Longtime Tahoe couple killed in crash remembered for family ties, joy for life
TAHOE VISTA, Calif. andamp;#8212; Jesi and Frank Steward built their lives around love. Whether Frank was pouring his heart into one of his signature wood carvings or Jessica was spending time with her grandchildren, the couple had enough love for the two of them andamp;#8212; and then enough to share. andamp;#8220;If you knew them for years and years as I did, or just for a moment, they made a permanent impact,andamp;#8221; said family friend Lori Frankenberger. andamp;#8220;I know for myself, I have never felt so unconditionally loved by anyone as I did with Jesi, and it was 100 percent mutual.andamp;#8221;Frank Steward, 66, and Jessica Steward, 65, of Tahoe Vista, were killed last week in southwest Colorado after the motorcycle they were riding was struck by car driven by a suspected drunken driver.According to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jonathan Silver, at approximately 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, the Stewards were riding a 2011 Harley-Davidson eastbound on Highway 160 near Hesperus, Colo., when a 1997 Mercury Tracer traveling westbound crossed the double yellow line and struck the motorcycle. The Stewards, who were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident, died on scene.The driver of the Tracer andamp;#8212; Stacie Pierce-Green, 40, of Cortez, Colo. andamp;#8212; was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter, Silver said, and was booked last week on $25,000 bail. If deemed necessary, Silver said further charges will be filed by the La Plata County District Attorneyandamp;#8217;s Office.Frank Steward, an accomplished wood carver, poured his heart into his stylized totems, Frankenberger said, while Jesiandamp;#8217;s passion was for games of all sorts, from bridge to football. A huge Giants fan, Jesi made sure her grandchildren all had team T-shirts with numbers that represented their birth dates, Frankenberger said.Whenever the grandchildren came to visit, she recalled, Jesi and Frank always had fun things planned. Whether it was going to a movie or baking goods to sell at the North Tahoe Art Tour andamp;#8212; which often included Frankandamp;#8217;s carvings andamp;#8212; the outings were always very inclusive, she said.andamp;#8220;To watch all those little girls working in the kitchen, the older ones helping the younger ones when needed, was so inspiring to me. They just flowed,andamp;#8221; said Frankenberger. andamp;#8220;And I would be totally remiss if I didnandamp;#8217;t say how in awe I am of Frankandamp;#8217;s mother, Jeanette, a truly amazing woman.andamp;#8221;What stood out the most, said Frankenberger, was the coupleandamp;#8217;s 110 percent dedication to the local 12-step recovery community.andamp;#8220;There is no doubt that they would want to continue to share how their lives and the lives of their family members had changed in miraculous ways through living the steps and traditions. Their sons want everyone to know that,andamp;#8221; she said. andamp;#8220;I canandamp;#8217;t begin to say how much I will miss them and always love them, and I am so blessed to have been a part of their lives.andamp;#8221;The couple is survived by their sons Eric, Adam and Frank III; their daughters-in-law Dana, Gaylene and Lalainya; and their six grandchildren Cydney, Chyloe, Tony, Leanne, Alison and Serenity.andamp;#8220;I think one of the sweetest memories I have of Jesi and Frank is the many times we would go see live music together, sometimes in a larger group, sometimes just the three of us,andamp;#8221; Frankenberger said. andamp;#8220;Whether I was dancing with them or just watching them in their loving dance embrace, I always felt so touched.andamp;#8221;Condolences can be sent by U.S. Postal Services to: the Steward Family, PO Box 122, Tahoe Vista, CA 96148; or to: the Steward Family, 6487 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe Vista, CA 96148.Donation can be submitted in the Stewards name to http://www.keeptahoeblue.org; Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness andamp; Education at mrfae.org; A.A. World Services, Inc., P.O. Box 459, New York, NY 10163 (for AA members only); or Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617 (for Al-Anon members only).
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