Steve Story, 1976-2021

We have good reason to believe that a longtime member of the OTB community has passed.

In this morning’s open forum, regular CSK pointed to this memorial

Steve Brandon Story, 45, of Lake City, passed away suddenly on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Steve was born on June 30, 1976 to Gayle Story and the late Rick Story of Lake City. He was a 1994 graduate of Columbia High School and graduated from North Carolina State.

Steve lived in Georgia, North Carolina and Washington, but returned home to Lake City. His main hobby was reading and learning about many different things. Steve also loved cooking, trying new recipes and spending time with close friends. Steve is preceded in death by his father, Rick Story; grandparents, Mack and Pauline Morris of Lake City and Clarence Story of Owingsville, KY.

Steve is survived by his mom, Gayle Story of Lake City; brother, Kevin Story of Lake City; aunt, Patricia Everman of Owingsville, KY and his uncle, Bobby Morris of Boston, Mass.

The family will hold a private burial service at a later date. 

with the introduction, “I’m very much afraid that this is our Teve.”

While one very much wishes otherwise, the available evidence points in that direction:

  • Teve posted 1,224 times with an email address that began with “stevestory” (which I don’t mind revealing because he previously posted for quite some time as Teve Tory and before that as Steve S)
  • Teve last posted here at 4:22pm on September 10 and his namesake passed the next day
  • Teve lived in Lake City
  • Teve graduated from NC State
  • And, I’m informed by CSK, the ages seem to match

The only room for doubt is that the Steve Story in the obit graduated high school in 1994 and our Teve graduated NC State in 2004. But it’s hardly unprecedented for people to take a hiatus between high school and college or otherwise take a while to get their degrees.

Steve/Teve posted at least 14,131 comments going back to this one from August 19, 2007. Assuming our fears are true, we have lost a valuable member of our community.

UPDATE: There’s a longish thread on an Intelligent Design forum where Steve was also a longtime contributor marking his passing. Given that it has been up for more than a week without correction, I’m further convinced this is our Teve.

UPDATE (Oct. 1): Upon seeing CSK’s note and before posting this, I sent an email to the account Steve had been posting under as a wellness check. His mom, Gayle, responded last night and confirmed the news.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Obituaries, OTB History, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Damn! First Doug, now Steve.

  2. Jen says:

    Regarding the educational hiatus, if I’m remembering correctly he’d been very badly injured in a car accident before and recovery was slow. That might account for the delay.

    This is such sad news.

  3. To add to the sad evidence, Steve’s last tweet was on September 9th.

    Terrible news.

    RIP, Teve.

  4. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Damn. RIP.

  5. Mu Yixiao says:


  6. JohnMcC says:

    A disembodied voice that became part of my community. Rest in peace, my friend.

  7. CSK says:

    Dean Taylor’s link to the ID forum seems to confirm this awful news. Steve was smart, well-informed, and funny. All qualities I cherish, since they’re in short supply in humanity at large.

    I will miss him and his contributions to this board.

  8. Kit says:

    Terribly sad news. Steve struck me as a nice guy who could never seem to catch a break.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    Oh dear. Rest in peace, Steve.

  10. Jax says:

    Oh man, that sucks!!! I wondered where he had gone! RIP, my friend.

  11. KM says:

    RIP, Teve. Your posts always got a read from me. Our discussions will be lessen by your loss

  12. Kurtz says:

    I had also found his absence curious. This is sad.

    RIP, Teve.

  13. Neil J Hudelson says:

    I’m really going to miss him.


  14. Arnold Stang says:

    Rest In Peace Steve

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Vaya con Dios, Amigo.

  16. CSK says:

    According to his LinkedIn profile, Teve attended No. Carolina State University from 2001-2005, so he must have delayed his education after high school.

    He was also a math and physics tutor, which I believe he may have mentioned once or twice in passing.

