Steven Thomas McIllwain, 62, of Palm Bay, Florida, passed away on July 24, 2017. He was born in Cincinnatti, Ohio on December 17, 1954. He grew up in Manchester, Tennessee, son of the late John T. (Jack) and Naomi McIllwain. He was an adored brother to his three sisters, Lisa Merritt, Gina Trent, and Jan Wilks.
Steven was a gentle soul and the jokester of his family. He knew every Seinfeld episode by heart and could produce a hilarious one liner for any situation. Steven was so much like his father, minus the booming voice and cockeyed glare. His appearance and mannerisms left no doubt he was Jack McIllwain’s son.
After high school and some college, he joined the Air Force, where he became known as Mac. He made many friends who cherished his trustworthiness and comfortable humor for life. He made them all feel special to be around him. Mac found the love of his life, Elizabeth (Beth) Morookian, while in the Air Force; their love survived being separated by the globe as they finished their military time. After separating from the Air Force, Steven and Beth married in Manchester on October 24, 1981.
They lived in Tullahoma, TN where their first son, Terrell George, was born in 1982. Their second son, Andrew Thomas, was born in 1986 in Orlando, FLA, where they had relocated for a job opportunity. In 1990, Steven and his best friend, Rick Bartell, opened Coastal Instrument and Supply Co. Through hard work and determination, they built a successful business that provided for both families. After Rick’s retirement in 2009, the business has become a successful family enterprise, where both Terrell and Andrew will follow in Mac’s footsteps in fine McIllwain tradition. Andy and his lovely wife Erica are expecting their first child in November. One of the biggest regrets is that his precious granddaughter will never get to meet her incredible granddad.
Throughout Steven’s and Beth’s life together, they shared a passion for travel to new places. It started early with trips to places like the Florida Keys, Williamsburg, Savannah, and Germany. As their sense of adventure grew they expanded to places such as Italy, Alaska and the Grand Canyon.
Steven loved his Cowboys, deep sea fishing, golf and his beloved dog, Daisy. This fall we will miss his texting banter and armchair coaching tips during UT football games. Even though he and his family lived among the Gators for over 30 years, Steven’s blood bled only true Orange and he still called Tennessee his home; which is why his final resting place will be in Tennessee.
Steven recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a car with class, muscle and “room for the big guy” by purchasing a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible. He love classic cars and like to ride with the seat way down low.
Along with Steven’s love of sports came the love of coaching his boys over the years. As such, he was involved with the City of Palm Bay youth athletic program. They have worked closely with the family to establish the Steven Thomas McIllwain Memorial Fund with all donations going directly to those youth athletic programs. In lieu of flowers, go to www.pbpirates.com/fundraiser to donate.
Steven is survived by his wife, Beth, his two sons Terrell and Andrew and daughter-in-law Erica, his sisters, three brothers-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins and a multitude of longtime friends.
Husband, father, brother and friend, you will find none better. We love you and we miss you.
Funeral services will be held at Coffee County Funeral Chapel on Saturday August, 5, 2017 at 3 PM. Visitation will be from 12 noon until the service at 3 PM. Internment to follow at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens.
Coffee County Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the McIllwain family.