In Memory

Steve Lambert

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10/08/14 06:31 PM #1    

Mike Hagerty

Captain Steven Charles (Skillet) Lambert passed away in a fishing accident off the island of Lanai on Feb. 16, 2012.  Steve moved to Maui in the summer of 1984, shortly after graduating from MVHS.  He stayed there for the next 28 years, working as a sportfishing boat captain out of Lahaina harbor.  He leaves behind a wife (Valerie) and two children (Hailey and Logan).

Steve was always well liked, in school and throughout his life.  He was a warm, generous person who other people wanted to be around.  Steve loved the ocean and he loved to fish.  Here are some quotes from some of the passengers who went out on his boat and from fellow boat captains:

"He was one of the nicest guys in the harbor," said Lahaina resident Donnell Tate, who has known Lambert for at least 25 years, since he moved to Maui from Southern California.

"He was a very knowledgeable and very astute captain," Tugwell said. "He always took you to where the fish were, and he knew how to catch them. He was a phenomenal fellow ... he was the best of the best when it came to taking people out and catching fish."

"Everybody liked him, and he had such a great personality ... Steve was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. Once you met him, you'd never forget the guy."

It's been 2 years since Steve's passing and those of us who knew him are still not over the loss.  He was just a terrific person.  -MH

10/08/14 07:29 PM #2    

Brendan O'Brien

Thank you for posting this Mike. I found out about Steve earlier this year and even though it had been over 20 years since I'd seen him, I was crushed by the news. He's still been on my mind lately. Anyone that spent any time around him knows what a kind, caring and all around cool dude he was. My heart goes out to his family and those that remained close over all these years. That includes you Mike! - Brendan

10/09/14 08:58 AM #3    

Kendall Mosley

Mike: This was a very nice tribute to Steve. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It reminds us how fragile life is. Hug you loved ones and be happy.


10/09/14 11:16 AM #4    

Jeffrey Bethel


Thanks for posting and well said. I have been wanting to share my thoughts about Steve but I have been putting it off because everytime I think about him and try to put into words my feelings for him I get too upset (as is the case right now). The following is a letter that I wrote to Steve's kids which reflect my thoughts on what a wonderful person he was to all of us that knew him.


Dear Hailey and Logan,

Some of my best childhood and adult memories are of the times that I spent with your dad. I think we were in 2nd or 3rd grade when we first met at O’Neill Elementary School. As kids we shot BB guns down by the railroad tracks and rode skateboards all over Mission Viejo. As young teenagers we hung out at the Dean Club on “Teen Night” and in High School we went to the beach and played on the soccer team together.  

One of my fondest memories and experiences with your dad occurred the summer after our sophomore year of high school. Luckily for me, your dad and grandparents invited me along for a two week vacation to Lake Tahoe. For the first week of the trip, your grandparents let us camp by ourselves at a camp ground near Fallen Leaf Lake. What an incredible week!  We camped on our own, hiked, fished (though I don’t recall catching much), caught lizards, played horseshoes and listened to music. It was at this time that your dad introduced me to some of the best musicians of all time, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin. I think we wore out the cassette tape of David Bowie’s Greatest Hits (if you don’t know what a cassette tape is, ask your grandpa) and to this day, I am pretty sure I can recite the words to every song.

As young adults your dad, Billy Christie, Joe Schulte, Mike Hoffman and I fished and camped along the Kern River and recently, as “older men” our same group got together for some incredible times in New Mexico fishing the San Juan River. In all of our experiences, your dad helped us to appreciate the outdoors and the importance of spending time with good friends.

Your dad was quite a character. He would constantly crack us up with funny sayings or references from our childhood. In addition to your dad being a super funny guy, one of the greatest things about your dad was his sincerity and compassion for others. It is hard to describe, but some people just make you feel special when you talk to them and your dad was one of them. He was the type of person who genuinely cared about other people. You could just feel it when you spoke with him. This for me and I think for a lot of people is what drew us to him.

Through the years, your dad was a wonderful and very important presence in my life and so many others. He was an incredible friend to all of us in our O’Neill Elementary school group and even though he lived far away in Hawaii, when he came to the mainland, his friendship and great personality were the motivating factors in getting all of us together.

Please call me if you ever want to talk about your dad.


10/11/14 07:57 AM #5    

Stephanie Mitchell (Flynn)

Hey everyone,

I received this email from Steve's parents on Tuesday, and wanted to share parts of it here...

"...Please tell your classmates that Steven will be there with all of you in Spirit and to have the very best time possible. We know that is what he would have wanted  - for everyone to enjoy the moment.

 Our family still  miss Steve very much and not a day goes by that we don’t think about him as he was the glue that held us all together. Valerie and the two children still live in Maui where she teaches school. We visit them as often as we can.

Perhaps some of Steve’s friends may want to say a few words if they are in attendance. Among them would be Mike Hagerty and his fishing buddies, Billy Christie, Joe Schulte, Mike Hoffman, Jeff Bethel and Lawrence Kelly.

Have a wonderful time at the reunion as they are very special occasions in your lives.

God Bless,

Chuck and Bonnie"

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