Thousands Celebrate Steve Appleton's Life


A crowd of more than 3,000 attended a memorial service for Steve Appleton, the late Boise philanthropist and CEO of Micron Technology on Thursday, Feb. 23. The crowd was comprised of thousands of employees from two Micron campuses, citizens, public officials, and the Appleton family.

Accompanying Micron President Mark Adams' introduction were pictures of a Navy SEALS training camp he went through with Appleton, using the lessons learned from his boss to highlight a wrestling match between the two.

“Steve told me, ‘There are three things you have to do at Micron to succeed,’” said Adams. “'First, you have to be aggressive and take a risk to succeed. The second thing you do is to do anything you can to win.' The third part of the lesson I learned from Steve is to get to the right result.”

The service featured slideshows of videos and family photos between speakers. One, a heartfelt home video, showed the Appleton children presenting their father with a “Father of the Year” award, because “he’s good at basketball, flying and loves spending time with his family.”

Other speakers included Sal Fish, Appleton’s Baja racing friend and SCORE International CEO and president, head Boise State tennis coach Greg Patton, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Boise State President Dr. Robert Kustra and more. Addressing the almost-finished Micron Business and Economics Building at the opposite end of campus, a picture showed Kustra with Appleton and an oversized check for $12.5 million.

“He was one of the busiest men in the world,” said Dr. Kustra. “Everyone would have understood if he had left his alma mater behind. But he was here for us.”

Kustra gestured to Appleton’s seat in Taco Bell Arena, the season pass seat he used for years. The ceremony included a presentation to the Appleton family of the Micron flag that flew above the campus the day of the crash by Gordon Haller, Micron's longest-serving employee. The ceremony concluded with a video titled Heroes— which included a video showing the goofy side of Appleton, and much of his childhood.

Outside, four airplanes flew over the arena, with one peeling off to the side and vertically, emitting smoke to create the “Missing Man” formation.