Thomas Stephen Stolk
Thomas Stephen "Steve" Stolk born March 20, 1948, passed in the early morning hours of January 31, 2024, with his daughter at his bedside. He was a Pieces as was his beloved wife Gloria Jean "Jeannie" who preceded him in death in June 2023. Steve was born the middle child between Penelope Louise & Jon Marinus, both preceded him in death, in Birmingham, AL to Jack & Jacqueline. They raised him on Milo's tea, Pete's Famous hotdogs & Golden Rule BarBQ. In 1968 Steve & Jeannie married, they celebrated 58 years together. In 1971 they welcomed their only child Angela Stolk of Opelika, AL.
Steve was a veritable jack of all trades - burger flipper, trophy maker, paper boy & he took old timey photos at the state fair just to name a few. He began a career in photography with the U.S. Air Force. Weddings, graduations, reunions or the occasional diplomatic visit, all witnessed by him & captured for future generations to enjoy. Steve moved his family to Auburn to work for Auburn University's photographic services during the fabled Bo Jackson era & was responsible for Bo's official Heisman trophy photo. He was their official photog on many game days including traveling to bowl games & aerial shots of Jordan Hare stadium. While at Auburn, Steve resisted the urge to scream "Roll Tide" every time he cashed his paycheck. He did, however, get his masters degree in human resource management & began a new career with Social Security Administration in Jackson, MS. Steve & Jeannie would lay down roots in MS that lasted over 30 years. In those years he took great pride in serving the people of MS & serving his fellow workers. He was the union representative for all SS workers of MS & took their needs seriously when representing them in Washington, D.C..
In his spare time he enjoyed sampling foods from across the land all while honing his own culinary skills. In 2008 the Magnificent Red Eyed Smokers, under Steve's masterful leadership, gained traction on the Memphis in May BarBQ circuit. They toured the southeast rig in tow & left a trail of smoke in their wake. They placed in the top 10 that year & BarBQ Steve was born. The rig was retired in 2015 but smoke continued to roll above the Stolk household as recently as this past summer. Steve & his buddies enjoyed poker nights, baseball, & having a beer where everybody knows your name. He had a passion for music & trivia spanning the decades. He was able to channel his inner Casey Kasem as the lovingly petulant DJ Curmudgeon on an all request online radio station that benefitted U.S. Veterans. In 2020 he & his family moved to AZ where he picked up a camera once more & captured more memories & stunning landscapes. In 2022 they returned home to MS to spend their final days with loved ones. Steve laughed a lot, he shared what he had & he loved a lot. He will be missed by many.