Stephen Dominic Knaze III, born February 6, 1984 in Santa Rosa, CA, entered through the Pearly Gates on March 1, 2023 to be with his Creator. Stephen is survived by his father Stephen II, his mother Clairene Townsend and his siblings, Yvonne, Robert, Rebecca, Michael, Michelle & Maryann. Stephen was an extraordinary, unique and quintessential (this was his favorite word) human being & he lived a very colorful life. Born in the wilds of Northern California on the Russian River, at 3 years of age he carried firewood from the neighboring sawmill to help heat his family home. He was an exceptional All Star athlete at St. Rose Elementary and Cardinal Newman High School where he participated in basketball, baseball & football. The local girls at Ursuline Catholic High School once voted him as “the most macho” of his peers. After high school, Stephen was disinterested in further education so he chose to live an adventuresome life filled with travel, excitement and he adopted a bohemian lifestyle. Stephen climbed high mountains, hunted black bears, fished for steelhead, was a certified PADI diver and he dove in deep, cold Pacific Ocean waters for the shellfish abalone, who’s meat and their mother of pearl shells are prized. He swam wild California rivers, camped out everywhere, he crossed the Mexican border freely without showing ID numerous times and lived with indigenous people there. He crisscrossed the USA many times using only his thumb and he traveled to the island of Fiji where he participated in secret esoteric medicine man ceremonies with shaman. Stephen loved his family very much and he was our precious son, brother, grandson and uncle. For most of his adult life, he batted personal demons and fought them with courage, dignity and grace. He never gave up and he persisted fighting until the very end. Stephen loved life and he always did what he wanted to do and he did everything his way. He will be extremely missed by his family and friends as the warm hearted, kind and loving person that he was, especially his lifelong best friend Devin and his fishing buddy George. Now, at last, his soul and spirit are free and he is flying with the Angels where he is communing with his ancestors in Heaven. A memorial service for Steve will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at noon, at Picking-Treece-Bennett Mortuary, 921 Menoher Blvd. Fr. William Rosenbaum. To honor Stephen and his life, we ask that you carry out a random act of kindness in his name and pray that he may finally rest in peace.
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