‘SHOOTER’: Mischievous streak
Eadie was married to his high school sweetheart, Ashley, for 27 years and had six children. His oldest children, Cameron Eadie, 26, and Amanda LaPorta, 24, spoke publicly for the first time since the crash, and a letter from wife Ashley Eadie was read aloud.
Eadie became a grandfather three months ago when LaPorta gave birth to a daughter, Macyn, and several speakers said being around her made him the happiest they had ever seen him. “She was the apple of his eye,” LaPorta said.
“I am forever grateful that he set a standard so high that if I only get to be half the parent that he was then I know I’m doing great,” LaPorta said.
Eadie doled out unconditional love to his children and stood by them no matter what they were going through, Cameron Eadie said.
They last spoke two weeks before Eadie died, when Cameron made a late-night phone call home after finding out a close friend, a former Marine, committed suicide. Eadie consoled his son as only a father could.
“He fully understood and reassured me that if I knew he needed help I would have done something about it,” Cameron said. “I will always remember the last time I spoke to my father as we ended the conversation saying, ‘I love you.’”
Ashley Eadie wrote a letter to her husband that Christina Mundy read aloud. It described his sense of humor and thoughtfulness.
“I would have to be careful what I would say because if I would make some off-handed comment about something I liked, you would take that off-handed comment and run with it,” Ashley Eadie wrote.
There were several common themes among the speakers: Eadie had a mischievous streak and was notorious for clever pranks on his co-workers, friends and family.
He once put pizza in an officer’s tent to attract a flock of chickens, played ice cream truck music on the computer so his children would run outside thinking they were going to get a treat and once loaded a friend’s pack with unnecessary items that they had to lug around for an entire trip.
His loyalty to friends made him a popular member of the Dragon Lady community, and several spoke about his tireless energy when it came to helping with projects around the house, firing up the smoker for gatherings and sitting on his patio for lengthy talks.
“He brought a family touch to our squadron,” Wurster said. “More than anyone, I think he helped us build a community.”
Amanda LaPorta talks about her father, Lt. Col. Steve “Shooter” Eadie, during his memorial service on Thursday in Hangar I-8 on the flight line of Beale Air Force Base. He is flanked by her husband Trevor LaPorta, left, and brother Cameron Eadie. Lt. Col. Eadie died in a U-2 crash on Sept. 20 in the Sutter Buttes.