Steve Bodofsky passed away on April 29, 2019 after a brave battle with cancer. He’s survived by his wife, Diane and daughter Tara who were both at his bedside when he peacefully passed. He also leaves behind his mother, Suzanne, brothers, David and Gary, sister, Joslin, his Aunt Sandy, and Uncle Richard. Steve was one of those great guys who was always there when you needed a creative solution to virtually any kind of a problem. His long career in the auto repair and transmission industry touched on just about every facet of the automotive field from technician to technical and management training and writing.
Though Steve’s name didn’t appear on every byline in GEARS Magazine, his influence was wide spread. He was a member of the writing team, authoring nearly every “Shop Profile” as well as a variety of other special assignment articles. However, what most people don’t know is that Steve did double duty by serving as the editor of almost every article that went to print. I used to tease him by saying that his fingerprints were all over the magazine.
Steve also quietly and professionally served ATRA and GEARS as a dependable POWERTRAIN EXPO soldier. There was no role or task that he wouldn’t enthusiastically take on during the tradeshow. For instance, we could always count on him manning the audience microphone in the management sessions to make sure all attendees’ questions and comments were heard by everyone in the room. This means that Steve had to be in the room from the beginning to the end of each management session. I don’t know anyone who could claim that accomplishment, but Steve did it without complaint.
I’m proud to say that Steve was my friend and a writing mentor to me. He never hesitated to take me to task over my tendency to get too wordy or for not clearly making an important point. He was a walking dictionary. He always had the perfect word or phrase to make the point I wanted to make in a precisely perfect way. Even when we argued over issues of style, grammar or word choices (arguments I seldom won), Steve would turn it into a teachable moment for me… Steve made me a better writer. In retrospect, I think it was his mission to make all of us at GEARS Magazine better writers. I know because of Steve, we were a better magazine, too.
While I could fill a book with Steve stories, I want to share just one. A few years ago, I had to put my Cocker Spaniel, Maggie down. Steve knew how much she meant to me and sent me a poem he had written. It’s titled, “The Rainbow Bridge.” It was exactly what I needed at that time, and it’s exactly what anyone who’s lost a pet needs to hear. Last January, Steve’s poem was published as a beautifully illustrated picture book. Owning a copy of this book will keep Steve’s memory alive for you, too. (The Rainbow Bridge is available on Amazon as item number 0960049304.)
Steve will be greatly missed by all of us at ATRA, GEARS and industrywide. I’ll never be able to write another article, including this one, without asking myself, “What would Steve suggest to improve on this?”