Steven "Steve" Stoops '68 October 21, 2022 1:32 PM updated: October 21, 2022 2:08 PM
Steven Grant Stoops
March 17, 1943 - October 18, 2022
Steven Grant Stoops found peace on October 18, 2022. He was 79 years old. Memorial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Twin City Mission in Bryan, Texas.
Steve was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1943, in Von Ormy, Texas, to Alonzo Grant (‘Lonnie’) and Johnnieve (‘Joy’) Stoops. Steve spent his first years in a tiny country house built by his dad and grandfather. He spent most of his days in the company of his grandparents John and Bobbie (who had built another tiny house next door), two people whose memories he would hold dear for the rest of his life. Though they moved to San Antonio when Steve was still a kid, part of him always considered those two little houses to be home.
After graduating from Highlands High School in 1961, Steve attended several universities in Texas before finding his place at A&M. He earned his Bachelor of Science, then his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 1969. Unsurprisingly, he became a devoted Aggie and remained so until the end (while he was not involved in the kidnapping of Bevo that occurred while Steve was a student, he was very proud that he and his classmates photographed themselves with said steer). If an Aggie football game was being broadcast, Steve was sure to be watching it. His ring was worn smooth decades ago.
Steve did his veterinary residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He was a South Texas boy in the Big Apple, and a fish out of water. But it turned out that moving there was the best decision he ever made, because it was there that he met the love of his life, Gail Thompson (who was a glamorous flight attendant for American Airlines…and also a New Jersey yankee). They were an odd match, but somehow Steve ended up being one of the luckiest men in history when he asked Gail to marry him, and she said ‘yes’.
Not everyone has a true love, but Steve did. He and Gail married on March 14, 1970 and spent the next 52 years together. They didn’t stay in New York very long, but instead began a migratory odyssey that lasted almost the rest of Steve’s life. From New York they went to San Antonio, then Athens, GA (where their first son Matt was born); back to San Antonio; then Rochester, NY; then back to Texas, first in Rosenberg (where their second son PJ was born); then Corpus Christi (where their daughter Stacy was born). When Steve went to work as a Veterinary Inspector for the FSIS branch of the USDA, the family moved to Gallup, NM, then back to Athens, GA, then back to Texas once again – this time to Fort Worth, then Burleson. Later they moved to College Station, then retired to Lake Jackson. Then of course they decided to move again, this time to Houston to be closer to kids and grandkids. Finally, they decided after all that College Station was home, and they moved back in 2020.
To Steve, the only thing that mattered as much as Gail was the family they created. His love for his family was simple and absolute. He adored his children Matt, PJ, and Stacy (and daughters-in-law Michelle and Apple), and the world revolved around his grandchildren Cole, Johnny, and Bobbie.
No matter where they lived, Steve obsessively worked in the yard, and he never stopped tinkering, repairing, and worrying over every part of every house. For years he quietly volunteered his time and efforts to those who truly needed a hand. He loved the driest history books, and his taste in movies tended towards the very old and even drier. He was a man of faith, but he really didn’t talk about it. Like his mother and grandfather, Steve could be a little prickly, and sometimes was even ornery. He was occasionally a tough nut, and at other times was downright disagreeable. He could be hard, but the right memory would reduce him to brief silent tears. He was complicated and taciturn. He couldn’t carry a tune, keep a beat, or sing in key; but he wore the grooves out of his old Harry Choates album. He had a natural touch with animals and made friends with them easily. He could calm a hurt dog and could hypnotize ducks. He was not always so good with people, but he certainly tried.
We will miss him terribly.