Stephen William Penttila was born on April 9th, 1946 in Aberdeen, Washington to Eric and Elinor Penttila. His childhood centered on a passion for sports. In high school, he played football, baseball, and basketball for Weatherwax High School. He won the Coaches Award for Football his senior year, which recognized his leadership, hard work, determination, commitment, and team spirit. These traits served as a template for the way that Steve lived his life.
After high school, Steve joined the Air Force, working as a military police officer. He began his career with the Washington State Ferries in the early 1970’s, working his way up to Captain before retiring in October 2000.
Steve married Cheryl Heider, on September 10, 1966. The couple built a home on Bainbridge Island in 1977 to raise their two children. He joined a local softball team, the “R” gang, where lifelong friendships were formed. His nickname, “Finn”, represented his Finnish heritage which he took great pride in. Steve was the “neighborhood” dad. He played baseball in the backyard, shot baskets in the front driveway, and he was renowned for his cannonball plunges into the neighborhood pool. He was a big kid at heart.
Throughout his life, Steve continued his passion for sports by following the Seahawks, Mariners, and the UW Huskies. He enjoyed golfing with friends, and in 2014, he fulfilled his dream of golfing at Pebble Beach. He explored astronomy, studied history, loved to watch old time television shows, and enjoyed traveling, visiting over forty states during his retirement years. He was close to making his annual trip to Lake Chelan when he passed away on Thursday July 8th, 2021.
Steve is survived by his daughter Shelly (Mark) Chamberlin, son Scott (Chrissy) Penttila, three grandchildren: Amanda (Matthew) Griffin, Landon Penttila, and Dylan Penttila. Surviving siblings Eric (Sharon) Penttila, Lauri Penttila, Mary (Mike) Hansen, Christine (Tom) Maynard, and countless nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Cheryl, brother Phil Penttila, and parents Eric and Elinor Penttila.
Please visit Cook Family Funeral Home website for full obituary and to sign Steve’s celebration wall.