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RIP Steve Johnson

Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 1,470

The guy was always overflowing with unfeigned kindness, friendliness, and good cheer.

One of a kind.


Robbie Mackley · · Tucson, AZ · Joined May 2010 · Points: 85

I'd like to wish;
Condolences to Steve's friends and family. Thanks to everyone involved with SARA. And an extra thanks to Steve Johnson himself for making what he loved so accessible to the rest of the climbing community.
Steve, I hope you find your crux high, exposed, and exciting. Travel well.

Joe Lee · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 285


I miss you so much.

Goodbye my friend.

Rest in Peace.

Casey Erin · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 50

The world just lost an amazing person. I love you, Steven.

Steven Groetken · · Durango, CO · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 390

He put a FA on some of my favorite climbs at the hairpin. It's amazing looking through "Squeezing The Lemmon" how many times you see the initials SJ. Thank you sir, you were a true hardman.

Bob D. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 15

We at LaFrontera East are saddened by the death of our co worker. Let it be known that Steve was a very compassionate and caring clinician that positively impacted hundreds of individuals in our community. He was devoted to climbing as well as helping others. He will be missed by those he served and those that worked with him. I considered him not only a fellow colleague but a friend as well. May his loyal dog Buster rest in peace with him.
Bob D.

Atop Mt. Lemmon July 2012
Climb on Mt. Lemmon July 2012
Mt. Lemmon July 2012

Mike Dudley · · Vegas · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 155

I meet Steve at beanfest many years ago. Talia and I stayed up for hours by the camp fire chatting with Steve and Ryan. I ran into him many times at the stronghold, lemmon and the gym; every time I ran into Steve he was full of life and had a huge smile across his face. Hands down one of the nicest individuals I have ever meet. You will be missed Steve.

I'm so proud to have been apart of such an amazing climbing community who stops everything to take care of one of their own. Eric and crew your actions are an inspiration for all and I am proud to call you guys my friends. Great work.

If there is anything I can do let me know. If you need to get out of Tucson and let off some stress my home in Vegas will always have an open door.

Sending good vibes and love to everyone.

Mike Diesen · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 365

I received a call this evening from Paul, a friend and climbing partner who lives on the east coast and travels here on occasion for work. He remembered meeting Steve at Batline with Angel and I. It was a great day.

"Canada" Eric Ruljancich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 375

I consider myself lucky to have known Steve for the time that I did.

In a nutshell, Steve was an all around good guy. He was always happy to see you, always had something positive to say, and was always willing to help you. He was a generous and genuine individual. He loved sharing his passion about climbing, and life in general. Like the rest of us he wasn't perfect, but he was honest, caring, and authentic - all things that we could use more of.

Steve made this world a little better of a place, and I like to think that it is our job to do that now. I feel that it is the best thing we can do to honor his life.

Chauncey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

Very sad news. Steve and I were climbing buddies for many years in my early twenties. Shared many epic adventures- all nighters stuck on the wall during monsoon season, bad falls, singing in the rain on approaches. He was a great friend and I'm sorry he's gone.

I would like to go to the memorial service- if someone can let me know when and where, I would appreciate it.

My condolences to his family.


Jimbo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,315

Though Steve and I had a bit of bad blood after the "poaching " incident, the last few times I saw him in the parking lot he was always smiling as we shook hands and I petted his cool little dog.
He was an asset to the local climbing community and I'm sorry we never got to hook up and do a few new routes as a team.
He will be missed but will live on in our memories every time we climb one of his routes.

JoeS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 265

Steve was one of the kindest, most decent people I've ever met. I'm grateful for having known him.

Andrew Kornylak · · GA · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 25

Very sad to hear this, my condolences to Steve's family.

RyanJohnson · · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 341

Thank you everyone for your supportive words and fond memories of my Dad. Seeing these pictures and reading your stories has been immensely helpful for me personally.

There will be a memorial service for Steve Johnson at Catalina United Methodist Church this Thursday, 5/16 at 5 p.m. The ceremony will be small with a reception to follow. All who would like to attend are more than welcome.

Catalina United Methodist Church
2700 East Speedway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716

Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,055

Thanks for the invite Ryan. It's a school night for my daughter but I'll try to make it up. If not, my thoughts will most certainly be with you.

Adam Block · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,255

I just wanted to send some love and positive thoughts to Steve's family and those that knew him as well as the entire climbing community, it's such a devastating loss.

I also want to add that while we as a group sometimes bicker about a bolt placement or some other trivial thing, we are all one large extended family and we trust each other with our lives on a daily basis which is something we should never lose sight of.

suprasoup · · Rio Rancho, NM · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 580

Met Steve at the Stronghold on several occasions. He always had a smile on his face...he will be greatly missed.

Condolences to the family.


marktcolby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 0

I have been out of Tucson for years and just talked to Brian Benedon tonight. I remember Steve well. I can barely remember climbing together, but I clearly remember his immense psych for first assents. I am glad he had so many successes with so many people. I am deeply saddened to have never had the opportunity to see him lately. I would have truly enjoyed hearing about all his FA's. I will miss him. So sad to hear his passing. He was one nice person, and one solid climbing partner.

Judith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

I am heart sick to learn of the death of my good friend, Steve Johnson. I met Steve 16 years ago, when we worked together at Carondelet Hospital. We became fast friends, and he is a very important person in my life. I met, & spent some time with, his 3 kids: Devin, Kyle, & Ryan, when they were very young. I also know his mother, & some of his siblings. I moved away from Tucson 14 years ago, but have always kept in touch with Steve, either meeting in person on vacation, or by phone. While I hadn't seen Steve in a few years, we had been texting every couple of months to keep in touch. I recently lost all of my phone contacts, as they had been accidentally deleted. I was thinking about Steve, & hoping he would contact me so I could get his phone number back into my phone, as I had not written any of his info down. In this day of technology, I stopped keeping a written address book. I hadn't heard from Steve, but I wasn't completely surprised because it was sometimes a couple of months before our next check-in. What with stuff going on in my own life, it wasn't until now that I realized it had been far too long since we last spoke. I "googled" Steve's name to see if I could get a phone # for him (it hadn't occurred to me to call La Frontera), and was SHOCKED to see all of the news stories relaying the horrible news of his death! I had never expected to see such a thing, and I am deeply shaken by this news. I wish Steve's family would have gone through his phone contacts & sent messages to people informing them of this news, as I would definitely have been there for his memorial service. As it is, I can find no other info on his funeral arrangements, where he is buried, etc. so I can pay my respects. This Mountain Project website is the only source of info I could find relating to a memorial that was held in May, but there is nothing about where he is buried, or if he is buried. If anyone knows, please tell me, as I would like to come to Tucson and visit the gravesite. My condolences to the family & climbing community. I know Steve's death is a tragedy and a great loss to you all, matched only by the empty hole in my heart & in my life now that I know, sadly, that I will not see Steve again.

Brigette Beasley · · Mukilteo, WA · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 345


My condolences on the loss of your friend. I know the family had just about all they could deal with putting together the memorial and certainly didn't mean to leave anyone out. You can contact Kyle, whose number is in his post on page 1, for more information.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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