Obituary: Stephen Lee Roman | Obituary
Our beloved husband, father and grandfather Stephen Lee Roman passed away peacefully at home on May 16, 2021 surrounded by his family after a valiant battle with cancer.
Born to Byron and Margaret (Huckestein) Roman on March 19, 1947, in Astoria, he joined his older sister, Jan. Her younger sister, Barbie, completed the family a few years later.
Educated at St. Mary’s, Star of the Sea School in grades one through ninth, he attended Jesuit High School in his second year after the family moved to Portland for his father’s job. Sadly, her father passed away after only a year in Portland and the family returned to Astoria.
Steve attended Astoria High School his last two years of school and graduated in 1965. An athlete in four sports, he excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track and field, and carried a love of sport throughout its 74 years.
He even dunked a basketball twice, once in high school during a pre-game warm-up (although he later admitted that the elastic floor in the gym probably gave him an extra boost) , and the second time in an Astoria High School alumni game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Ask Becky about it …
After high school, he enrolled and graduated from the University of Oregon. He received his law degree, also from Oregon, in 1973, receiving the second degree in his class.
After studying law, he returned to Astoria to begin his remarkable 42-year career in the legal field. For 25 of those years he was half of the powerful legal duo Zafiratos & Roman.
Steve’s brilliance in the courtroom and tireless defense of his clients have earned the respect of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement. Many law enforcement officers have said they learned more from Steve about how to do their jobs and how to properly investigate driving under the influence of intoxicants than anyone in their careers. Criminal defense attorneys regularly reached out to Steve to discuss legal issues and choose his brains.
For over 40 years, if you found yourself in trouble in Clatsop County, you called Steve and you probably had his number on speed dial. He was truly a criminal defense warrior. His commitment to his profession came just after that of his family.
On December 27, 1980, he married Becky Wilson at their home in Astoria. Married for 40 years and together for 45 years, Steve and Becky have shared all the adventures of life. Steve knew that Becky was the one to attend a wedding together and that she was the perfect complement. Becky ate all the frosting and Steve ate all the cake.
Frequent trips to Maui, where they stayed at the Luana Kai, are at the top of their list of destinations. Other vacations included the annual family trip to Eugene to attend the high school basketball tournament. The “Holidome” was not complete without the Roman family.
Steve’s athletic knowledge and passion was unmatched. He knew current and past stats for almost every sport and religiously followed Astoria High School and his beloved Oregon Ducks. Duck football season, surrounded by family watching the games downstairs in the bar, was his favorite time of year.
Even with his demanding career, he rarely missed any of his children’s sporting events or dance recitals. As his family grew and his knees weakened, he removed his slow softball cleats after many years playing for the Astoria Merchants. He was a proud teammate of the Shakey’s Lefties Bowling Team, as well as a member of several City League basketball and flag football teams.
Her natural charisma and humor illuminated all the rooms. He loved entertaining friends, which always turned into a spontaneous dance party. His innate musical ability has led to numerous improvised piano and vocal sessions, and he has served as an occasional karaoke singer at the Portway Tavern.
Steve has grilled on his patio most of the year, and he’s perfected the art of cooking salmon and clams.
He was a member of Astoria Elks Lodge and attended Peace First Lutheran Church.
His humility, his generosity, his grace and his compassion are carried by his children, his grandchildren and those who knew him. We are confident that he was greeted properly upstairs with a glass of Crown Royal.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Becky; their six children, Monte Reed (Debby), of Astoria, Ryan Reed and his partner, Stephanie, of San Antonio, TX, Vince Roman and his partner, Aaron, of Hillsboro, Luke Roman (Kenna), of Astoria, Molly Yeend (Kelly), of Astoria, and Kelly Cope (Brendan) of Astoria; and nine grandchildren, Haley Fluke, Ruby Reed, William Reed, Anthony Reed, Rennie Roman, Margaret Yeend, Karl Yeend, Charlie Cope and Toivo Cope, who affectionately called him “Papa”.
Also surviving are two sisters, Jan Hinman, of Union, Washington, and Barbie (Reg) Jenkins, of Astoria; brother-in-law, Bill Wilson, of Portland; sister-in-law, Diane Wilson, of Wilsonville; and one uncle, Dick (Betty) Huckestein, of Astoria; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family would like to thank the dedicated staff at Columbia Memorial Hospital, Clatsop Care Center, Lower Columbia Hospice, Khay Diego’s family and Providence home rehabilitation staff who provided loving care during her last months.
Memorial contributions can be made to Astoria High School Athletics and Peace First Lutheran Church.
A commemorative rally is planned for this summer. Details to follow.