• by kathy
  • · August 4, 2019

Long-time Shadowcliff friend and volunteer, Steve Petrehn, passed away on July 18th. Click here for his obituary in the Kansas City Star.  

Tribute by Bob Mann:  Remembering Steve Petrehn 

Steve Petrehn came to Shadowcliff in 2007 while the Mayor of Roeland Park, Kansas, a first
ring suburb of Kansas City. We were hosting sustainability workshops helping municipalities
develop a better understanding of integrating social, economic and environmental impacts in
their decision making process. Steve embraced the principles, returned to another such
workshop and in the process fell in love with Shadowcliff. He understood the importance of
conservation of resources, minimizing waste and repairing and reusing products that still had
useful life.

Steve became one of Shadowcliff’s most reliable, consistent and passionate volunteers and he
had the skills Shadowcliff needed for many of its major facility improvements . Steve led the
replacement of the metal roof on River Bend Cabin, the expansion of JJ’s outside shop, the
amazing task of raising the roof and dormers on Rempel Lodge, the new windows on Remepl
third floor and every room on Rempel second floor, and of course the wonderful new stairs in
Rempel Lodge. He had a personal hand in many other Shadowcliff May projects and often spent
the better part of the month of May as a volunteer.

Steve was often single minded, sometimes a perfectionist, sometimes stubborn as he worked
with those of us with lesser skills, but he never lost patience or grew too tired to keep going
until a project was finished to his satisfaction. He told stories, invented solutions from climbing
roofs to raising 800 pound stairs with simple tools, human sweat and ingenuity. When JJ Eakin,
our Maintenance guy of 16 years, died unexpectedly in late March 2016, Steve stepped forward
and became our onsite Maintenance guy for that summer—just one more of Shadowcliff’s
miracle stories.

No May at Shadowcliff will ever be quite the same without Steve, but the stories of Steve, the
sound of his laughter, and the evidence of his many completed projects will stand as testimony
to his commitment, passion and love of this mountain sanctuary……..not to mention those
special evenings throwing the frisbee in the town park!

Our condolences to Steve’s family and his many friends. Steve will be sorely missed.