Stephen E. Pelkan

March 08, 1965 - March 10, 2017

Stephen Edward Pelkan, 52, passed away peacefully March 10, 2017, in Kirkland, WA, with family by his side. He was born March 8, 1965, in Napa, CA to Betsy P. and Dr. Karl F. Pelkan Jr.After graduating from Justin Siena High School in 1983, Steve entered the Air Force, spent a year in Texas, and then three years at Ramstein AFB in Germany as an electrical power production specialist. He joked that the Air Force also taught him how to operate a snow shovel.

Steve left the Air Force in 1987, relocating to Reno, where he continued working in electrical production, providing power to communication companies across rural Nevada and emergency backup systems to casinos in the Reno/Carson City area. During this time Steve also studied electrical engineering at the University of Nevada Reno.

In 1996, Steve went to work for North Sails in Minden, NV as a maintenance tech and quickly became the Maintenance Manager. Subsequently he became the Equipment Operations Manager, Engineering Project Coordinator, and an Automation Engineer. He was a major contributor to the installation of the North Sails Sri Lanka facility, traveling there several times a year. While working at North Sails he met Pam, the love of his life.

In March of 2016, Steve was excited to be hired by MTorres America, in the Seattle area, as the Applications Engineering Supervisor for the commissioning of a new robot, his dream job.

Steve enjoyed spending time with family and friends, skiing, motorcycle and dirtbike riding, hunting, wine tasting, and traveling. He loved history, science, space, and knowing how things work. He was always laughing and joking; upbeat and positive. He was a team player who just knew, “We can get it done.” A loyal friend, devoted to his family, he was fiesty but a gentleman. He will be greatly missed.

He was predeceased by his father, Karl Jr.

Steve is survived by his wife Pamela Pelkan of Bothell, WA; mother Betsy Pelkan of Napa; brother Karl Pelkan (Kitty) of Seattle; sisters Dr. Kathleen Pelkan of Bethel, AK and Alexandra Olenczuk (David) of Fort Worth, TX.

A celebration of Stephen’s life will take place 1:00-4:00 pm April 23, 2017, at Compadres Rio Grille, 505 Lincoln Avenue, Napa, CA. A second celebration will take place in Minden, NV, date and time to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local Public Broadcasting Service affiliate ( or to the American Brain Tumor Association (

For more info and to leave condolences, go to


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment