Steven R. Bright
March 28, 1947-March 11, 2012
ROCHESTER — Mr. Steven Richard Bright, 64, of 2127 W. S.R. 110, Rochester, was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 6:15 p.m. Sunday, March 11 at home. Steve was born in Rochester March 28, 1947 to Richard W. and Frances R. Nellans Bright. Growing up he shared his childhood with his sister Joan. As a young boy, Steve grew to love life on the farm and began developing a solid work ethic. He helped his dad with the chores for the heifers, pigs and chickens. Steve was a member of the Richland Center High School class of 1965, the last class to graduate before Richland Center consolidated with Rochester Community Schools.
Following high school, Steve and Cheryl worked at R.R. Donnelly & Sons in Warsaw for a short period of time. March 6, 1966, high school sweethearts, Steve married his best friend, Cheryl Lynn Hibner at the Richland Center United Methodist Church with Rev. Edward Miller officiating. This was the same church his grandparents Clair and Ruth Nellans attended and his parents Richard and Frances were married in 1943. Their marriage of 46 years produced three children, Kendra stillborn, Darrell and Stephanie. Over the years the family tree grew to include five grandchildren.
Steve worked at Timbercrest in North Manchester from 1968-1971 while Cheryl attended Manchester College, earning her bachelor’s in elementary education, was later awarded her master’s in education. On Saturdays, Steve returned to help out with the family farming operation.
In 1971 Steve joined his father as a full-time farmer. Together they raised replacement heifers and fattened Hampshire hogs for 20 years. Each spring they planted a total of 1200 acres of wheat, corn and beans. Steve collected antique tractors. He completed major mechanical overhauls on two of his favorite tractors, his Cockshutt 30 and the John Deere B. Steve farmed with Internationals, New Holland, John Deere and Case equipment.
A farmer for more than four decades, Steve cultivated the friendships and garnered the respect of fellow farmers and business associates. He is remembered for good farm records, improvements made to the farm ground and always maintained to the highest level his farm equipment. One of Steve’s strengths was his ability to strategically plan and organize the complete farming operation from planting season to the harvest. He embraced the challenges of improving productivity by employing the advice of his farm advisors, always on the cutting edge and blending family traditions with new ideas. Being meticulous, Steve enjoyed keeping his shop organized, the fence rows clean, and his trucks detailed and polished.
An avid outdoorsman, Steve’s favorite state park camp sites were at Potato Creek, Mississinewa and Chain-o-Lakes. There was nothing better than being with friends, drinking coffee or making s’mores by the campfire, while under the starlit summer skies. His Walnut Church family, was paramount in Steve’s eyes. Whether it was sharing some fun on a hayride, roasting hot dogs over the fire, going to Camp Mack or attending Sunday services at Walnut, they were a close knit group enjoying many good times together. His Christian walk included serving many years as church deacon, working on various church boards and teaching Sunday School classes. He is remembered by his friends for consistent treatment of every one.
Each summer, Steve looked forward to the annual antique power shows in Rochester and Winamac. He listened to the music of the Gaithers and with enthusiasm watched R.F.D. channel on TV. Steve was very proud of his Lionel model trains and toy collection.
Steve will be lovingly remembered by his wife Cheryl, at home, a daughter, Stephanie Marquis and husband Sam of Amboy, a son, Darrell Bright and wife Dana of Rochester, five grandchildren, Wyatt, Claire and Ethan Bright and Madelyn and Alex Marquis, a sister, Joan Kline and husband Keith of Bremen. Also surviving are his brothers-in-law and sister-in-law: La Verne and Eileen Hibner, Plymouth, Dr. Dan Hibner M.D. of Rochester, Don and Etta Hibner of Kewanna, Larry and Carol Smith of Rochester and Dr. Robert and Chris Hibner D.V.M. Green Valley, Calif., many loyal farming friends and his faithful Walnut Church family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Kendra Lea who was born into Heaven in 1975, and brother-in-law Joe Hibner.
A celebration of the life of Mr. Steven Richard Bright will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 15 at the Walnut Church of the Brethren, 19056 Gumwood Road, Argos with Rev. Robert Rice assisted by Valarie Kline officiating. Friends may visit with Steve’s family from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Good Family Funeral Home, and one hour prior to the service in the church. Interment will be at the RIchland Center IOOF Cemetery.
The family asks that memorial gifts in lieu of flowers be made to The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, 3329 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3095 or the Walnut Church of the Brethren. You may wish to sign Steve’s guest book or light a candle to honor his memory at www.goodfamilyfh.com .