Anyone who knew Steve Lockwood remembers the twinkle in his eye. He would come into my office in Sandpoint regularly to share news clippings, ask questions, and learn about the work I was doing. He was always deferential and he was always supportive. That’s why it was so heart-wrenching to learn that Steve had suddenly passed away.

The Sandpoint resident was the kind of board member who every organization wishes to recruit. He cared about the environment, but his concern for the planet was not founded in his own self-interests. Steve was most passionate about issues affecting generations to come. When we talked, he would fret about climate change and the world we’re leaving to our children and their children. He worried that growth and development would swallow up the open spaces we have left.

Steve also demonstrated a clear commitment to the community he called home. Steve served on the Sandpoint City Council, the local planning and zoning commission, and the local school district board. These jobs are often thankless, but critical to a community’s quality of life.

His service on the Lake Pend Oreille School District Board showed that Steve cared deeply about public education. Well after his own kids graduated from school, he continued to tirelessly advocate for the passage of local school levies. He knew that we couldn’t count on the State of Idaho to take care of our students, teachers and education facilities. So he took action where change is often most possible — at the local level.

The ICL family is grieving, but I find some comfort in knowing that while Steve may be gone, his impact continues. I’ll remember Steve when I pass the schools in town. I’ll remember Steve when I see children playing in the park. I’ll remember Steve when I see the bright red blooms of an Indian paintbrush flower bursting in the mountains of North Idaho. And when I see these things, I’ll remember that twinkle in Steve’s eye.