February 15, 1957 - October 31, 2022
Steven Douglas Mowery – husband, father, son, brother, and friend to many.
This is intended to be Steve’s obituary and eulogy. The word “eulogy” comes from a Middle
English word meaning “high praise.” I intend to share some high praise, but will also reveal
some plain truths that may be difficult for some.
Steve was born in Massillon, Ohio on 15 February 1957 to Richard and Carole Mowery. In 1969,
his family moved to Woodbury, Minnesota, where the cold, long winters got him dreaming of
tropical islands. After graduating from Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota in 1975,
he enlisted in the Navy and shipped off to the Naval Communication Station Wahiawa, Hawaii –
he made it.
I remember during his visits home one thing he missed the most in Hawaii was the “refreshingly
cold Minnesota tap water!” Yes – cold tap water. (OK – Minnesota tap water is actually very
refreshingly cold!!). He was also a submariner – bubblehead – sardine. Clearly, he was always a
While in Hawaii Steve fell in love with Susan Hebert – with whom he surprised his family during
a visit home with the introduction, “mom and dad, I’d like you to meet my wife!”
Steve and Sue spent time in Northern California, Minnesota, Misawa Japan, Bedfordshire, UK –
they literally “saw the world” before settling in Valrico, Florida to raise their son, Shawn.
Steve continued to support DoD IT activities while working for various companies, volunteered
to deploy to Africa and the Middle East, and spent time in Iraq supporting U.S. operations. He
was honored to be a founding member of the Camp Striker Cigar Club, and most recently
worked in the Office of the Chief Information Officer with Homeland Security – a position he
was very proud of.
I want to remember the brother from growing up in Minnesota – the brother who was my best
man at my wedding – the brother who invited us to stay at his house in Florida – the brother
who took me on really fast motorcycle rides in Hawaii – the brother who taught me to swim –
the brother that convinced me to join the Navy – the brother who was a good friend to many of
those who will read this.
The fact that Steve was an alcoholic is the elephant in the room. He hid his disease from many,
and for others, he wore his addiction on his sleeves. He was one of the kindest persons I’ve ever
met – he would do anything for anyone. His heart was big, and he had a knack for knowing
when someone was hurting and needing help. Steve was also good about hiding other parts of
I lived just 20 minutes away from him. But it was only when he died that I came to understand
the predicament he had been in; there had been no choice about the way he lived. And it was
only after that insight that I came to appreciate that alcoholism wasn’t a lifestyle he had
adopted as the easy way out of disappointment. It was only after he died that I realized how
nobody would have chosen to live like my brother, on the sidelines of a family who loved him,
surrounded by chaos. It was never preferable to live the way he did rather than how he would
have liked, which is why, even when I felt hopeless, he never lost his faith that one day it might
get better. He never stopped making plans to stop drinking. He always hoped that a better,
happier life was waiting for him on the other side of sobriety.
I know that this sense of injustice will remain with me; it isn’t the fact that we’ve lost him, but
the disappointment he felt while he was alive, how his treatment had failed, and how, to his
chagrin, he had failed in the quite simple dream of long-term companionship and love in his
As his brother, I think he would want others to know about his struggle. In fact, I think he would
like us to use his eulogy to encourage others to get help with their addictions. So please know
this – while Steve’s addiction didn’t define him, it contributed to his early death. Please get help
if you need it so that your friends and family don’t have to say goodbye to you earlier than
The Steve we all knew — outside the wine bottles — was a beautiful, gifted, intelligent, and
funny creature of comfort. My brother, amazing as he was, was an alcoholic who lived and died
I miss him; I always will. I give thanks that he no longer suffers in pain and sadness, and I pray
that he is now enjoying the peace that he could not find in the final years of his life.
Steve’s mother Carole Mowery may be contacted at: 5871 Harbour View Blvd, Ste. 106, Suffolk,
Steve’s son Shawn Mowery may be contacted at: 2710 Briarpatch Dr, Valrico, FL 33596
Cremation & Funeral Services of Tidewater is assisting his family. Read full obit and leave condolences at CandFServices.com
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