Steven Brian ‘Froggy’ Sienknecht, 71
Steven Sienknecht, a sweetheart for all of us, lost his courageous battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma on April 15, 2021.
Born in Spokane to Phyllis and Brian, he and his sister Barbara attended several schools before moving to California. Being such a brilliant student, he skipped second grade and went on to third where he was the youngest and smallest. He had to rely on his quick wit to thrive. He has made us laugh over the years with his reminiscences and “one liners”.
Steve attended Millikan High School in Long Beach, California, where he played water polo and trumpet in the Drum and Bugle Corps. He spent summers as a child in his grandmother’s cabin at West Glacier. He had many adventures with his cousins Bruce and Michael. When he was older, he worked the summers on the Sienknecht family farm in Oakesdale, Washington.
After attending the University of Colorado, he traveled to Europe and South Asia, and he shared many memories of his travels. He then lived with Barbara and Charlie in New York City carrying stocks and bonds in a briefcase on the subway from bank to bank. He joked that he was “the first Internet”.
When he moved to Montana, he started playing bass guitar, which began his career as a singer and musician. He has performed in local rock bands and on the road for almost 50 years. While on tour, he met and married Carol, and together they raised children Travis (wife Amber) and Michelle (husband Jeremy and children Evie and Fisher).
He toured in a group with Barbara and Charlie (daughter Samantha, husband David) called Redeye, and one with Mike and George called Solar Bozo. There were lots of other groups and friends along the way. He played at the Dry Bean Saloon in the 80s and had a house concert for almost 15 years at the Great Northern Bar with The Fanatics. There, Bruce Springsteen sat down with the band on an epic evening. Steve and Amanda met at the Great Northern Bar and got married later. He helped raise his two children, Weston and Neila. As a little boy, Weston said, “Everyone loves Steve. Even people who don’t know Steve love Steve. ”
After a home gig at the Blue Moon, he drove a school bus to School District 5 and performed in a band with Gary, Dick, and Sid called Southern Comfort.
Steve was a rock star in every sense of the word. He loved to drive a bus and never missed a day. He always said, “The bus driver is the first person children see going to school, and the last person they see before they come home.” His preferred route was to drive the “Dream Team” to Big Mountain to train for the Special Olympics Winter Games.
Here’s another life well lived and another loved one gone too soon. A Celebration of Life will be held at the South Expo Fairgrounds Building on June 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A musical jamboree will be held at the Great Northern Bar in Whitefish on August 8 at 4 p.m. Musicians can call the Northern if they wish to play on August 8th.
The world will never be the same without it. While battling horrible cancer, he never complained or got angry. He taught us to fight illness with grace, love, hope and kindness. We love you and we miss you, Steve.