The Ely Times White Pine County Commissioner Steve Stork passed away on Monday, April 29, while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Steve’s brother Pat Stork and wife Gloria in addition to a few friends, had been vacationing in Cabo with Steve when he passed away from a heart attack early Monday morning last week. Steve was 55 years old. Pat and Gloria had to cut through quite a bit of red tape to bring Steve’s ashes back to Ely. They were assisted by several to make it possible. So, who was this man and why did so many residents, whom appeared to be friends with him weep after his death? The Ely Times had the opportunity to sit down with several family members and friends to listen to Steve’s life accomplishments and memories of his life. Steve’s siblings, Pat, Rick, sisters Linda Davis, and Teresa Adams, and his mother, all laughed as they shared memories of Steve. Pat shared the story of Steve sinking their father’s car at Comins Lake, to their battles they had with each other, but ultimately would be there and do anything for each other. Marlene Stork, Steve’s mother, explained how he obtained his pilot license at age 16, before he even got his drivers license. Steve was a member of the Ely Fire Department in the late 80s before he left to go to school. The Stork family all noted how Steve was always so business minded. He opened several business in Spring Creek where he was partnered with others, and in 2011 his brother and Pat opened Racks Bar and Grill. Pat said, “He was always watching or listening to Fox News. The day Pat landed back in Las Vegas, and had to drive Steve’s truck back from Vegas, the radio was tuned in to Fox News Rick Stork said, “I know one of the scariest times Steve he had, he was flying some hunting scouters, and the plane had malfunctioned, the hunters thought he was diving lower, but they were in crash mode, and he kept his cool and landed it just fine.” Mindi Jensen, former manager at Racks’ Bar & Grill, reached out and shared her memory of how one of the most used sayings from the bar by all of Steve’s friends was “Give me one more then no more, which never happened. They would all get caught up in their stories and jokes and before they knew it they had several more.” Stork was a major voice in the community. He was a county commissioner, but also the Chairman of the Tourism and Recreation Board, was the Airport Manager for Yelland Airport, sat on the housing planning committee, broadband committee, the downtown beautification committee including all of the boards and commitees’ he was liaison to as county commissioner. Donna Bath said, “When he came into the office, and he said I think I did something really stupid, and asked her for advice, and I told him do what your doing. He held to his convictions and I was so proud of him for that” Pat said, “He hated paying taxes but he paid them and he hated seeing them going to waste.” He bravely challenged politics most of his colleagues would say, wrestled hot topics in the county and challenged any new project that came along. The family explained that everything he did, he did a 100 percent. He was very passionate about making White Pine County a better place. “A tremendous loss of a businessman and political figure in Ely, Nevada,” said Marietta Henry. “He was a consummate professional in addressing issues and working to find equitable solutions to benefit White Pine County. As a County Commissioner, and Chairman of the White Pine Tourism and Recreation Board he worked tirelessly for all citizens. “ I will personally miss his focus and tenacity in problem-solving. He was someone you could always count on to get things accomplished! He will be greatly missed.” Tyler Whipple, his stepson, had memories of Steve helping him during hunting season, and helping him when he was stuck in the snow. “He never gave me advise, he more or less taught me things…he taught me so much.” Bryant Barnson said, “I know when we started the Steptoe Valley Trap, Skeet and Range Club, Steve was very instrumental with finding the money and ensuring they could succeed. “Everything Steve said he was going to do, he did.” District Attorney Michael Wheable, who worked closely with Steve, said, “Steve’s sudden passing has left a large hole in our community leadership, but speaking as a close friend, his passing has left a larger hole in our hearts that will never be filled.” Shane Bybee, said “Steve Stork was a man larger than life, in stature and in spirit. White Pine County has lost a person that was honest and steadfast in his beliefs yet reasonable and ready to listen and learn. Steve cared so deeply for this area, he gave generously as a person and businessman to all causes and worked tirelessly every day to make our county a better place. There is no replacing a Steve Stork, I can only hope to emulate him in my actions and be grateful to say that he was my friend.”
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