Stephen “Steve” James Sagouspé, a true family man first and foremost, passed away on January 6, 2024 after a short illness. Born on August 29, 1945, in Madera, California, Steve was known as a kind, friendly, and thoughtful man, who loved spending time with his family. His warm demeanor, sense of humor, and generous spirit will be profoundly missed by his family, friends, and the Madera community.
Steve was the beloved husband of Nadine Sagouspé for 58 years. The loving couple ate dinner by candlelight every night, never running out of things to talk about. He was a devoted father to Kirk Sagouspé and his wife Vicki, and Heather Cappola and her husband Matthew, and was extraordinarily proud of his children and their endeavors. His role as a cherished grandfather to Kenan, Tanner, and Sydney brought him immeasurable joy. He treasured his time with his family and never missed an opportunity to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and milestones, or engage in activities with his grandchildren. He especially enjoyed dove hunting with Kenan, Kirk and Matt on opening day of the season and was honored that they will carry on the hunting tradition that began with his father “Papa Ed”. He was a constant fixture in the stands at San Joaquin Memorial and Cal Poly Baseball games, cheering Tanner on with pride during his high school and college baseball games. His love for boating on Lake Tahoe is something he introduced and shared with Sydney. It was special time they looked forward to every summer.
Steve's zest for life extended to his many interests and hobbies. He was a loyal fan of Notre Dame football, the San Francisco 49ers, and the SF Giants. Steve also had a passion for flying, earning his pilot's license at the young age of 17. One of his favorite flights was to fly friends and family through the Grand Canyon. He enjoyed spending time at his second home in Incline Village, boating on Lake Tahoe, hiking mountain trails, and skiing. Steve was a connoisseur of fishing, wine tasting with the Wine Pigs and Group of 6, and hosting legendary poker games with buddies of over 30 years. He was famous for his “brandy” Manhattans served at special occasions and his daily BBQs at the airport hangar were celebrated gatherings among friends and clients.
Steve's professional life was as dynamic as his personality. In his early years, he worked for United Airlines, then farmed the family ranch for ten years with his brother Richard. He found his true calling as a Real Estate Broker, specializing in Agricultural and Commercial properties. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to invest in airplane hangars and commercial office space at the Madera Airport, and most recently, he co-founded Amond World, a significant ag commodity cold storage facility.
Attending the Madera School system, Steve was a standout student and athlete, graduating with the Class of 1963 from Madera Union High School. He went on to excel as a student leader and a formidable Coyote Football Linebacker. Continuing his education and athletic prowess at Reedley College, he was recognized as an All Conference Defensive Linebacker. His academic journey culminated with a Bachelor's Degree from Fresno State College.
A man of faith and community, Steve was a devoted member of St. Joachim Catholic Church and a staunch supporter of the Parish School. He dedicated time to many organizations, including the FFA, the Madera Elk's Club, the former Madera Trade Club, the Quiet Birdman Certified Goodfellow, Vino Fino, and Cellar Masters. His commitment to agriculture and leadership was evident in his involvement with Ag Leadership (Class 26) and his role as Chairman of the Madera County Water Advisory Commission.
Steve was the son of the late Edmond and Patricia Sagouspé, proud members of the pioneer French Basque immigrants who established the Sagouspé Farming Tradition in the Central Valley. Steve is also survived by his sister Denise Daggett, and sisters-in-law Judy Sagouspé and Bonny Avedian. His passing was preceded by his brother Richard Sagouspé, brother-in-law Tom Daggett, niece and goddaughter Monica Biscay, sister-in-law Betty Crum and her husband Marvin, and brother-in-law Dr. Leonard Avedian.
Steve's legacy will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have shared in his remarkable life. As we say farewell to Stephen J. Sagouspé, we celebrate a life well-lived, filled with much love and an abundance of laughter, and enduring friendships.
Visitation will be on Thursday, February 1, 2024, 2 PM to 6 PM at Jay Chapel followed by the Vigil/Rosary Service at 6 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 2, 2024 at 11 AM at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Madera. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Madera.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS DONATIONS ARE KINDLY SUGGESTED BE MADE TO THE CHARITIES LISTED BELOW.
2490 West Shaw Avenue, Suite 101, Fresno CA 93711
St. Joachim Catholic Church
401 West 5th Street, Madera CA 93637
Valley Children's Hospital
9300 Valley Children's Place, Madera CA 93636