We are deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Dr. David Akira Steputis on Oct. 23, 2013. A Celebration of Life memorial service will announced.
Born May 11, 1961, in Denver Colo., Dr. Steputis attended UCLA School of Dentistry, graduating at the top of his dental class in 1987.
He practiced the fine art of dentistry with passion and elevated his craft to a level of perfection achieved by few. Due to the high demand for his excellent work he enjoyed a very successful early career, sold his practice in Simi Valley, Calif., and took to the road, enjoying a nomadic life in his trailer that canvassed all of North America. During this time he struck up friendships wherever he went, enjoying pick-up jam sessions with fellow music lovers and all means of outdoor sports.
He started his second dental practice in West Plains, having fallen in love with the gentle rolling hills of the Ozarks and the relaxed warmth of the people. He renovated his own office and opened his practice here in West Plains in 2003. Like before, the excellence of Dr. Steputis’ work was soon renowned. His reputation as a dentist and business owner was quite amazing. His office of highly qualified staff (trained by the doctor) was always busy, professional and very friendly.
Always kind and generous at heart, he reinvested in the community by volunteering at the Good Samaritan Care Clinic for the uninsured of southern Missouri, donating generously to the West Plains Animal Shelter, The Yellow House, and West Plains Regional Bicycle Club. He also supported Christian missions, Christian music concerts and other various local fundraisers. Many considered him to be a good man, brilliant doctor, perfectionist, great guitar player and singer, avid bicyclist, great bicycle mechanic, wonderful listener, great storyteller, jack-of-all trades and a kind soul.
His many friends will cherish memories with him that include his open mic night at the Yellow House, river concerts, floating our local rivers, jet skiing, camping, 80s music, bicycling, bicycle repairing, guitar playing, his love for animals (especially Latte, Tom and Kitten), storytelling, and laughter.
He is survived by his mother, Fujiko Wright, and stepfather, Bob Wright; his younger sister, Dr. Jeanette Steputis-Ryan and niece Jhade Ryan; younger brother Fredrick Steputis, wife Ivy, nephew Aidan, niece Lily; stepmother Cynthia Ragland; stepsister Elizabeth Givens, husband Jim Rains, nieces Ashley and Megan, nephew Zachary; stepbrother Michael Murphy, wife Tina, nephew Spencer, nieces Solana, Olivia, and Oakley.
He is predeceased by his father Fred Steputis, younger brothers Steve and Raymond, stepbrother Mark Murphy, and niece Lauren Murphy.
Cards and condolences to the family can be sent to his mother at 4216 Evergreen Lane, Banning, CA 92220.
David Akira Steputis will finally rest in his cherished mountains of Colorado where he fished at Harris Park Days and recited the 23rd Psalm with his grandmother, Mae Nola Steputis, every night in his boyhood.
Although at the end of his young life he suffered from mental illness precipitated by the toxicants he encountered in his work as a dentist, his family and his wide community of friends will always remember him for all the good he did in this world.
Walk on to the Light, my dear brother. Love always, your sister Jeanette.
Celebration of Life memorial service to be announced.