Our Dad's Passing: Steve Bynum passed away suddenly from acute idiopathic pancreatitis on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018. When Steve was hospitalized, he held on strong for his family as Heidi rode through the night, and as Alice and Liam flew across the country. Steve refused anesthesia when it was time to remove life support so that he could be present with us in his final hours as we sang, talked, and held him, watching the sun go down. We extend our deepest thanks to Jessica Neiwert who drove Heidi to Twin Falls, following Steve's helicopter. Our partners flew with us, no questions asked, and Kimberly Martin, Lindsay Mollineaux, and Ted Miller also came to be with us as fast as they could. We are forever grateful for the circle of support from professionals and loved ones as we said goodbye to our father.
Our Family: Steve served the Wood River Valley community from the box office of the Magic Lantern Cinema for 26 years and the counter of Video West for another seven after that. Only 60 years old when he passed, Steve met the love of his life, Heidi, when they were seventeen, and they had a grand total of 42 years together. In Ketchum and then Hailey, they raised two children, Alice, a high school history teacher in Berkeley, and Liam, an artist and printmaker. Heidi and Steve always had a modest income, but they were able to give us everything that matters - books, instruments, art classes, time outdoors, a cozy home, and most of all, love. We love this Valley, and we were so lucky to be raised in a place where learning opportunities and great teachers abounded. Steve's full obituary can be read in the Idaho Mountain Express and The Weekly Sun .
About the Costs
Medical: Our dad fortunately had health insurance when he died, but no life insurance. There will be no money coming in following his death. Steve was transported to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center by ambulance. He was then life-flighted to St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center, where they cared for him in the ICU for his last two days on earth. The over-night flights for Liam and his girlfriend Claudia from White River Junction, Vermont, and for Alice and her boyfriend Seth from Oakland, California, cost nearly $5,000, and we are expecting medical bills approaching $100,000.
Housing and Transportation: Heidi hopes to continue to live in the home that she and Steve built together in 1990 (the little yellow house in the background of the cover photograph, taken this January) and to work in the community that has embraced our family for going on four decades. Heidi has $40,000 left on her mortgage. Also, she and Steve made do without a car for the past few years, riding the bus thirty minutes to work in a place that has snow on the ground nearly six months a year. We would like to pay off our mom's mortgage and give her a safe and reliable car she can use to get around and be able to drive for a ride-sharing company.
Ask: We wish to make sure our mom is going to be taken care of, and so we're asking, without expectation but with immense gratitude, for any support others might give toward our goal of $50,000. That would pay off Steve and Heidi's mortgage, get Heidi a car, and cover some of the immediate costs surrounding Steve's passing, including hospital bills and flights, mortuary fees, cremation, the obituary, and the memorial. Alice will be trying to support Heidi as she spends the remaining months of this year visiting her family in Tucson (where she and Steve were raised), Seattle (with her brother's wonderful family), and Berkeley (with her daughter). Liam and Claudia will be moving back to Idaho in the new year for at least six months to look after our mom, as well.
Invitation: All are most welcome to attend the memorial service at the Church of the Big Wood on Saturday, October 20th, 2018. It would mean so much to all of us to see the treasured faces of those who held our father dear. Simply sharing this message with other friends would help a great deal. Furthermore, those who will be in the Valley this December are invited to a benefit screening of Steve's favorite film, It's a Wonderful Life, generously hosted by the Kessler Family of the Magic Lantern Cinema (details to follow). You can share your words, photographs, hugs, and ideas either via post at P.O. Box 1941, Ketchum, ID 83340; in person at our house in Hailey; or through Alice by private message on facebook.
Steve Bynum, 2018
The day our family became complete, 1992
Christmas morning with Shadow Cat and Vincent Van Dog, 2017
Baby Heidi and Steve in Idaho, circa 1983
At home, circa 2015
Handsome Dad, circa 2015
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