William Dalton Stepp of Flat Rock passed away Thursday, May 26, 2011 at the age of 82. Bill was the son of the late James (Jenk) Stepp and Alma Blackwell Stepp and brother to the late Marjorie Case and Marie Stepp. He is survived by his siblings, Arthur Stepp of Dana and Louise Justice and Hazel Ponder of Hendersonville, each of whom he loved and treasured very much. Additionally, he was the proud uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill is also survived by his wife, Carolyn Burrell Stepp. Their successful partnership was based on love and enhanced by devotion to each other and has lasted for fifty-seven years. Together they built a good life centered on their faith and their determination to work hard together to achieve a goal. Bill said that where he left off, Carolyn picked up and the same way from her to him. A simple philosophy, but one that certainly illustrates their strong union and devotion to each other.
As they raised their daughter, Sandy, bill guided her to remain true to her upbringing and values, and to always explore and challenge her potential. He constantly told her, that all people make mistakes if they do something. The important thing in life, according to Bill, was to do something and recognize and learn from your mistakes. He taught her this down-home wisdom as she trailed along after him in the orchard or to the barn, as well as the way to get a chinquapin nut out of the hull without getting her fingers pricked. Truly, lessons from a master who always tried to do something to make things better for everyone that he knew.
Bill loved all of his family very much and welcomed his son-in-law, Ronnie Morgan, as if he was born into it. Many good times were had by the two of them on their fishing adventures that produced more funny tales than fish and built a bond between the two of them based on respect and secrets kept about where that terrific fishing hole really was.
When his granddaughter, Joanna Leigh Morgan, came along, he fell in love with her at first sight. She was Pappawís Girl. When she was tiny, he pushed her in a swing until he was out of breath because it made her smile and giggle so much. When she was older, they tramped for hours in the orchard and garden where he taught her the finer points of potato bug mashing, choosing the juiciest apple, and a good bit about life as well. As she grew to young womanhood, and his health declined, she would take him on wild rides up the orchard rows just to make him smile. It seems she learned a lot from those early days in the swing about making the people you love happy.
Bill accomplished many things in his life that are usually quoted to illustrate who a person was. For instance, he served in the United States Army and he retired from Cranston Print Works after working there over thirty-five years. But Bill never recited accomplishments to indicate who he was; rather, he valued the people and relationships that he gained through the things he did. He loved to talk to people and counted being a good neighbor and friend as being one of the most valuable things a man could do and certainly believed that his friends and neighbors were the most valuable things he could have.
Over the last years, Billís stamina declined and, with it, his ability to work as hard as he wanted to, which frustrated him but did not defeat him. He continued to put in a garden that produced more than ten families could have used. The excess produce he carefully sorted into grocery sacks and delivered to his family, neighbors and friends. When questioned about why he persisted in making such a huge garden, he would say that if the Lord gave him the strength to make that large of a garden and gave him the strength to deliver the food to people that he cared about, then it would be wrong of him not to do it, and he didnít want to disappoint the Lord. Such was the simple and uncomplicated faith of this good man. He will be greatly missed by those who loved and knew him.
The family appreciates all of the efforts made by the staff at Pardee Hospital and especially the care and concern shown to Bill by Dr. Ronald Moffitt and his fine staff.
A funeral service will be held at 2 PM Saturday in the Chapel of Forest Lawn Funeral Home. Burial will follow the service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Graveside Military Honors will be conducted by Hubert M. Smith American Legion Post 77, Hedrick-Rhodes Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5206, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 14. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the American Lung Association, 514 Daniels St., #109, Raleigh, NC 27605
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