Steven Wayne Geoghegan
December 20, 1948- July 7th, 2018
Although his spirit never gave up, Steve’s body surrendered to cancer on the morning of Saturday, July 7th, 2018. Steve was born in Olympia, Washington to Harold and Cora (Pete & Corky). He lived the first 12 years of his life in Olympia doing what little boys did in those carefree days. He was active in church, sports, scouting, had a paper route and was taught by Dad how to fish and hunt. Steve had been fortunate to have maintained a lifelong relationship with his childhood buddy Jerry Simmons who he had known since birth. During his 6th grade Christmas break, the family was transferred to the Salt Lake City area and he started a new school knowing nobody. Steve soon made many friends by being active in sports and the Boy Scouts. Steve proudly made the rank of Eagle Scout and as an Eagle he participated in the International Flag raising ceremony on the opening day of the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962.
In 1965, the family was transferred to San Francisco and settled in Marin County. Steve attended Sir Francis Drake High School and was active in sports, cars, and girls. Steve had a bird’s eye view of both the surfer and hippie movements of the 60’s and graduated during the Summer of Love, 1967. Steve had several minor run-ins with Law Enforcement and became intrigued with the profession. After high school, Steve became a Police Cadet and Dispatcher with the Fairfax Police Department. This job also required being enrolled in college law enforcement classes. Not interested in maintaining the required grades, his name was furnished to the draft board and he was drafted into the US Army in 1969.
Steve completed his basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington and his advanced combat training at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Instead of being sent to Vietnam, Steve was sent to a remote Nike-Hercules Missile site in northern Alaska where he spent the remainder of his military time. Steve enjoyed his time in the Army and felt that he became self-disciplined, established a high work ethic and sense of right and wrong.
Upon separation from the Army, Steve again went to work for the Fairfax Police Department as a dispatcher and reserve police officer. He fell in love with the profession and knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. In 1972 Steve was hired as a Police Officer with Fairfax.
In 1974, Steve and Gail Richard were married and they were blessed with two sons, Ryan (1979) and Daniel (1981).
Steve had a desire to live in the community that he worked for and this was not possible in Marin County. And although he loved being a Fairfax Police Officer, there were no opportunities for advancement.
In 1976, Steve and Gail relocated to Napa and Steve became a Napa Police Officer and worked there until his retirement as a Commander in 2003. Steve had many assignments during his career including being appointed as the interim Police Chief for a 6 month period in 1988. Although he was told that he was a top candidate for the permanent position he felt that it was not a good fit for him and he withdrew from consideration. He was a proponent that the new Chief be from the outside and possess the skills to guide the department into a modern and professional era.
Of Steve’s many assignments he was most proud of being assigned as the project manager for the construction of the current police facility and 911 center in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This was the beginning of 911 for Napa. The overall project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule which was not common for government projects.
Steve’s desire in later life was that he at least had a small part in shaping the department and its’ culture into what it is today.
In 1993, Steve and Lynda Chesnutt Veilleux were married. This marriage also brought Lynda’s daughter Jenny Veilleux into his life. Steve and Lynda were successful in raising a blended family and were active with the kids as they grew. They cherished their summer trips to Donner Lake and the Tahoe area.
Steve and Lynda enjoyed road-trips to Mendocino, Carmel and Tahoe but most enjoyed their 2 week trips to Maui and Kona every 2 years.
Upon Steve’s retirement, Lynda decided to also retire and they became seasoned travelers embarking on cruises to Alaska and Mexico and road-trips to virtually every national park in the western United States and Canada. These trips quite often included a stop to visit Steve’s family in Idaho. Pretty much every May and September, they hit the road with Sunny and later with Shiloh, who both were excellent traveling dogs.
Steve was a passionate golfer and described himself as competent at best. He had many golfing buddies and enjoyed his annual golf outings to Palm Springs and Graeagle. He probably enjoyed golf as much or more than anyone because he kept his expectations low and played with the thought in mind “you aren’t good enough to get upset.” He enjoyed being outdoors, being with good friends, and making the occasional good shot and the rare great shot and did have 2 hole-in-one’s. Upon retirement, Steve became a volunteer at Vintner’s Golf course and worked there for 10 years until becoming ill. He made many new friends, learned about the golf industry and had a great time.
In 2006, Steve went back to Napa PD as a part-time employee to perform recruiting and hiring duties. He was laid off in 2008 but remained as a volunteer off and on until 2013.
In 2010 Steve became a Licensed Private Investigator and began doing pre-employment background investigations for several police and fire departments. Steve was fascinated with the people he met and continued doing investigations until 2017. He felt that the investigations allowed him to focus on something other than being sick and ultimately prolonged his life.
Steve was diagnosed with cancer in May 2013 and after two surgeries he was initially told he probably had a year to live. After consulting with his Oncologist he was told that with a positive attitude and good response to treatments he could live 3 to 5 years. He chose that option and went through almost 5 years of Chemo. He developed a new love for life and he and Lynda started more travelling. He did things that he would not have done otherwise such as a trip to New Orleans and Memphis with his 2 sons in 2015. They experienced food, booze, and music that was beyond belief but the camaraderie and love between the three of them completed his life.
Steve is survived by Lynda, his wife and best friend for 25 years, his sons Ryan (Napa), Daniel (New York City), step-daughter Jenny Veilleux (Napa), two grandsons, Bruce and Daniel (Napa) sister Sandy Murphy, brother Rich, and niece Desiree Murphy all of Ontario, Oregon.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank the Oncology Staff at Kaiser Vallejo for their skilled care, compassion, and friendship, as well as the Kaiser Hospice staff especially Steve’s nurse Angela Kaufman for her compassion, skilled care and friendship during the final journey.
At Steve and the family’s request there will be no formal service.
Condolences and words of sympathy may be sent to the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org