Stephen Mercer Peringer


image of Stephen Peringer

Stephen Peringer

Stephen Mercer Peringer was a glass half-full guy—well known for his hearty laugh, legendary hugs, and mind-blowing creative talent.  He passed away peacefully at his home in Duvall, Washington on March 12th, 2024 at 2:12PM.

Stephen was born May 29th, 1951 in Seattle, Washington to John and Shirley (Anderson) Peringer. He grew up in the Rainier Valley near Seward Park with his three beloved sisters Sue, Cindy, and Sally, and playfully tormenting “the sisters” was a favorite pastime of his.  As a teenager, Stephen worked at his grandfather’s hardware store Grayson & Brown, delivering furniture and mischief with his cousin and brother-from-another-mother Dean Anderson. After graduating from Franklin High School he moved to Los Angeles and graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration. Stephen returned to Seattle and married his one and only wife Carol on March 6th, 1982.

Art was a driving force for his entire life, and Stephen was a master of his craft. He was a successful freelance airbrush illustrator for over 20 years, creating incredible works of art for numerous high-profile clients around the globe such as Nintendo, Nike, Starbucks, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle International Film Festival. His commercial work took many forms such as video game box art, book covers, advertising campaigns, posters, murals, billboards, and even an album cover for the Steve Miller Band.

Stephen received numerous awards for his illustrations and was interviewed and featured in publications such as Step-By-Step Graphics and Airbrush Action and most recently The Art of The Box.  Stephen also taught Advanced Illustration at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle and held a 15 year retrospective show there.

After his freelance career spanning the 1980s and 1990s, Stephen continued applying his talents in digital formats as a well-respected artist, animator, and art lead for several local gaming companies. In the later years of his career, mentoring young artists was something that he found very rewarding. His lifelong passion for art and creativity also led him to create a series of incredible found object sculptures which now adorn his home.

As an avid tennis and volleyball player for many years, Stephen enjoyed an active life. He loved swimming at Hood Canal, hiking, listening to blues music, sipping some good scotch, playing poker with ‘The Guys’, and attending an annual creativity retreat with the Artburners. Stephen possessed a truly profound passion for play and enjoyed being goofy and having fun with his kids and grandkids—he always said that’s what kept him young.

On what he knew would be his last day on earth Stephen wrote the following in his journal…”I love my family so much. I feel blessed to have all this and to have had a hand in creating it. It’s been an amazing ride, this life. Loved by so many and loving so many.”

Stephen is survived by the love of his life and best friend Carol, his sons Skylar Stein (Megan Young) and Tory Peringer, and daughter Lacey Grapp (Jeff). He also sadly leaves behind his cherished grandchildren Alexis, Brodie, Sawyer, and Hoyt Grapp.  He will be greatly missed by his sisters and extended family.

We are so grateful to the ALS clinic at Swedish Hospital, Evergreen Hospice, and End of Life Washington for their compassionate care and support. In lieu of flowers or a formal service, donations may be made to End of Life Washington at

7 Responses to “Stephen Mercer Peringer”

  • Kellie Marie says:

    Uncle Stephen still feels alive in my heart. We look at his art daily, listen to Jim Valley albums with his art on them, and recently got out our old Wacky Uncle Weevin cassettes. It’s such a a joy to hear him doing silly voices, laughing, and putting his heart into a project for the kids in his family and like-family orbit. Andrew is looking into getting the cassettes we have digitized.

  • Greg Luke says:

    I still expect to see “Pear” and to pick up where we left off. That’s always been our pattern. To people that knew him well, it seemed like he was their best friend, that’s how special he made us feel. He was the guy that made it safe to share your deepest sorrow or the biggest joy and everything in between. His creative genius wasn’t limited to art. He was masterful at being the prankster. No one was safe. The memories are abundant and I’m so sad that there will be no new ones. Love and miss his sorry ass.

  • Pedar says:

    Still struggling to believe the news…I learned a lot about love and music and ping pong and basslines and homies with a lasso from him..

  • Diane Vasarkovy says:

    I knew Stephen only thru his awesome wife, Carol. To spend time in their shared art studio was truly magic. What they had was so much larger than the sum of their parts, I felt blessed by it from afar. The universe is less now.

  • Caron MacLane says:

    I’m so glad to have met Stephen. He had such a powerful, positive, and caring light. His imprint stays with me.

  • Tom Condon says:

    I just learned. Memories come but are more feelings and scenes than words. I remember the laughter at Carol and Steve’s home over splendid dinners (with wine, of course) before they moved out-of-state to Hawaii.

    Life is about loss and change and hopefully some learning and cherishing. My time spent with both him and with Carol was too short. He was a good friend, a good husband and father. I will miss him.

  • Sue Anderson says:

    Stephen filled the world with light, color and humor. I miss his ready smile and gentle friendship. My heart is with big sister,Sue, Carol and the rest of the amazing clan. I hope he is singing in the bass section with John, while Shirley is playing the accompaniment.

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE