Steve Lacey, who was killed in an apparent case of road rage involving two other drivers, was remembered with tears and laughter at Sunday's memorial service at the East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue.
He was remembered as a man who loved music, sailing, photography and, most of all, his family.
This was a man, after all, who took 32 family members and friends on his honeymoon 10 years ago.
“He’s irreplaceable. I didn’t get enough time with him,” said Steve Lacey’s wife, Nabila Lacey, at Sunday’s memorial service for the man killed a week ago in what may have been a case of road rage involving two other drivers. “It’s been the best 10 years of my entire life.”
About a hundred people filled East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue to celebrate the life of Lacey, 43, who worked for Google. He was remembered with tears and laughter, as Google streamed the service.
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Lacey died July 24 when the car he was driving was hit by a drunken-driving suspect off Interstate 405 in Kirkland. He was killed instantly, the State Patrol reported.
The other driver, Patrick Rexroat, was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent, or more than three times the legal limit. He was charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving and held on $1 million bail. If convicted, he faces about 3 ½ years in prison.
Before the crash, Lacey had just left home on an errand.
A native of England and a graduate of Imperial College in London, Lacey was co-founder of the startup SwitchGear Software and used to work on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.
When he was born, his parents worried about his big head, said his mother, Janet Lacey. “It was just Steve’s huge brain. We were overjoyed when he met Nabila. We knew he had found his soul mate.”
Longtime friend Deb McFarlane shared a love of sailing with Lacey, and they sailed the world together, including on his honeymoon. She said he loved sailing, his family and going to his favorite pub in Kirkland.
She said she wanted to climb Mount Rainier, so she persuaded Lacey to go on a practice climb up Mount Constitution on Orcas Island. “Steve’s not a hiker, so we told him there was a pub on top to get him up the hill. He was very upset when there wasn’t a pub.”
Because Lacey was afraid of doctors, McFarlane was there for the birth of his two children, Julian, 7, and Jasmine, 5. “There were tears of joy when he held Julian,” she said. “He is a gentle giant.”
Rod Chavez, Lacey’s boss at Google, said Lacey wrote three words on his company profile, “I write code.”
But he did much more, he said. “Steve was addicted to building things,” he said. “Nobody told Steve what to do.” Chavez said Lacey’s two favorite topics were inventions and his family.
After the service, Nabila Lacey said she was upset when Rexroat initially was released from jail on bail before police rearrested him on new information and rebooked him on $1 million bail.
“The laws are too flimsy,” she said. “The fact he could bail and do the same thing again is ridiculous. There’s too much wrong here.”
What really upset her is that a witness reported Rexroat didn’t even check on Lacey after the accident.
“That’s the key for me, there is something fundamentally wrong with this person, not the type of person you want out on the street. I lost the most important person in my life.”
Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054