About Steve...

Steve Armbruster passed away peacefully on January 14, 2017 surrounded by loved ones. Born into a family of apple growers, Steve grew up in beautiful eastern Washington and is survived by his wife Rita, children Melissa and Erik, his mother Gwen, his father Joe, and brothers, Dick, Rod and Jeff.


Steve-O-Reno, known as a Halifax coffee pioneer, Steve (aka “Tiger Boy”) first connected with Buddhism at a Transcendental Meditation workshop in 1969, with his dear friend Mark Rector (who has been by his side during this difficult time). He earned a BA in 1973 at Western Washington University, then became a student of the Vidyadhara in 1976, while also completing an MA in Psychology at Naropa Institute. At the 1981 Seminary in Lake Louise, Steve met Rita Onuferko, who left him speechless (a rare state for Steve). They married in 1982 while living in Boulder, and Erik Steven was born in 1983. The family moved to Philadelphia in 1984, and had landed in Halifax by 1988, where Melissa Anna was born, in 1989.


Steve engendered a love of travel in his children, and the family shared many globe trotting adventures. Erik introduced Steve to surfing, and they spent many joyous hours in the waves. Melissa enjoyed running the business with her father, for several years, but enjoyed their leisure time together even more!


Service at the Kalapa Court became a primary practice for Steve in the late ‘70s, and he remained loyally devoted to both Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche throughout his life.

Steve spent this last year living to the fullest – unwaveringly alive – checking many adventures off his bucket list, including hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his dear friend, Mark. Steve was a trailblazer who touched the lives of many people and always lit up the room with his sense of humour and charm. An inspiring and compassionate father, husband, mentor, boss, surfer, hiker, and sailor, Steve left a lasting impression on everyone who crossed his path.


His loving, kind, and strong, strong heart will be missed.

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