Obituary of Stephen Tutin
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Stephen Paul Tutin, a resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, on Monday, December 19, 2022, at the age of 55 years.
Steve was born on June 13th, 1967, in Vancouver to Dan and Lynne Tutin. They did not stay long and packed it up for Haines Junction in the Yukon. He spent his time building friendships, biking, playing hockey, developing a hatred for wild meat, and going on adventures.
In his teen years he moved to Dawson Creek where he graduated from South Peace Secondary School in 1986.
After graduation, Steve started a lifelong career lasting 36 years with Ross & Jean at Peace Country Automotive at a 3 bay Petro Can service station, first starting out as a "Fuel Transfer Technician" more commonly known as a gas jockey or pump jockey. But for Steve, pumping gas was short lived. Being a person of natural mechanical abilities, he longed to work in the back in the automotive shop. Not long after, an opening gave him that opportunity and he never looked back. He was a welcome and natural fit. Soon after, he started his mechanical apprenticeship under Ross and in November of 1989, he received his Canadian Inter Provincial Certificate of Qualification for Automotive Mechanical Repair. Over a number of years, he received many other certificates for courses to upgrade his skills. Steve was basically a Chev guy, but soon honed his skills to work on Fords, Dodges & many foreign vehicles which may have caused him to blurt out some not so nice language at times and wondered why engineers of vehicles built them the way they did.
It was during Steve's earlier years while still at the Petro Can where he met a female fuel transfer technician by the name of Bonnie. The relationship ensued and soon they had a house with a family of 3 fine boys.
Steve loved race cars, building his own stock car to race at the local track. However, with 3 boys to raise, the stock car budget came to a sudden end but not before one race where he was circling the track with a checkered flag. Needless to say, it was the highlight of his stock car racing career. Later on, he acquired and had a passion for working on his 1969 Oldsmobile 442. Steve helped many other friends and family with their 1/4 mile drag race cars.
Peace Country Automotive eventually moved from the Petro Can to a much larger shop in 2005 and now Steve had a clear view from the back where he worked to the front end where the customers came in. Being a very social guy, he got to know most of the customers by their first name and always gave them his very best personal service. He would most often come up front and explain to the customer what he did and why and what the vehicle might need for further repairs. This probably was just a chance to further his socializing skills. Steve spent many after hours at the shop working on family vehicles.
Over the years with Peace Country Automotive many fun times were spent at staff Christmas parties usually involving the famed Chinese gift exchanges, staff BBQ's out at Moberly Lake, staff golf tournaments & many more special events. Ross invited Steve on one of his Oilmen's river boat trips which he thoroughly enjoyed. Jean made sure there was birthday cake every year for Steve's birthday which included whoever could attend over coffee break at the shop. Steve was undoubtedly one of the best mechanics in town and he, along with his knowledge of vehicles, will be greatly missed.
In his free time, he enjoyed Stock Car racing, golfing, and hockey. Bonnie and the boys enjoyed coming to watch his games and his nieces and nephews ran around collecting hockey pucks. He won a few stock car races but the ol’ number 16 took on too much damage after a few years and had to be scrapped. He continued drag racing and being the pit crew for his friends. He would often work on his families’ vehicles but rarely his own.
He drove all the way down to Kelowna to be with Brayden when he had head surgery at 12, he took Derek to Fort St. John for electrical school, picked Nick up every day and took him to school, and he would hang out with Austyn after school while he worked on cars.
Steve loved his friends and family dearly and although he would likely complain about it, he was always there in a pinch. Steve loved spending time with his many nieces, nephews, and friends kids. From tube floats down the Kiskatinaw to Christmas Eves at Shawn's or Diane's. The past few years Steve’s love of mechanics was only beaten by his joy of becoming a grandpa and spending time with his grandson Elias.
Here are a few shorts stories from his friends and family:
His Son Brayden said "I remember this one time we were at aunty Denise's, a train was going by, Dad, Mom, Derek, and I saw a train hopper riding along the bottom rack waving a way happy as can be. All those road trips with my Dad gave me a love of exploring"
His nephew Jamie said "I lost my license one time, and I was driving past Willowbrook when a cop pulls up, flips on his lights, and I was scared. So, I pull over and sure enough here comes Steve up to my window asking for insurance and registration. A few times he watched me struggle trying to get something fixed cause it wasn’t working the way he said it was then he'd come over and get it in a few minutes."
His son Nick said “One time he double ordered Chinese food by accident. When the first delivery man showed up, he told me my girlfriend was at the door. I answered it and awkwardly told the delivery man he had the wrong address. I found my dad hiding behind the washing machine laughing maniacally, Budweiser in hand.”
His brother Mike said "First time he took a motor out I had him holding a board and he got hit bawling his eyes out right before he went to work for Ross. He fell on his face in a wasp nest while we were camping one time, yet he still ended up catching a 40lbs fish."
His grandson Elias and Anna had this to say "Steve's presence in Elias's life propelled his love of cars, monster trucks, rocket candies, and sledding. Eli always brings up the time he went tobogganing with his Grandpa Steve and they went so fast his grandpa Steve's hat flew off. He recalls it with laughter and a big smile. Thanks to his grandpa, we still find rockets in his coat pockets which Eli devours with pride. I now plan to make sure to have a rocket or a hot wheels in his pocket to find as a little reminder of grandpa Steve and the bond they shared. As Eli said ‘Love you forever’."
Everyone here has a story about Steve they could share and the one thing they all have in common is of a great guy always willing to help. We will end this eulogy with a prayer that we know Steve would like
As I lay rubber down the street,
I pray for traction I can keep,
But if I spin and begin to slide,
Please dear god protect my sweet ride
A Celebration Of Life will be held for Stephen on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 1:00pm from Reynars Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Pauline Haycock will officiate.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium