Published October 31st, 2018
Stephen James Spleiss
Stephen James Spleiss, of Lafayette, California, passed away on August 25, 2018 following a 28-year battle with cancer.

Stephen and his twin sister, Elise were born in Oakland, California at the old Oak Knoll Naval Hospital on April 7, 1951. Their parents were Arthur and Opal Spleiss, both deceased. Raised in San Francisco, Stephen attended West Portal Lutheran School, Herbert Hoover Jr. High and Lincoln High School, where he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).

Growing up, Stephen was always interested in and read all he could about the military in history, even up to his death. He entered military service right out of high school. He was proud of his time in the Navy, particularly serving aboard hospital ship USS Repose (AH-16). And later in the Gulf of Tonkin operations during WESTPAC 1972 aboard the USS Berkeley (DDG-15), in May 1972, "Linebacker". These words Stephen wrote in a poem a week before his death reflect how he lived his life: "I served my country with pride. There is not an expiration date on my service to my country".

Stephen is survived by his son Jason Spleiss (Amanda) and two grandsons of Los Banos, California; his twin sister Elise Spleiss of Roseville, California; sisters Kathleen Allison of Florida and Catherine Pratt (Steve); brothers Cliff Brackett (Barbara) of Elk Grove, Art Spleiss Jr. of San Francisco, and 11 nieces and nephews.

He was last employed since 2005 in local theatre production as a Theater Technician at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California.

In spite of all the odds against him Stephen never let cancer stop him from living. He continued to enjoy a wide range of activities including biking and hiking when he could. When resting, he was a poet, scholar and philosopher, reading books of all kinds and listening to a wide variety of music. He loved a good debate! He liked to cook. He also loved his electronic toys and gadgets, and kept Amazon Prime busy!

Providing him comfort and companionship the last 17 years of his life were his twin cats, Castor and Pollux named after "The Twins", bright stars in the Gemini Constellation. They were born on 9/11/2001. Pollux did precede him death in the last few years, so Castor held down the comfort fort till the end.

Stephen was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.

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