The late Steve Wahler loved children.

He coached girls soccer and boys basketball.

Wahler was happiest when his house was full of nieces and nephews.

“Christmas is going to be rough without him,” said Tami Wahler, his wife of 19 years.

Steve Wahler spent 23 years working at the Messenger-Inquirer, including 18 years as the newspaper’s IT manager. He drowned Oct. 9 in the Gulf of Mexico near Gulf Shores, Alabama, while trying to save a child in rough surf left over from Hurricane Nate.

He was 47.

Steve Wahler was one of four men who dove into the water that day to save a 12-year-old boy who was struggling in the surf. High waves swept Steve Wahler and another man out to sea, but the boy and the other two men returned safely to shore.

Earlier this month, members of the First General Baptist Church on Maple Avenue collected $330 to give to Goodfellows in Steve Wahler’s memory. He was a lifelong member there.

Someone else gave a $35 anonymous gift in his memory. And his mother Phyllis Henderson of Owensboro donated $100.

“Steve was always a supporter of Goodfellows through the Messenger-Inquirer,” Tami Wahler said. “He loved kids so much that he gave up his life trying to save one. He would be so honored to know ... people sent in donations in his honor.”

She works as a first-grade teacher at Estes Elementary, which has a high percentage of students who live at or below the federal poverty level.

“I can see directly how much Goodfellows helps,” Tami Wahler said.

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 18, 2017

Previously reported … $102,111.93

The Married Ladies Reading Club … $210

In memory of Judy Worth, Jerry

Mischel, and Nelda Darrell by the

Newton Parrish Elementary School

staff … $181

In memory of all deceased Hams by

the Owensboro Amateur Radio Club … $100

In loving memory of our parents,

Hilton and Margaret Kincaid, and Clyde

Hight and Faye Hight Richeson … $100

In loving memory of our parents, Helen

and Gerald McCarty and Robert D.

McRoy … $100

In memory of my parents, W.C. and

Geraldine Simmons, and my

daughters, Cindy and Julie by Bill

Simmons … $80

In memory of our deceased loved ones,

We miss you all, Jerry and Jan

Manaway … $50

In loving memory of Bob Stewart by

wife, Marie and family … $50

In loving memory of Bob Berry by wife,

Margaret and family … $50

In memory of Steve Wahler … $35

In honor of Shirley Cates, faithful

leader of TOPS (Take Off Pounds

Sensibly) KY 402 for many years … $25

In loving memory of Louis and Mary

Lou Conder, Yonna Jones, and

Barb and M.C. Roberts by Sandra

Conder … $20

Total as of Dec. 18, 2017 … $103,112.93

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