Stephanie Van Dyke strove to be normal in face of illness


On Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, we said our final goodbye to our daughter, wife, sister, and friend, Stephanie Pauline (Kirkland) Van Dyke after a lifelong battle with Chronic Variable Immune Deficiency.
Stephanie was born July 18, 1984, in Helena, Mont., to Mark Aubrey and Janet (Travis) Kirkland.  Born a creek baby, she loved spending as much time as possible playing in the mountains with her family; wading in creeks, climbing on rocks, and hunting for berries and mushrooms with her grandma.  In high school she met the perfect love of her life, Nick Van Dyke, who shared her love of the mountains.  They loved off-roading, fishing, camping, and shooting together.
Stephanie strove to be normal in the face of her illness.  She spent all of high school proudly being a trainer for the Helena High wrestling team and participating in Upward Bound.  She graduated with her friends in the spring of 2002.  After high school she attended HCT, worked at Balloons Etc., Albertsons, and the Department of Commerce until she married Nick on Nov. 6, 2008.  She spent the last several years focusing on her family, friends, and health.  Her favorite pastimes included annoyingly pinching Nick with her monkey toes, going to chick flicks with her sissy, making Mom watch reality TV, starting quilts, filling her nephew Trevon up with sugar and returning him to his mom, painting her nails, and collecting spoons.
Stephanie was preceded in death by her grandmother, Blanche Travis, grandfather, Robert Kirkland, uncles Bobby Travis, Joseph Keller, and Paul Kirkland, and cousin Joseph Keller.
Stephanie is survived by her loving husband, Nicholas Van Dyke; her parents Mark Aubrey and Janet (Travis) Kirkland; brother, Travis Kirkland; sister, Maren Kirkland; father-in-law, Richard Van Dyke; mother-in-law, Julie Murray of Texas; brother-in-law, Dick Van Dyke; nephew, Trevon Van Dyke; sister-in-law, Danielle Van Dyke; grandparents, Robert and Linda Travis of Wisconsin; grandmother, Barbara Kirkland; aunts and uncles, Maren Keener, Chris (Linda), Stuart (Linda), and Robert (Cookie) Kirkland, Les Cope, Barbara Keller of South Dakota, Jackie (Bob) Hanson of Mobridge, Tom (Doreen) Travis of Stevensville, Steve Travis of Wisconsin, Lisa (Derrick) Russell of Illinois, lifelong friend Megan Phillips of Idaho, special friends Brandy Bickhart, Chris Lamping, and Mykell Lemm; and cousins and friends too numerous to name.
The family would like to extend a special loving thanks to Dr. Weiner and the outstanding staff at the cancer treatment center, the oncology floor, and all those employees who loved and cared for her throughout her stays.
A memorial service was held Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral with inurnment following the service in the columbarium wall at the church.
Memorials in Stephanie’s name are suggested to the St. Peter’s Cancer Treatment Center c/o St. Peter’s Hospital, 2475 Broadway, Helena, Mont., 59601, the St. Peter’s Cathedral or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Please visit to offer the family condolences or to share a memory of Stephanie.

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