Nature 10

Steven Emory Dyche

July 3, 1940 ~ January 25, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Steven Dyche Obituary

Steven Emory Dyche, 83, long-time Appalachian State University biology professor, administrator, and sports fan, passed away January 25, 2024 in Boone, NC from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.  He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, survived by his wife of 60 years, Dona; daughter Sherry Dyche Ceperich and son-in-law, Colin Ceperich, Staunton, VA; son Jeff Dyche, Harrisonburg, VA; grandson Cole Ceperich, Olympia, WA; granddaughter Riley Ceperich, Los Angeles, and cousins Myrna Lutes Kintz, Glendive, MT and Todd Kintz, Billings, MT.


Steve was born on July 3, 1940 in Bozeman, MT, the son of Luke Alexander Dyche and Genevieve Lutes Dyche. He spent his early childhood surrounded by extended family and frequent adventure-filled weekends at his Grandparents’ cabin on the Gallatin River. His family moved to Hardin, MT where he excelled at academics and athletics, playing quarterback on his high school football team, point guard for the basketball team and pitcher in the American Legion league. This is where he first met Dona Donofrio, his future wife. He majored in biology and history at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT and later earned a master’s degree at Montana State University and a second master’s degree and doctorate degree at the University of Montana. He taught eighth grade science briefly at the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Busby, MT and high school biology for 12 years at Billings (MT) Senior High School. From 1976-1985 he was a professor of biology and science methods at Black Hills State College in Spearfish, SD. He then accepted a position at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC as professor of biology and Director of the Math and Science Education Center where he taught hands-on science methods to public school teachers across the state. He also enjoyed stints as a visiting professor at the University of Wyoming and Brown University. He retired from his full-time position at Appalachian State in 2004, although continued teaching biology until 2010. He is the author of three books and numerous academic publications and grants.


Steve brought intelligence and wit along with his love of the natural world, pun-based jokes, and sports to every encounter. He loved identifying trees, mushrooms, wildflowers and insects (don’t call them bugs!), hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and then boxing with his Parkinson’s group after his diagnosis, attending ASU sporting events, and spending time with his family.


A celebration of life event will be held on April 27th in Boone, NC led by the Rev. Shelly Wilson. Closer to the date, a notice with details will be posted in the Watauga Democrat and the family welcomes contact for updated information in the coming weeks. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Steve Dyche Memorial Scholarship at Rocky Mountain College online at:

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