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Memories
norah ryan
 

 fourth of july ,frisco  co . annual parade . stephanie  and the kids met at my home  near main street . we went to the crazy annual 4th parade . she had lilli in the stoller . jack in one hand and was well assisted by big sister ellie (sp) . from my house we walked down to main street  in the wicked sun of the blue sky day . (steph continually applied sunblock to the kids . ) after two hours of non-stop stimulation we decieded to go to breck to hear the swing band at the riverwalk .   we went by bus . ,loaded the kids and strollers . watered and fed them enroute (steph being well prepared  as girlscout and dancer ) she amazed me as a mother and a participant of life . she never lost her cool .  her devotion to her children was so  apparent .   she shared her zest for life with her children  . enroute to breck  steph was talking  to the man on the corner   that  had been banned by the police from preaching    . she was interested in his story   genuinely interested . we went to the riverwalk center  for the swing band  and who do you think got the crowd swinging ???? what a fun day . i will never forget  how thrilled she was to have the kids dancing    w we had a blast .  we stayed for the  encore . the kids had so much fun and need i say  i loved it .

Cari (Roller) Panitzke
 
This morning I awoke to the morning after of a blizzard that dumped a FOOT or more of snow on us and forced us to postpone your Redwood Falls Memorial Service to a week from now. I feel like I am in Colorado without the mountains or the elevation...
 
Hannah and I are going to watch Mamma Mia together just like we did for the first time with you and Ellie in the Dillon Theater. I remember people hating that movie, but the 4 of us just loved it and actually in that theater, the audience was all singing along with the movie. Ellie and Hannah loved it too, and it is one of our favorites to this day. I will think of you and Ellie every time I watch that movie.
Connie Hart
 
One of my favorite more recent memories of Steph was this past summer when Beret Norman and I stayed with the Bruner's at the beginning of June.  Jack was starting summer school and Steph thought it would be a great idea for all of us to get up and ride bike to take Jack to school.  It sounded like a terrific idea.  After a delightful evening of visiting and sharing stories we turned in late, yet somehow managed to get up in time to put our plan into action.  Since the bikes hadn't been out of the storage trailer yet (the snow had just melted!) off we went to get things lined up.  Of course tires were flat and needed pumping, the pump wasn't working quite right, bike trailers needed to be attached, and wouldn't you know one bike wasn't in working order.  I'm sure everyone can relate.  Steph immediately had a plan B.  We took one bike and attached a tag-along bike AND a pull behind bike trailer.  I found out later that Steph had done this many times before.  Steph assigned me to "drive" the thing, as she would have to rollerblade.  Beret would have the other adult bike and Ellie would ride her own bike.  Poor Beret had the responsibility this whole time of getting three kids dressed, teeth brushed, and ready for the day in a very short amount of time.  I'm sure all of our antics looked pretty comical from the outside.  Amazingly, we hooked everything up and put Jack on the bike and Lillie in the trailer.  Steph directed me to the bike path that ran along the river and said, "Just follow the path, it will take you right to the school." "Uhhh. . .OK," I thought as I wondered what biking while pulling at an elevation of over 9,000 feet was going to be like.  She stayed back to make sure Beret and Ellie got off to a good start.  Now mind you, these bikes were real mountain bikes with actual toe holds for your feet and I found out that they don't work so well with Teva sandals. . .   Jack, Lillie, and I were beginning to zoom along pretty well when we rounded a corner and saw that the high spring waters of the river were RUNNING OVER the bike path.  Quick stop with the big rig!  Right then Steph had caught up with us (she must have been rollerblading pretty fast) and said, "You've got to be kidding!"  Alright, plan C.  Turn around, manuever off the bike trail and through a neighborhood, cross a busy highway --eeeek!--and "follow that path on the other side" noted Steph.  Once I crossed I wondered which of the several paths she meant.  I started down one when I heard shouting indicating that I had made the wrong choice.  Back up the big rig again.  I turned to the right onto the sidewalk and we were heading toward the school once again.  By this time Beret, who was riding alongside Ellie on this adventure that was getting bigger by the moment, and Steph had caught up to us.  Lillie was so proud of her mom zooming along on rollerblades and jumping all of the cracks in the sidewalk (yes, you should be amazed, I sure was!).  It was heartwarming to hear her cheer Steph on with, "Mommy you are so good at rollerblading. Yay mommy, good job!"  Steph said that she usually bladed over her lunch break at work so her kids had never really seen her do it.   We finally made it to the elementary school, after crossing the busy highway again---eeek once more!--and pulled up to the entry way.  Then Steph discovered that she didn't have any shoes with and would have to bring Jack in stocking footed:)  Funny mommy moment.  All this time we were thinking we were late and had tried to rush.  Only after Steph had come back out did the bus (that Jack would normally take) pull up and let the other children off.  We were actually a bit early!  How in the world that happened I will never know.  Needless to say, the ride back home was much more relaxed and a bit lighter for me since I was down to only one passenger.  It was fun sharing that mommy adventure on a glorious, sunny Colorado morning and I envisioned Steph doing it often throughout the summer.  Thanks for the fun, dear Steph!  I will treasure that day in my heart forever.
Cari (Roller) Panitzke
 
Stephanie, a couple years back we met in Sausalito to celebrate Aaron and Carol's wedding. This is a picture of when all of us mobile and capable hiked to the top of Angel Island and gazed at the beautiful view of the whole Bay Area. Prior to that, you were here in August for your 20th class reunion, and you and I were able to spend Friday night together "out on the town" of big Redwood Falls where we danced and laugh and drank a little. We had a lot of fun dancing especially (of course you were a show off, hehe J/K). That trip and that night in Redwood were GREAT recent memories of how well we got a long as adults. I love you and miss you my sweet, dear Stephanie, and newest angel. 
Tish
 
I met the Roller's long time ago. They openned their home and their hearts to me and I was so lucky to live with them for a year in Redwood Falls. Since then, I think of them as part of my family and love them very much, even though we are far away.
The Roller's are generous and loving people. They are full of life and essentially happy, as was Steph. She was kind, enthusiastic and one of the best persons I've ever known.
Although it is so unfair that someone like her had to leave us so soon, she will never be truly gone because she will always live in our hearts.
The last time I got to be with her was in NYC, ten years ago. I was too focused in my work, since I was with a grant there, but she managed to take me out to Broadway to se a musical (Fosse) which we loved very much and to dinner some other days. We had a great time. Her love for life was so contagious and I always be grateful for those nice days we spent together.
Total Memories: 62
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