Peacefully, Steve Okolisan passed away on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (Chatham campus) due to complications from a stroke. Steve was born on November 27, 1943. He grew up in Rodney on the family tobacco farm with his parents, John and Elizabeth, and brothers, Ken and Bill. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Sylvia, they moved to St. Thomas for four years, but the allure of country living brought them back to Rodney. Together with Steve’s brother and lifelong business partner, Ken, they took over the family farm in 1968. With Sylvia and Bonnie, they worked side by side, building the business like the entrepreneurs they were and adapting to the many changes within the tobacco industry until they grew their last crop in 1988.
Steve enjoyed the simple pleasures in life: a crunchy Empire apple, a NY Yankees baseball game, a sunny day, a Wilbur Smith novel and, most of all, time with those he loved. He was gentle, soft-spoken, always a welcoming host, strong-willed and fiercely independent despite numerous health challenges over the years.
Steve was predeceased by his loving wife, Sylvia, in 2006. Left with warm memories are his children Tracey (John Chan) of Toronto and Jason (Joanna) of Mississauga. Proud grandfather of Lily and Nicholas. He will be deeply missed by his brothers Ken (Bonnie) and Bill of Rodney. Dear brother-in-law of Margie-Ann and Bill Saunders of Chatham and Maxine and Don Beleutz of St. Thomas. Steve will also be missed by numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, extended family and friends.
Thanks to the wonderful staff in the ICU at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, especially nurses Erin and Cheryl, who provided compassionate care and support to Steve in his final days.
Friends may call the Rodney Chapel of the Denning Funeral Directors on Saturday, December 6th, 2014 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. Funeral service will be held at the chapel on Sunday at 1 pm. Interment Rodney cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family as your expression of sympathy. Condolences can be left at www.denning.ca