nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and many friends.
Family and friends are invited to honor and celebrate Steve, his life, and the light and love he brought into the world on Saturday July 29, 2023 from 4 to 8 pm at Illinois Beach Hotel, 100 Lakefront Drive, Zion, IL. “For every sunset, there is a sunrise, and so it is for Spirit, love never dies.”
3012 Sheridan Road
Zion, IL 60099
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