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Steck, 72, ski patrolman, fishing guide, paraglider
It is with great sadness that the family reports the death of Philip “Smiley”Steck, on September 18, 2022. He died in his cabin in Victor, Idaho after a short illness.
Philip R. Steck was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, on October 21, 1949 to James S. Steck and Rachel Shuck Steck. After several years in Barbourville, Kentucky and Hagerstown, Maryland, the family settled in Shippensburg Pennsylvania.
A Boy Scout, he achieved the rank of “Life” Scout. He learned to fly fish from Jack Eschenmann, his scout leader. From this training, a lifelong love of the sport was formed. During his high school years, a local skiing resort opened and he found a winter sport that he truly loved.
He graduated from Shippensburg Area Senior High School and attended Shippensburg State College with an Earth Science Teaching major. While at Shippensburg he became a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity.
After his junior year at Shippensburg State College, he chose to follow his dreams. He left Shippensburg and spent a winter in Stowe, Vermont. The fall of 1971 he and a friend drove to the West to find jobs and better skiing and fishing experiences.
From 1971 to 2001 winter seasons, he was employed by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as a ski patrolman. Summer seasons from 1972 to 2008 he was a self employed fly fishing guide, associated with Jack Dennis Sports, Grand Teton Lodge Co., West Bank Anglers, and Crescent H Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Smiley was employed as a river patrol ranger by Grand Teton National Park from 1978 to 1981.
Phil was an avid golfer for 50 years with an 11 handicap. The summer of 1989, he worked for the Teton Pines golf course as a cart/Ranger staff, Marshall and greenskeeper.
The winter seasons of 2003 and 2004 Smiley worked at the Four Seasons Hotel as a guest bus driver/chauffeur.
During the winters From 2001 to 2018 Smiley enjoyed multiple trips to New Zealand. There he worked for friends as a fishing guide, he golfed and paraglided.
Smiley leaves behind many from his ski patrol “fraternity,” his fishing “fraternity” and his paragliding friends. He was a good and kind man, who always had a great smile, an interesting story, and a word of advice. He will be missed!
He was preceded in death by his father James S Steck (1998) and his mother Rachel Shuck Steck (2008.)
Phil is survived by his sister Sarah “Sally” (Edward) Burke of Mount Joy Pennsylvania.
Cremation has taken place and Smiley‘s ashes will be paraglided over his favorite spots in Jackson Hole by a small gathering of friends. No formal services are scheduled.
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