Steve Gally died of natural causes on July 16th in Pacific Grove, in the garden he helped create with his girlfriend and companion, Jennifer Peery. Steve was a stone mason, a fireplace expert, a firefighter, an artist, and a legend in his own time. He lived passionately, worked hard, embraced adventure, and loved life. He enjoyed a wide range of experiences throughout his life, from sailing around the Caribbean to panning for gold in the Sierra foothills, working in corrective horseshoeing, creating sculpture, busking as a rogue puppeteer, landscaping and dune restoration, tomahawk throwing, beekeeping and more. He was a one of a kind original.
His booming baritone voice and immense physical presence radiated with life and he was always full of energy, inspiring all those who knew him. Steve loved nature, animals, the environment, was a flashlight enthusiast, and appreciated the simple things in life. He gave of himself willingly and often to those in need. He would provide food and clothing to his friends and family and shared all he had with everyone around him. He had a strong work ethic and was not afraid of working hard and getting dirty. He did not complain. He was a mentor to many young men, to whom he taught the value of an honest day's labor and a job well done.
Steve grew up in Southern California, and spent significant portions of his life then living in Alaska, Colorado, the Virgin Islands, Big Sur, and made Pacific Grove his home for most of the last two decades. The central coast of California was his true home, where he appreciated the beauty around him, enjoyed riding his Harley on the PCH, camping and working in the hills and canyons of Big Sur, and fighting forest fires as a first responder with the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Steve was an artist at heart, taking much of his inspiration from the work of Antoni Gaudi, with whom he shared his Spanish heritage and love of working with glass, stone, and metal. He loved using recycled materials in his work and his art, and was a gifted sculptor and stone mason. Art and creativity was an essential part of Steve's life, and he expressed it in everything he did. His legacy will live on through the countless stone projects he created on the Monterey Peninsula, and through the many lives he touched along the way. It is a legacy filled with enthusiasm for life, and selfless service to those in need, friend and stranger alike. His fireplaces will continue to burn brightly, warming our hearts and our homes. He is greatly loved and will be missed immensely.
Steve is survived by his soul mate Jennifer Peery and beloved dog Bowie, his mother Batrice Poynter, two sisters Stephanie Frieling and Dera Poynter, two nieces Jaqueline Frieling and Chelsea Crofts, and one nephew Oliver Crofts.
A memorial service will be held in Pacific Grove on Saturday, August 24 at 1pm. For information on the location of the service or to send your condolences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (831) 241-4597. In lieu of flowers or donations, help someone in need as Steve would have done.