Steven Hoey (1963-2022) was musical composer, business strategist


Steven Don Hoey, 58, of San Diego, CA, formerly of Rockton, IL was called to his heavenly home Wednesday, February 16, 2022, after a valiant and courageous battle with cancer. Steve was blessed with enormous gifts; an incredible intellect, an unrivaled passion, interest and talent in music and a voracious appetite for all that life has to offer. He also possessed an unequaled capacity for love of his family, his many friends throughout the world and for all living creatures Steve encountered.

Steve was born March 2, 1963, in Beloit, WI to parents Harry L. “Bud” Hoey and Nancy M. (Cornwell) Hoey. During his youth, Steve became an organist and primarily self-taught flutist. He became a church organist at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in South Beloit at age 12. After graduating from Hononegah Community High School in Rockton in 1981, Steve earned a scholarship to Harvard University from where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology and Organizational Behavior in 1985. 

Steve earned a prestigious Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, graduating in 1987 with a Master of Philosophy degree in Management Studies. Upon graduation from Oxford, Steve returned to the U.S. to join Oliver, Wyman & Company as a management consultant. He spent several years living in both New York City and London working as senior project manager for the firm, which specialized in the global financial services industry.

Though he enjoyed great success in the business world, Steve’s true calling was music. In the mid-1990’s he left Oliver Wyman to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Composition at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, CA. Upon earning his MFA, Steve continued there for two years as a faculty member before enrolling at the University of California, San Diego, where he eventually earned a PhD in Music Composition  Steve won several awards for his music compositions, including the 1998 Dutilleux Prize for International Composition for his piano composition Artifact I, the 2006 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2007 Thomas Nee Commission for his work Five Rivers, which was premiered by the La Jolla (CA) Symphony Orchestra 

Steve served on the board of directors for Villa Musica, San Diego, which promotes community music education. He also performed with several San Diego area chamber orchestras and ensembles and contributed his gift and talent for music to youth and church music ministries at Clairemont Lutheran Church in San Diego. Steve was Portfolio Manager of technology start-up companies in Southern California incubating at EvoNexus. He served as Chief Strategy Officer for ThinkingNode Life Science, a Rancho San Diego artificial intelligence (AI) company, and he spent 11 years at CONNECT, a non-profit tech and life sciences accelerator in San Diego.

Steve was warm, generous, compassionate, immensely talented and a gentleman of the highest order. He was truly one of a kind!

Steve is survived by his mother Nancy of Rockton, IL and The Villages, FL; brothers Bradley Hoey of DeKalb, IL and Patrick Hoey of Carpentersville, IL; niece and nephew Tabitha Hoey and Ethan Hoey, and his many friends and associates across the globe. Steve was predeceased by his father, Bud Hoey. The Hoey family wishes to thank Steve’s close friends Fiona Chatwin, Rich Storch and Nichole Hoey for their love, support, and hard work during this difficult time.

A memorial ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at McCorkle Funeral Home, 767 N. Blackhawk Boulevard, Rockton, IL. There will be a visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of ceremony. A celebration of life luncheon will be held at the Rockton American Legion #332, 221 W. Main Street, Rockton, IL immediately after the memorial service. A memorial event celebrating the life and music of Steve Hoey will be held in San Diego, California in mid-June.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be given to Hononegah Community High School’s HOPE Foundation – Steve Hoey Scholarship, and Villa Musica, San Diego.

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