February 19, 1950-January 6, 2019
“What’s your story?”
This was Steve’s signature question, usually posed to an unsuspecting mark while Steve sported a playful grin. Inside the family, it became known as “The Question” as it would be asked countless times to good friends and new acquaintances alike. His sons’ girlfriends were warned so they could craft a witty retort — his favorite type of response — but regardless of the answer, each person would receive his rapt attention as they spoke.
As for Steve, he was a lifelong Texas boy, growing up in Spring Branch with parents who were first-generation off-the-farm. He played football at the University of Houston and spent most of his adult life in San Antonio and Missouri City/Sugar Land. He married, raised three boys, worked in pharmaceutical sales, and was active in his church before eventually moving to Horseshoe Bay, where he passed to eternal life on January 6, 2019.
But that’s not really his story, is it?
Steve’s favorite song was “Jingle Bells” because he “knew all the words.” He had the loudest, most infectious laugh you ever heard, undoubtedly enhancing the experience for anyone in the theater when he first saw “Mrs. Doubtfire.” He loved to debate and discuss important issues, especially religion and politics. He had an unmistakable whistle that could be heard a mile away. He could be imposing but rarely was, instead preferring disarming wit and warmth. He was an inveterate salesman, making fast friends of everyone he met. And he was a natural teacher and coach, always at his sharpest when communicating his insights — whether to a team of Little Leaguers, his salesmen, or his kids.
His favorite “Pearls of Wisdom” were replayed ad nauseam, including such hits as “It will be your best friend who offers you drugs;” “It doesn’t matter what floor you park on in the parking garage as long as you’re near the elevator;” and “Walk toward the man with the hose.” (If you want more context on any of these, ask his sons.)
But his most urgent and oft-repeated lessons were always about life’s ultimate end and purpose. As a young man, he was convinced he had made too many mistakes to deserve God’s love; he had hurt too many people to be saved. After years in the wilderness, he picked up the Bible again, searching for a loophole — a way back into God’s presence — and he found it in the redemption offered through Jesus Christ. More than anything else, this was the story of Steve’s life: the lost being found, the prodigal son returning to a father who never stopped hoping and waiting. It’s the story he would tell and retell as long as he lived: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” and “The ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Steve would jokingly say that the goal of The Question was to “run off the weak ones.” But, in truth, it served two purposes:
• Steve genuinely cared for people and was endlessly curious about them.
• He wanted to encourage people to reflect on the question. What’s the narrative of your life? Is it a good one?
So, for one last time, please consider for yourself Steve’s most infamous question: What’s your story?
Steve was preceded in death by his father and mother, Guy Alton Dishman and Ella Louise Dishman. His legacy is carried on by his loving wife of nearly 41 years, Patty Coleman Dishman; sons, Ty (wife Charis, children Colt, Levi, Tatum, and Zoe), Cody (wife Chêz, children Eliza, Hazel, and Ezra), Dusty (fiancée Adalee Embesi), and Brett Alan Smith; sister, Benny Kay Malone; and many friends and family, too numerous to list but not forgotten.
A come-and-go visitation and reception will be held at Marble Falls Church of Christ on Thursday, Jan. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at First Colony Church of Christ in Sugar Land on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please come prepared to share a fond memory, or — better yet — a good story.