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Steven Garver Corle
December 12, 1951 – February 5, 2022
Steven Garver Corle died February 5, 2022, of end-stage dementia. He was seventy years old. At the end of his life he was cared for by the staff of the Grand Junction, Colorado VA Hospital. Steve’s family would like to recognize his VA caretakers, and especially the hospice team, for their extraordinary compassion, skill, and dedication.
Steve was the son of Felix Garver Corle, Jr. and his wife Nettie Mae Hubbard Corle. He was born in Stockton, California, but the family moved to New Mexico while he was still an infant. He grew up in Albuquerque, graduated from Del Norte High School in 1969, and immediately reported to Navy boot camp in San Diego. He trained first as a hospital corpsman and cared for sailors and marines wounded or injured in the Viet Nam war. He then trained as a dental technician and served at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, then on the USS Ajax. His last duty assignment was managing a swimming pool at a Navy base in Japan.
Steve left the Navy in 1973 as a Petty Officer Second Class (E5). He attended the University of New Mexico and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. He began his engineering career at a Texas Utilities lignite mine in east Texas, then worked on airport and water line projects in New Mexico and on research and development projects for an Albuquerque firm. In the early 1990s he moved to Grand Junction, Colorado to help with UMTRA (Uranium Mill Tailings Removal Act) projects.
Steve was a licensed Civil Engineer and earned an MBA from Tulane University, graduating with honors. While in Grand Junction he worked as an UMTRA project manager. He was particularly proud of the cleanup of Watson Island, which was challenging due to its commingled radiological and chemical wastes and its proximity to the Colorado River.
After leaving Grand Junction Steve worked for the Army Corps of Engineers. He had assignments at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, and at the Corps’ state headquarters in Anchorage. He also worked on the initial responses to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in New Orleans and on Corps projects in southwest Texas, facilitating contract negotiations for the Corps of Engineers.
In his late fifties Steve suffered a head injury in a bicycle accident and was no longer able to practice engineering. He spent his time exploring the back country of the American West, especially Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, until he was no longer able.
Steve was not just an engineer. He was adventurous, he loved children and dogs, and he contributed his talents and skills to charitable causes, including the Special Olympics and Big Brother. As a teenager he volunteered at hospitals in Albuquerque. From childhood he loved everything outdoors – he fished, hunted, skied, canoed, boated, backpacked, camped, and explored everything within sight. He also toured much of Japan while stationed there, and traveled to Africa, Europe, and Vietnam as well.
Steve is survived by his sister, Gayle Corle-Green; her two children, Damon, and Adrin; Adrin’s partner, Shawn Kasehagen, and their two children, Stavia and Corbin Kasehagen. Steve is also survived by his brother Greg and Greg’s wife, Susan; their children, Sam, and Nathan; Nathan’s wife, Ashley, and their children, Hayden Mae and Addie; and Sam’s son, Peyson. He left behind a large extended family, too, in New Mexico and Colorado.
Steve will be buried at sea, as he requested. Plans for a memorial service will be announced later. Remembrances may be directed to the Special Olympics.
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