On February 10, 2005, Steven Mark Gootter began his day like any other. He got up early, rounded up the family dog and headed out for a morning jog. That was the last time his wife, their two young children and the rest of his family and friends would see him alive. Steve never came home again – sudden cardiac death had claimed the life of this vibrant, athletic, healthy 42-year-old man. Steve, a non-smoker, had no history of heart disease and no prior warnings of heart failure. Born in New York on May 2, 1962, Steve moved to Tucson with his family at the age of 8. He graduated from Tucson High School and the University of Arizona. A state tennis champion in high school, Steve excelled at sports throughout his life. He possessed and extraordinary zest for life and a legendary sense of humor. A compassionate, generous, fun-loving man, Steve lived every day to the fullest. He was a “people magnet” who was blessed with the gift of making everyone he met feel special.
Steve was an entrepreneur who enjoyed a successful career in real estate, financial planning and mergers and acquisitions. He excelled at fostering his own and others’ creative ideas. He, himself, held several patents. Products he invented are sold in 27 countries.
Above all, Steve was a devoted family man. The joy of his life was his children; his then five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son. He is greatly missed by all who knew him. Steve’s untimely death mobilized his family and friends to establish the Steven M. Gootter Foundation with the objective of sparing others the tragedy of losing a loved one to sudden cardiac death.
Though it is the leading cause of natural death in the United States, most people are unaware of the danger sudden cardiac death poses until it strikes close to home. Each year in the United States, more than 335,000 lives are lost to heart disease – more than are lost to breast cancer, lung cancer combined . The Steven M. Gootter Foundation is dedicated to defeating sudden cardiac death by supporting increased awareness, education, scientific research and the distribution of AEDs.