On Sunday August 7th, 2022, Stephen Brian Wishek passed away in the loving presence of his wife and sons due to complications from diabetes. He was 66. Steve and his wife Virginia were recent residents of Brownsburg, Indiana. Steve grew up in Southern California and moved to Indiana in 2018.
Steve was born on June 5th, 1956 at Fort Ord in Monterey Bay, CA to Donna and Homer Wishek. From an early age, Steve was determined, clever and fun-loving. As a high school senior in at La Mirada High, he was still in need of PE credits to graduate. Ever the creative negotiator, Steve worked out a deal with the PE teacher to buy him donuts every morning so he wouldn’t have to run around with the underclassmen. This was just one of many win-win business negotiations Steve would be a part of. He may be best remembered by his La Mirada classmates for his antics on his final day of his senior year in 1974 – driving his father’s prized Fiat coupe through the long outdoor walkways outside the classrooms, catching a little bit of air as he sailed off the curb into the bus circle and sped away from campus for the last time.
Steve’s free and independent spirit drew in the love of his life, Virginia Oliver. After graduating high school, Steve met Virginia in February of 1975 at Knott’s Berry Farm. In December the young couple married. They soon had their first son, Steve Jr., followed by three more sons, Jeff, Casey, and Kevin. Steve was blessed with six grandchildren that he delighted in showering with love and affection and spoiling with presents and his favorite sweet treats. He loved making them smile.
Tenacious, energetic and determined to provide for his family, Steve began working on the shop floor at Komfort building trailers, working his way up to lead before moving on to American Kleaner in Pico Rivera, CA. Steve worked at American Kleaner for 18 years where he developed a reputation for honesty and fair dealings. He earned the respect of his peers and supervisors, becoming the Vice President of Manufacturing. Steve eventually returned to his RV manufacturing roots as the vice president and general manager of Alfa Leisure.
After eight successful years at Alfa, Steve founded his own business, American RV Company. While exceedingly proud of the innovation and determination of his company and employees, Steve was most thankful for being able to work daily with his sons. His children took on valuable roles ranging from assisting in starting the company and building the first trailer to successfully running the day-to-day operations. Their experiences provided each of them with a platform for continued success after working with American RV.
Steve was a devout man of faith who was an ordained pastor at Calvary Chapel Christian Fellowship (CCCF) of West Covina, CA. No matter how busy life was, Steve found the time to study and reflect on God’s word and wrote a weekly devotional series that is still used at CCCF. Steve’s empathy and caring was a salve to many in times of need. No matter the trial or tribulation, Steve was thankful for God’s provision and the people around him. Until she passed, he would send his mother flowers on his own birthday as a thank you for the gift of life she had given him. In his later years when his wife took over his constant care, he spoke continuously of his gratitude for her love, care, compassion, and devotion. His will to live was incredibly strong, equaled only by his love for his family.
Stephen touched the lives of many and will be profoundly missed by those who knew and loved him.
A viewing and service will be held on Friday August 12th at Oaklawn Memorial Garden of Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, there will be a Celebration of Life this fall in California where family and friends will gather to share treasured memories, classic rock music and Steve’s favorite foods while wearing their favorite Southern California beachwear or Hawaiian shirts.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia, sons Steve Jr, Jeff, Casey, Kevin, six grandchildren – Bradyn, Scott, Aiden, Acelyn, Ryan and Penelope, his father Homer, and brothers Brad and Matt.