  17. Mikey says:

    Sad, sad news. RIP Steve. May your memory be a blessing.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    I always looked forward to his posts. He seemed like a genuinely decent, thoughtful guy

  19. reid says:

    A great loss to our online community. RIP.

  20. Joe says:

    May his memory be a blessing to us all.

  21. JohnSF says:

    RIP, Steve. It was good to talking with you.
    You’ll be missed.

  22. gVOR08 says:


  23. Raoul says:

    Teve was insightful and I loved his avatars-rip.

  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    Well, fuck. I really liked the guy. We sometimes interacted on Twitter, though I couldn’t say I knew him well. Smart guy, sweet, decent, and just fuck.

  25. Jay L Gischer says:

    As bad a news item as this is, it’s better than what usually happens, which is that people just kind of disappear into the ether, never to be heard from again, and I never know what happened. Did they die, or just get bored? Maybe their computer broke?

    RIP Steve. Vaya con Dios.

  26. Monala says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed his comments and contributions. RIP, Teve.

  27. Not the IT Dept. says:

    G*d damn it. Condolences to his family and friends.

  28. Crusty Dem says:

    Damn. RIP Teve.

  29. inhumans99 says:

    Teve was what I considered a giant on this great blog, he was always active in the comments sections and liked responding to posts. This is such sad news, but believe it or not Jay is correct, it is so much better to receive some closure on why a long-time member of this site stopped posting rather than letting one’s imagination run wild with reasons why someone stopped posting.

    Teve will be missed. RIP Steve Story. 45 years of age is much too young to have passed away.

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    I just read a FB post by a dear friend that today is the 20th anniversary of the loss of her father to a hit and run driver when she was in Grade School. The killer was never found.

    Now this.

    Peace, Love and Tears…Far too many tears

  31. just nutha says:

    Late to the wake, but this is sad news. RIP

  32. Gustopher says:

    Well, that’s a kick in the gut. Seemed like a good, standup guy, and definitely played one on the Internet. Oof.

  33. mattbernius says:

    What awful news. (S)teve was a good guy (or at least he was in his presence here). He will be missed.

  34. Scott F. says:

    This is such sad news. May he rest In peace.

  35. Mimai says:

    I have good memories of when he started working at the mattress store. He didn’t post as often during this time, but when he did he’d regale us with stories from the sales floor and give us specs on the best mattresses.

    Even better, his posts during this time showed a clear bump in pride and joie de vivre. He geeked out on mattresses. And other stuff too. I like that in people. And I liked it in Steve.

  36. Christine says:

    Damn. I really enjoyed his comments, insight and humor. Sad day indeed. Rest in power, Teve.

  37. CSK says:

    I recall also that he was interested in lower cholesterol recipes (he liked telling us about foods he prepared, as does Kathy), and wanted to expand his knowledge of poetry.

    I really feel bad about his death. He and I had a funny back and forth once in which I was the parent and he was the recalcitrant teenager.

  38. Jax says:

    @CSK: It’s bothering me, too. There’s an accident report on the 11th in Lake City that a 45 year old man was killed instantly in a head-on crash with a semi, I’m assuming that’s him and I am at least grateful that he did not suffer.

    I’m kinda bummed I won’t ever find out what the story was with why he quit the mattress store, though. I figured he’d tell it in his own time.

  39. Mimai says:

    @CSK: Oh yeah, I remember those cooking posts too. Lower salt recipes if I’m not mistaken. I enjoy those “little” personal tidbits.

    @Jax: I did wonder about the accident. Lake City (where he lived) is north of Gainesville (where he worked/leisured), connected by I-75. That section of interstate is notoriously dangerous. I’ve lost a few friends/colleagues on that stretch. I wondered if that’s where his collision occurred.

  40. CSK says:

    According to the report, he was driving north in the southbound lane of US Route 441 when the two vehicles collided.


