Stephen Edward Pelkan

March 8, 1965 to March 10, 2017


Stephen Edward Pelkan

Stephen Edward Pelkan

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.


Steve and Pam

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 dirt-bike 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.


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. He was predeceased by his father, Karl Jr.


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 (

5 Responses to “Stephen Edward Pelkan”

  • Joe McDermott says:

    To the Pelkan Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Although it has been years since l have been in touch (Karl) the memories bring back the joy from those carefree days of being a kid in Napa…. Peace, Love, Hope… God Bless!

  • Debbie Alderson says:

    My most sincere condolences & prayers to his family. I worked with Steve at North Sails & will never forget his sweet nature, funny wit & kind heart.

  • Linde and Dave McGee says:

    Dear Betsy and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  • Sue Isely says:

    Dear Karl and Kitty,

    So sorry to hear this sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Sue and Mario

  • Sr Olive Murphy says:

    Hi Betsy and Pelkan family I am so saddened by this news of Stephen passing. He is now with Karl his Dad in eternal peace.They both await you all at the end of time.It sounds not fair.I hold you all in deep prayer for comfort in knowing we will all meet again.Keep Hope alive. Words are inadequate for your sorrow at this time. Stephen is with you in a new way closer than ever supporting you all and especially you Pam. Holding you all in sincere deep prayer, Sr Olive Murphy

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