Steven A. Petrehn, of Roeland Park, Kansas, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the age of 67. He was a beloved father, cherished son, devoted husband and a caring big brother and friend to all who knew him. Steve was born August 17, 1951 in Iowa City, Iowa, to John and Jacelyn Petrehn and was the oldest of 11 children. He great up in Overland Park, Kansas and graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in 1969. He attended Johnson County Community College where he served as president of his student class, before earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas School of Journalism in 1975.
Steve was a 45-year resident of Roeland Park where his passion for service led to two elected terms in city government. He served on the Roeland Park City Council from 2003 to 2005 and then as Mayor of Roeland Park from 2005 to 2009. He also served on the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee and volunteered with Bridging the Gap, an organization that works to make the Kansas City region more sustainable.
Steve adventured through his career as he adventured through life - working for 10 years in the Petrehn family business, Portable Power & Light; representing products through long-term sales relationships between manufacturers and government agencies; selling real estate; overseeing the construction of commercial buildings and managing a two-year grant to increase awareness and participation in the Safe Routes to School campaign.
When he wasn't working, Steve had a passion for travel and helping others. He was engaged, curious, fearless and relentlessly adventurous. He loved the outdoors, hiking in the mountains, road trips, motorcycles and sailing. With a kind and giving spirit, Steven could often be found helping local nonprofits or people from all walks of life through the gift of his time, energy or expertise. Nothing was too big or small - whether it be stopping to help a stranger fix their care or supporting a cause or mission that made Johnson County a better place to live. Steve's gift to those closest to him was his pure spirit of community. He had a constant need to build, fix or repair, whether it was in the physical world of construction, remodeling houses or building community by maintaining contact with family, friends and strangers in need.
In recent years, Steve could be found tinkering in his garage, traveling on his motorcycle, spending time with the Petrehn family both near and far, and helping his daughter on her farm near Brooten, Minnesota. Mae and Steve embarked on numerous adventures that included hiking one of the tallest mountains in Colorado, paddling Lake Superior or the Kansas River, and navigating lakes from Kansas to Utah in a sailboat.
Steve was preceded in death by his father, John Petrehn, and two sisters, Cindy Petrehn and Becky Petrehn. Steve is survived by his daughter, Mae Rose Petrehn and her mother Cynthia Petrehn, his mother Jacelyn Petrehn, and brothers Kenny, Kevin, Tony, Maury, Phil, Andrew, John, and Paul, their respective spouses, and nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to gather for a celebration of Steve's life from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 17, 2019, on what would have been his 68th birthday, at The 180 Room, 11944 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, Steve would be pleased if you made a contribution in his honor to Friends of the Kaw, Shawnee Indian Mission or Shadowcliff.
To leave a message of condolence for Steven's family, please click the Share Memories tab.