Stephen Charles Earls, 67, passed away on June 20, 2022 after battling an aggressive form of bladder cancer for eight months.
Steve was born on September 12, 1954, to Richard and Gertrude Earls in Tucson, AZ. He spent his entire childhood in the same house Richard and Trudy first brought him home to from St. Joseph’s hospital. In that family home, Steve made a lifetime of memories with his beloved parents and five siblings, building relationships that stayed strong throughout his life.
After Steve graduated from Rincon High School in 1972, he studied briefly at the University of Arizona before joining the United States Navy at the end of the Vietnam War. While in the Navy, Steve completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Chaminade University in Oahu, Hawaii.
Steve spent 15 years serving in the armed forces in a variety of roles – first on a helicopter squadron where he had the privilege of picking up the astronauts returning from the Apollo/Soyuz mission in 1975. He then worked in counterintelligence before finally moving to a recruiting role that enabled him to spend more time at home with family. After leaving the Navy, Steve built a career in product management and business marketing, trying his hand at a few hobbies along the way including creating a trivia newspaper “Trivia Tales.” In his most recent role as Chief Operating Officer of Integrity Design, he became a valued member of the Integrity Design family. Steve’s love of the company and its customers and suppliers, as well as his friendship with founder and owner Larry Shoppa, made the last few years of his career some of his happiest and most fulfilling.
In 1982, Steve met his wife Lori and her two-year-old son, Nicholas, while working at Kmart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While Steve’s outgoing personality and loud sense of humor were at first intimidating to the introverted and kind-hearted Lori, he soon won her and Nicholas over with his charm and heart of gold. Lori often described him as her “White Knight” and said that she never once had to doubt, even during the inevitable rough patches of a 40-year marriage, that he would protect and care for her and their family. Steve and Lori went on to have two more children, Brandon and Sheila. Between their three children they have 10 grandchildren.
In addition to being an exceptional son, brother, husband, father, and papa, Steve was a life-long history and trivia buff with a truly astounding amount base of knowledge about everything from world wars to ancient civilizations to pop culture and sports. He was unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit, much to the frustration of his competitive children. He loved baseball and was himself a talented pitcher growing up. Like many born and raised in Tucson, he was a loyal Arizona Wildcats fan and often wore his 1997 NCAA Championship shirt with pride. He had a movie quote for every situation, and some of his favorites came from John Wayne, Better Off Dead, Romancing the Stone, and the original Star Wars trilogy. Above all else, Steve believed in family, friendship, and loyalty. He never withheld love or pride from his children, regardless of their choices. Those he loved knew without a doubt they could turn to him with any problem, and he would drop everything to help.
Steve was predeceased by his mother Trudy Earls, his father Richard Earls, and his Aunt Gerry Langlois. He is survived by his wife Lori, their children Nicholas, Brandon, and Sheila, and his siblings Paul, Mike, Patrick, Therese, and Peter.
A memorial celebration of Steve’s life will be held at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on October 23, 2022 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to or St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, two organizations Steve felt passionately about.