  41. EddieInCA says:

    Well, this sucks…

    I’ve been fortunate to meet several people from this community. Teve was one I was hoping to meet next time I was his way. OTB is an oasis for me – a break from 12-14 hour days under crazy pressure. Teve was one whose comments I always enjoyed. I agreed mostly with him, but disagreed enough to keep it interesting. He was smart, sane, and had an interesting life journey. Not too many guys working selling cell phones know quantum physics or science like he did. It was fascinating to me how he’d be talking about the subject of the day, and casually drop in a reference to some past exploit or knowledge he had like it was nothing, but would make me sit up and say “Whoa. Dude that could be a post upon itself.”

    A perfect example from a year ago, Teve wrote:

    Do you know how to make Adrenochrome? You oxidize epinephrine. I just checked Sigma Aldrich and you can buy 10 g of chemically pure epinephrine for $150. $150 and a smart chemistry undergrad could get you 1 million times more Adrenochrome than you could get from a person.

    Who the hell knows this stuff? Teve did. Certainly not me.

    RIP. I’m sorry we never met.

  42. de stijl says:

    Today is a good day to tell your loved ones that you respect them. Like them. Sometimes love them.

    Our days are not infinite. Live today like you mean it.

  43. grumpy realist says:

    It’s one thing when people die at the end of a lingering illness; it’s quite another when it’s unexpected.

    (And then there’s people who have health issues but are maintaining themselves and then all of a sudden everything cascades downwards. Lost my SO that way.)

  44. CSK says:

    It appears that Teve was either on his way to or leaving his mother’s house.

    Worse and worse. The poor woman must be deranged with grief–as would be his other family members.

  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    Something that I’ve long wondered:

    If I died in a way that didn’t make the news, how long would it take before anybody noticed?

    And I’m not just talking about online. I mean people I interact with, in person, on a regular basis.

  46. Michael Cain says:

    On a slightly practical note, I have been thinking about how to leave information for my spouse (or children, depending on age and the progression of her dementia) about online groups that should be notified when I die. For obvious reasons, some do not make an e-mail address available. Suggestions, please?

    I see Mu Yixiao beat me to this. But I got an edit button!

  47. Andy says:

    That just plain sucks. Death at such a young age is a real tragedy.

    Thanks for posting this. It helps to put a real face to an online avatar.

  48. Kylopod says:

    Damn, this is a shock. He was always interesting to read, and we interacted all the time. He was about six months older than me, making him probably the closest to me in age among the regulars here, and among the younger people here overall. My heart goes out to his family.

    I also hate to belabor the point, but I had a comparable break in time between graduation from high school and college–also the mid-’90s to mid-2000s.

  49. Bob@Youngstown says:

    I can’t possibly add to what has already been said, so I’ll just say short and sweet:
    RIP, fellow traveler

  50. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: Yep, I’ve always paid attention to you two because we’re all about the same age….I think Neil and Matt are slightly younger, most of the other regulars are all a little older than us. Pearce was about our age, too, I think, and Kurtz probably is close.

    @Michael Cain: I was thinking about that earlier, too. We need a “Death Bot”. Set it up on your computer when you do your will, leave instructions on how to activate it, and the bot goes through your email and unsubcribes or shuts down all your online accounts. Paid versions could scrub all the porn and questionable content you wouldn’t want a loved one to see and notify forums like this of the person’s passing.

    @Mu Yixiao: I would notice if you weren’t HERE for a while. The comments section on this site keep me sane while living in a Trumpy world, I’m not afraid to admit I spend a lot of damn time here. 😛 I notice when regulars don’t comment for a while, it was unlike Teve to not give a pronouncement on the row with France and the subs, or have something to contribute in another way on the Open Forum’s.

  51. EddieInCA says:

    @Jax: @Michael Cain:

    My sister has both an encrypted flash drive and an encrypted microsoft word file that lists my computer, ipad, phone and website passwords, all my banking information, all my insurance and legal paperwork and contacts, and all the sites I frequent. I update it pretty much every six months. I give it to her while I visit her in Idaho, and we together destroy the old one.

