Passing of Emeritus Steve Person

Steve PersonBiology Professor Emeritus Steve Person, 73, passed away February 11 at his home in Sault Ste. Marie. Person worked at Lake State 1974-2004, where he had a hand in launching thousands of students into careers in biology and medicine.

He was awarded LSSU’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year for 1979, and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards award for teaching excellence in 1995. Person also served on the scholastic committee for many years. He was granted emeritus status in May 2004.

“Things that I loved: KATHY!!!!” said Person, in an self-written obituary that appeared in regional print and social media.

“Teaching, photography, traveling, woodworking, building things, the river, having fun, music, our house, getting together with family and friends, working hard, accomplishing ‘impossible tasks’, making people happy and helping them feel good about themselves. I am honored to have donated over 6 gallons of blood to EUP Blood Bank.”

“I referred to myself as a teacher, rather than as a college professor, if asked what I did for a living,” Person wrote. “Teaching was definitely my passion – I loved it, and I worked hard at it and was often rewarded by positive feedback from students, even years later. I like to think I was very highly respected by my students. (Note that I use the word “respect” rather than popular.)

“I always felt blessed by my many, very diverse friendships, and was delighted and humbled at all the support from my many friends when they found out I was ill.”

Shortly before coming to Lake Superior State College in 1974, Person worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) as a member of the Joint Fish and Wildlife Advisory Team (JFWAT), monitoring environmental impact during the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

Person held baccalaureate (zoology) and masters degrees (comparative physiology) from Iowa State University, and earned a doctorate in environmental zoophysiology from the University of Alaska, Institute of Arctic Biology.

Person finished his self-written obituary with these comments: “Always had a smile on my face. Many a beer, bottle of wine and shots were consumed while celebrating the wonderfully lucky life I’ve been able to live!”

Contributions in Person’s memory can be made to the LSSU Aquatic Research Laboratory or Hospice of the EUP.

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About the Author

John ShibleyJohn Shibley
Photographer/Staff Writer

Shibley has been a writer, editor, photographer, and videographer in the public relations office since 1991, except for a five-year stint as hobby and planetary science editor at Astronomy magazine in the mid-90s, where he was a finalist for the American Astronomical Society’s Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award.