Steven LaVerne Claassen, 67, passed away quietly and without pain Friday, April 2, 2021, at Stanford Hospital after a valiant fight with pneumonia and lung cancer.

He was born at Camp Roberts on August 1, 1953, to Alice Joelle Brown and Warren D. Claassen. He lived in Kansas with his mother and adoptive father, Jerry L. Perney, until 1960, when his family moved back to Paso Robles, where he remained for the rest of his life. However, he spent two years in Fairbanks, Alaska, after graduating from Paso Robles High School in 1971.

Steve worked as a landscaper and had a talent for gardening of all types, “Look at the size of this tomato [big grin].” Music was a big part of his life. He played trombone through high school and played drums with a small band in his adult life. When not in his garden or working hard for others, he found joy in the abandoned cats that would find his hidden sanctuary.

He is survived by his life partner Patricia ‘Diane’ Strader of Paso Robles, daughter Moonjay Jennali Ralea & husband Cletis Lindsay, brother Garrett Perney, sisters Nanette (Perney) & husband Clay Carminati and Joanna (Perney), and husband Chris Anderson, his adoptive father Jerry Perney, stepmother Gay Perney, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother Alice Joelle Brown, father Warren Claassen, and sister Alice ‘Julie’ Perney.

He was placed in the care of Donor Network West and has been able to help at least two other people after his passing.

There will be a private family gathering at a future time. He was a gentle, loving person and a friend to all he met. He will be missed.