    If someone posts with the name Allison about my death, it’s legit. I sleep well knowing she has this info.

  52. Joe says:

    I am fascinated and encouraged to see how closely many of us read (past tense) Teve and read (present tense – damnit English) each other. I have often thought of creating a spread sheet of revealed attributes of regular contributors since most of us (not hosts or Reynolds) don’t share full identity data, but are pretty free with our geographies and histories. The spreadsheet always seemed like a creeper project, but I am glad we read and remember. I am glad people here went to look for Teve. It is a compliment and a service to this commentariat.

  53. Jax says:

    @Joe: I think you should actually do it, because it’s bothered me throughout this pandemic that there might have been irregular and yet still valuable commenter’s that we’ve missed their passing. None of their loved ones may have known to notify us.

    I don’t comment a whole lot, but I notice when regulars are missing. I get excited when I see the oddballs pop up again, because I know they made it! Even if you only share the spreadsheet with the hosts, at least we can mourn our own when they pass.

  54. Matt Bernius says:

    That is kinda next level.

    We also know there is a “release the top shelf whisky” order somewhere in there too.

    Hopefully Allison didn’t have to do her work for years.

    Which reminds me I should really update my “in case of” list…

  55. Tony W says:

    RIP Steve.

    I’ve been hanging around here for over a decade at this point, reading a ton, learning from all of you, and maybe contributing just a little. We have known we lost a few folks over that period, and I’m sure we’ve lost many people that we figured went off to some other site. The community here is as strong as any in-person group of colleagues or classmates I have ever been a part of. It is honest and real, and no-BS is tolerated.

    Humans need closure in our relationships when they end, and the online world doesn’t really provide for that except when someone cares enough to sleuth out the available information and make a connection.

    There’s probably a business opportunity out there for a place to register farewell messages that are released when a loved one logs in with a special code indicating you have passed.

    In this case, I am glad that we have the opportunity to honor Steve.

  56. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Unfreakingbelievable! Even weirder I just read this post after gasing up on HWY 441 right at I-10 in Lake City on my way back to Bay County.

    RIP Steve. Life is surely but a breath

  57. keef says:

    One is always reflective at the time of someone’s passing, all the more so when it happens to someone at young age.

    I hope his life was full, even if all too short.

  58. EddieInCA says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    My best friend died of cancer 111 years ago. From the time he was diagnosed to the time he died was six weeks. First five weeks was fairly normal, except for the radiation and chemo. Sixth week he deteriorated very, very quickly. He was in and out of the hospital so much that final week, he didn’t have time to put together his affairs. Took his daughter more than a year to figure all his stuff out. It was a nightmare.

  59. EddieInCA says:


    Ugh. 11 years ago.

  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    My father is in early stages of dementia and is cared for by his third wife (We’re a true California family, mom’s on her fourth) who is a genuinely sweet person though somewhat addled by Fox News and Facebook. She was resisting getting the vax til I told her rather coldly that if that’s how she was playing it I needed copies of their wills and end of life preferences ASAP.

    I got the docs, she got the shot.

  61. Blue Galangal says:

    This is such sad news. Teve was a mainstay and someone whose perspective I always enjoyed. Thank you for letting us know. RIP, Steve.

  62. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I drove that route many times going home from college and it can be dangerous. What an effing shame to lose Steve in such a tragic way. RIP, buddy.

  63. Chip Daniels says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of this.

  64. The Q says:

    Teve says:
    Monday, 23 August 2021 at 10:41
    @CSK: if this were 1860 in the Nevada territory I’d occasionally amble into the saloon and ask for a shot of whiskey with a dash of rattlesnake venom, for the bracing effects. But it’s 2021 and I go to Lucianne for 5 minutes instead.

    R.I.P. Mr. Story. We will miss you in spirit and presence.

  65. becca says:

    Bye, Teve. See you in the stars.