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