I Am an Elk - Meet Steve Overman
Jack Overman and his wife Darlene raised their son Steve in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Born in Pascagoula, the oldest of three sons, Steve and his brothers were raised in the Catholic Church. Jack was a real estate agent and car salesman, what he later described as an ‘International Financial Consultant.’ “I hope he finds that big deal one day,” Steve laughs. Now Darlene Minton, Steve’s mother was an accountant who worked for many years at the King’s Inn in Pascagoula.
Steve began his first-grade career at attended Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and then
moved to Ocean Springs where he finished out his elementary years at St. Alphonsus Catholic School. Living in the English Village area of Ocean Springs, Steve had the life that you see in television shows such as Leave it to Beaver or My Three Sons. “I was on a bicycle and had free range of the town and [a] part of Biloxi. I would ride across the bridge,” Steve smiles as he describes his youth. That freedom on a bicycle started Steve’s love of bicycling which carries on even today. When he was not on his bicycle, you could find Steve at the YMCA swimming, or at Broome’s Grocery buying candy.
Steve played soccer and baseball throughout his youth. When he was eleven, he began to play the guitar and you could find him playing in St. Alphonsus’ choir playing on Sundays when he was not an altar boy for morning mass. He remembers Father Patrick O’Shaughnessy and Monsignor Hannon as the priests when he attended St. Alphonsus. At Ocean Springs Junior High, Overman joined the band and learned to play the trumpet. And while he did not take his musicality into high school at Pascagoula High School, Overman did continue to play sports.
He lived two blocks from the Pascagoula High School Annex when Overman moved to Pascagoula. Steve says that “High school was some of my crazy and party years.” Overman wonders how things might have been different if he had applied himself, “There’s no telling what I could have done.” Even though he spent a lot of time partying while in high school, overman still excelled. He even had the military calling on him – literally. “This recruiter from the Air Force, Sgt. Bud Rucker would call me two to three times a week,” he says. “Dad had been in the Army. My grandfather was in the Navy. I had aunts and uncles [in the service]” he says as he explains why and how the military lifestyle skipped his generation.
Steve sometimes played around working on hot rods if his friends had them but spent most of his time as a lane technician at Liberty Bowl in Pascagoula. He built a 180-200 bowling average bowing in the youth league while he was in school – where Past Exalted Ruler Dudley Nix also bowled. Later, Steve would bowl in the Generation Gap League with his grandmother. Several times, he traveled to Hattiesburg or Tupelo to compete in bowling tournaments.
As Steve finished high school, he spent two years in drafting and electrical trades training at the Pascagoula High School Vocational Technology Center. When he graduated from school, he went to work for Matthieu Electric as an electrician’s helper. He worked there for a while and ended up at Ingalls Shipbuilding as an electrician for about a year and a half. He would spend a total of ten years working in the electrical trade on his tools, often working shutdowns. But travel would become a burden and he longed for the regularity of an eight-to-five job.
One day, he walked into Monti Electric and casually mentioned that if they had any positions come available, he would be open to a change. Two weeks later, he was working in the warehouse for the company. He quickly rose to counter sales, inside sales, then into management, and finally fifteen years as a purchasing agent. Steve would go on to attend the University of South Western Louisiana – now the University of Louisiana Lafayette and completed his collegiate studies at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he received his Associate in Business Management and was a member of Alpha Beta Gama Honors Society.
When Wesco bought out Monti Electric, he remained with the new company for three years before finding his current home of twelve years with Stuart C. Irby. At Irby, Steve is the regional operations administrator for ten branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Northern Louisiana.
In 1993, Steve met Lynn Rayner. He was attending the Biloxi Crawfish Festival at Cadet Point with his friend Scott Johnson, who was a mutual friend of Lynn. They ran into Lynn at the festival. The two seemed to hit it off and Lynn told Steve to call her the next day. He did, but it was earlier in the day than Lynn wanted to talk, so she told him to call back after 11 AM. Steve waited until 11:01 and called again. They have spoken every day since. Six weeks later, as their official first date, Steve and Lynn attended a crawfish boil in Vancleave, Mississippi.
Steve and Lynn knew they were destined to be with one another. During a discussion about their future, Lynn said that she wanted children. Steve replied that they had to get married if they were going to have children. There was no romantic proposal on his knee, Steve says it was an agreement that was natural. And, although Steve was Catholic and Lynn was Baptist, they met in the middle and got married at the Dantzler United Methodist Church in Moss Point. Lynn’s family was extremely close to the LeBlanc family and Steven LeBlanc’s father waked Lynn down the staircase of the church to hand her off to her father, who then gave away Lynn to Steve at the altar.
After they were married, Steve moved in with Lynn who was living with her grandmother in the home next to the LeBlanc home that fellow Elk member and surrogate brother to Lynn, Steven LeBlanc now lives in. Steve and Lynn would later welcome their son Gavin and the two also assisted raising their niece, Gabby. The family spent a lot of time camping on the river. Steve likes to fish but prefers saltwater fishing over freshwater. “But if I can find a bream bed, I’m very happy.” Steve was also one of the original members of Singing River Cyclists which hosts a bicycle ride through Pascagoula on the second Saturday of each month. Even now, Steve often finds the time to ride that and a fourth Saturday event, the Gautier Community ride.
Steve remembers his first time at the Pascagoula Elks Lodge 1120. It was 1972 when he first came to the Lodge with his grandfather, Earl Netto, who was a member and whose name is on the memorial boards of the Lodge. Steve’s father, Jack, was also an Elk but has not been active for many years. Steve hopes to remedy that situation soon. Steve had been helping Marc and Becky Turner with a function and suddenly an application ended up in his hand. He filled out the application. Exalted Ruler Joe Parisi would preside over his initiation.
Since he has become a member of the Pascagoula Elks Lodge 1120, Overman has become an active member of the House Committee. While he had been a member of another fraternal organization in the past, he felt that their goals were more about who could boast of the most money raised, or members added. He feels that with the Elks, the charity that is shown is different. He feels that the Elks is about people – not about the money. And that is why he feels more at home with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
In the time since Steve joined the Pascagoula Elks Lodge 1120, he has been honored to be able to sponsor his wife Lynn and their “brother-in-law” Steven LeBlanc as members. Steve lives in Moss Point, Mississippi with Lynn, where they raised their son, Gavin, and where they now get to happily entertain their grandson Avery and two grand-nephews Trystan and Logan.
It is a great feeling to have Steve as a member of our Order and we are proud of his accomplishments with the Lodge with only three years in as a member.