VALLEY SPRINGS - Stephen (Steve) Alexander Sochacki, 62, of Valley Springs, CA died May 4 at his home while in the care of Hospice. There will be a memorial celebration of his life June 13 at the Japanese Garden in Micke Grove Park in Lodi beginning at 3 pm. We invite anyone who would like to share a memory or appreciation of Steve to prepare to speak for 1-3 minutes. Please let his wife, Eleanor (209) 993-9377 or email@example.com know that you would like to speak and she will include you on the list of speakers. Steve will already have been buried in the San Joaquin National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA on June 4 in a private burial ceremony.
Steve was born in Camden, New Jersey, to Alexander (Al) W.S. Sochacki and Beverley J. Finnegan in 1958. He went to Henry Gunn High School in Palo Alto. He joined the Navy at 17 and was recruited into the Nuclear Power School. He was honorably discharged in 1978. The technical skills and deep knowledge of physics he learned in the Navy served him well in a long professional life installing, programming, maintaining and running industrial robots, mainly in the can-making industry, and as an independent Electrical Contractor. In his spare time while supporting a wife and two young daughters, he earned an Associate's Degree in Electrical Engineering from San Joaquin Delta College in 1993.
He loved riding horses, skiing, swimming and walking and playing on the beach. He was an excellent cook, and many have enjoyed meals he made on and off the grill. Steve was proud of the 4 houses he and his wife renovated and enjoyed providing lovely homes for his tenants, although he did threaten to throw a few out who he believed should be buying their own houses! They always decided to buy themselves a house before he threw them out. He had great memories of riding his Harley out to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in North Dakota for several years, and cruising the back roads of the foothills for years after that.
He made the world work better; if man made it, he could fix it. He was a natural leader, and had, in his words, "a rigid moral compass" which served him well negotiating the complexities of Union/Company relationship as Union Representative in his employment. Steve discovered, later in life, that he was a gifted teacher and mentor, and during his time as a Professor at San Joaquin Valley College, he launched many students into careers as robotics programmers and industrial electricians.
Steve is survived by his two grandchildren, and his daughters Felicia Sochacki-Dunn of Mountain Ranch, Stephanie (Adam) Masters of Sutter Creek, and Lexi Sochacki of Valley Springs, his wife, Eleanor Wittrup of Valley Springs, his sisters Kim (John) Plum of Mullica Hill, N.J. and Rehobeth, Dela., Valerie (John) Kessinger of Pinehurst, N.C. , and by his brother Kurt (Mary) Sochacki of Brant Beach, N.J. and Sand Piper Bay, N.C.. He is preceded in death by his father Dr. Alexander W.S. Sochacki (D.D.S) and Beverley Joan Finnegan.
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