The theft was especially cruel because Steve had just been diagnosed with cancer. A new portrait was commissioned, but Steve ultimately lost his battle with brain cancer. ML Elrick shared the story of a true Detroit character.
Steve Gosskie and Brittany Maynard never met, but they shared a tragic diagnosis: brain cancer. Brittany's decision to end her life in Oregon made international news. But Steve is from the east side and as you're about to hear, there was no way he was going out like that.
"Well, M.L. this is Farmhouse Steve. it looks like that chick pulled the plug," he said in a voice mail message. "If she's going to be the national face of quitting and whatever, I want to be the national face from Detroit for not quitting. I'm going to kick ass and the grim reaper's going to wear his ass out. And I am going to beat this inoperable brain cancer (expletive). So anyway, just to give you head's up on that."
Steve lived in one of the last ribbon farmhouses on the east side. The farmhouse gave him a nickname and the city he loved gave him the indomitable spirit that burned in him to the very end.
Steve made news when his portrait was stolen from the Cadieux Cafe, where he had recently been crowned grand champion of the Feather Bowling League.
"It's maybe the one thing I'm going to leave behind," Steve said at the time.
It was an especially cruel blow because Steve had just been diagnosed with bladder cancer.
"The first time that I realized it was cancer, I kind of laughed because it was like, sure, why not," he said at the time.
No one returned the portrait, so the league commissioned a new one, which went up in the fall.
"It's great to be back up on the wall," Steve said at the time.
Steve never lost hope that he would beat the cancer that had spread to his brain. And he never lost hope that his original portrait would be returned.
"We have this ceremony," Steve said. "Part of it is the portrait we bring it to the funeral home. It's part of the whole business with the flowers. And we always show up and we come back to the cafe we roll the last ball and then the portrait gets hung back on the wall. And there it is."
A week ago M.L. Elrick was visiting Steve when a friend told him, "See you tomorrow, see you at the Cadieux, see you in my dreams."
Steve didn't miss a beat and told him, "What the hell were you doing in my dreams last night?"
That was the kind of guy he was.
His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Avenue, in Grosse Pointe Woods.