All of us at Canine Support Teams mourn the loss of longtime friend, client, and board member Steve Hicks.
Steve has been a treasured part of CST since the organization was founded in 1989. He was instrumental in helping to develop the logo and launch the CST brand. Steve was a sculptor by trade and spent his career sculpting in the toy industry. Through that connection, he was able to have a designer from Mattel, Inc. donate the artwork for the CST logo.
From the beginning, Steve was actively involved in the puppy raiser classes and the Prison Pups Advanced Training Program. Everyone who worked with Steve—from the CST volunteers and staff to the trainers at CIM and CIW—recall fond memories of his sense of humor, loyalty, and ability to make everyone comfortable. He was understanding of people and their emotions, and this empathetic nature and ability to connect with people made him an excellent trainer and ambassador for CST. Steve was an all-around wonderful person who will be sorely missed.
CST was an important part Steve’s life and he always regarded CST’s mission as life-changing. He had 3 CST service dogs of his own over the years. He and Tahoe were inseparable and one of the best client teams ever placed. He was very proud of taking his service dog everywhere with him so people would know about the program. He was fearless about discussing service dogs and what they can do for a person. One of his favorite sayings was “it’s all part of life’s grand pageant.”
Steve had recently taken a puppy to puppy raise and was having a lot of fun taming an energetic puppy! He was instrumental in pulling together plans for the expansion of the CST facility and was well-known in the community. His disabilities never limited his contributions and never stood in the way of his creating. He always found a way and taught us all about perseverance, kindness, and commitment. In fact, every email or letter from Steve was signed “be kind,” a constant reminder to place people and good intentions ahead of everything else.
Steve was always inventing and finding ways to give back to CST. He was an inventor by trade and by nature, always strategizing, creating, and finding new ways to assist others, especially those with disabilities. He had recently purchased a Harley Davidson motorcycle and was creating a sidecar so he and his dog could ride the motorcycle. He carried this can-do attitude into all of his friendships, often lending support and advice to “never give up!”
We will forever be grateful to Steve, and his kindness will live with us forever. Steve was so dedicated to helping CST be the best it can be, and he will be extremely missed by everyone at CST and beyond.