Stephen D. Linder, 79, passed away peacefully on December 17, 2023. Stephen was born on November 7, 1944, to the late Edward and Betty Linder. Stephen was preceded in death by his son Stephen E. Linder and is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Charmaine, his son Robert, his brothers Doug (Chandra) and Kevin (Mary) Linder, numerous nieces, nephews, & cousins, as well as two cats, Noah & Cali.
Steve was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1944 and moved to Denver, Colorado in 1957. He spent the rest of his life here. He graduated in 1962 from Mapleton High School where he met his sweetheart, Charmaine. He made many friends at Mapleton playing basketball and was in the glee club. Like many people his age at the time, he enjoyed cruising around town in his black 56’ Chevy.
After high school Steve began working for Public Service Company of Colorado. In 1963 he started in the Gas Street Department as an office worker and in 1965 he transferred to the Transmission Lines Dept. at the Holly Service Center starting in the position of Groundman. He held nearly every job in the department during the 20+ years he spent there. This includes truck driver, transmission patrolman, apprentice lineman, and after completing a 4-year apprenticeship, he became a Lineman. In 1986 Steve transferred to the System Operations Department at Lookout Center where he was a Transmission System Operator for 15 years. In 2001 Steve was hired back in the Transmission Lines Dept. where he was Transmission Lines Manager for the state of Colorado. Steve retired in 2003 after 40 years with the company. He was so very proud of the work he did with PSCo especially as a Lineman. For every pulsing electrical high wire, there’s a Lineman who connects them and tends the wires so there can be light and warmth for everyone. This was his life’s work and he made countless lives better through his dedication and skill. After his retirement until shortly before his passing, he continued to work as an independent consultant on power system operations and maintenance.
Steve also spent many years working a second job for the Denver Post in the Circulation department. If for any reason someone’s newspaper didn’t deliver to their house, he made sure they had one by the end of the day. He understood how important it was for people to be informed and wanted to make sure no one went without their paper.
Many people also knew Steve as “The Sheepherder”. This was from his 13 years as a staff volunteer for Ride the Rockies. He was in charge of the PSCo water truck from 1989 to 2001. His job was to make sure the 2,500 riders had water to stay hydrated on their long journeys through the Rocky Mountains. During Steve’s first year volunteering, the bike tour encountered a sheep drive somewhere near Montrose, CO. Steve answered a radio call for help and off he went to assist. Steve was able to work with the farmers moving the sheep to get the herd off the highway and make the road passable in time for the large group of cyclists to ride through safely. Steve was immediately christened “The Sheepherder”, and his legend continued to grow throughout his tenure with RTR. At a Staff meeting that night, Sheepherder proudly announced, “I made a ewe turn today!”. For one week a year, he got to head out on the road and be part of this cycling party on wheels. It was one of his biggest joys in life. These experiences were especially meaningful to him because his two sons were volunteers as well.
To honor Stephen’s memory, we are holding a celebration of his life on January 10, 2024, at 11:00 AM at the Westminster Elks 2227, 3850 Elk Drive, Westminster, CO 80030. Stephen requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to his favorite charities, The Denver Dumb Friends League, and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.