Steven James Ehens, 58, a San Luis Obispo County native and Oceano resident, died suddenly when his generous, kind and giving heart gave out on him.
Steve was the firstborn to proud parents Mary Imogene (Davis) Ehens and Seabo Jr. "Red" Ehens, U.S. Navy ret.
Born inquisitive, intelligent and mechanically inclined, "Jake" as Red called him, became a gearhead at an early age. He loved working on cars and at 16 his mechanical genius would earn him a spot on the cover of "Hot Rod" magazine.
Following in Red's footsteps, at 17 years old he joined the U.S. military. Steve was always cold and not much of a swimmer so he opted for the Army, where he would proudly serve his country as a Military Policeman.
Steve had a way with people that just made you comfortable. He could get a conversation going with anyone and leave them with a smile, since he mostly just listened. Those shoulders may not have looked very broad but they shored up many a fallen, both human and animal. Whether just listening to a friend or stitching up a dog, Steve's compassion was boundless. His greatest achievements in life weren't measured in dollars but in moments he was there for someone else in need, and in those he was truly a rich man. A prayer warrior, Steve's favorite book of the Bible was Job as he understood what it was like to lose everything except his faith in God. That never waivered.
Aside from being an honest man, excellent musician and damn good mechanic, he could fix anything that didn't work, draw better most trained artists, cook a three-course meal with nothing to eat in under 20 minutes, hit a target from 40 paces with anything from an arrow to a bullet or rock in a slingshot and spin a yarn a mile long. Steve was writing a fantasy novel for young adults, drawing cartoons and painting exquisite art pieces when he left us.
Survivors include wife Shellie Ehens-Forsythe, mother Mary Ehens-Stanavage, sons Thomas with grandson Caleb and Anthony with granddaughter Rayvn; brothers Seabo (Debbie) Ehens of Peoria, Il., Parker (Carrie) Davis of Orange County and Matthew Ehens; sisters Debbie (Barry) Lacey, Gail Sprout of Yates City, Il., Alexis Ehens and Nancy Ehens-Stanavage; multiple aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, including his cousin and good friend Bill Stanavige. Other than more friends than sand in the sea, Steve also leaves behind dogs Bella Mae, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Lou and Scooter. He was preceded in death by father Seabo in 1974, step-father Adolph (Stan) Stanavage in 2009 and father-in-law Harold Forsythe in 2018.
Always up for a party, a celebration of Steve's life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 14 at the Oceano Train Depot and Museum across from the fire station at 1671 Front St. (Highway 1) in Oceano. All are invited to a potluck luncheon following the service, so bring a dish and a story to share. No dish? No problem. Just share a few words.