Steven A. Zarit, 76 years old, passed away in the early evening hours on Monday, July 17, 2023 at Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. His wife Romy and their two daughters Brittany and Kelsey were by his side throughout the day and time of his passing into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus. Steven had been battling an undiagnosed illness for going on four years, though most were unaware, other than very close family members and several longtime friends, following his wishes.
Steven was born on March 4, 1947 in Los Angeles, California to his parents Louis and Ruth Zarit. He was the second born of four children. Michael Zarit was the eldest, followed by Steven. Wende Zarit Brough and Dean Elliot Zarit followed closely behind, though Dean passed away at just 6 months of age.
He was a 1965 graduate of Huntington Beach High School, and was known as ‘quite the surfer’ back in the day!
Steven married Romy Seyster on April 25, 1981, at Chapman College Chapel in Orange, California. He worked in publishing for years at both the Penny Saver in Huntington Beach, and their competitor, several years later, at the South Coast Shopper, yet he felt a powerful calling from the Lord to minister exclusively with Pastor John Wimber, which led him into a long and wonderful career in ministry, working alongside the late Pastor Wimber of Vineyard Ministries Fellowship in Anaheim as the General Manager of Vineyard Ministries International, and later in Yorba Linda, California for nearly a decade.
At the end of his time at Vineyard Ministries, he felt called by God to move his family and back to beautiful Whitefish, Montana and open up the same Christian bookstore he’d personally founded and opened on the grounds at Vineyard Fellowship in Anaheim, California, called The Shepherd’s Shoppe. His dream came to fruition and he opened up an identical Christian bookstore in Kalispell, Montana.
God continued to use Steven mightily, while running The Shepherd’s Shoppe full time, and he was also invited to speak as a guest speaker at many churches all over the Flathead County area during these years in Whitefish and Kalispell, as well as globally. He touched many believers lives, both native Montanan’s and those merely passing through the state. Upon eventually closing the doors to the Christian bookstore in Montana, Steven and his family relocated back to Southern California where he began to work with longtime friends and fellow Christian music label producers by starting up a brand new Christian record company.
Steven had such a tremendous love and passion for music, both Christian and secular and truly enjoyed this time once again being in the worship music world. He was later offered a position as CEO of a Christian news network station based out of Washington DC for about a year and a half before finally heading back home to his roots in Southern California with his family to retire. At least he thought he’d retire.
Steven and his wife had fallen in love with their years in Montana, and they decided they wanted to move back to Big Sky Country, in all of it’s stunning glory where he continued to live out the remainder of his life of faith and evangelism with his bride by his side.
Steven is survived by his wife, Romy Zarit and their two daughters Brittany (Serban) Maracine and Kelsey (Colby) Rozell and their six young children. Steven and Romy’s precious and dearly beloved ‘grandchildren’ called Steven their sweet ‘Papa’. He is also survived by his younger sister Wende (Zarit) Brough who lives in Kona, Hawaii.
With much love from Steven’s wife Romy:
Those who knew Steven, loved him dearly. His passion and heart for Jesus was what defined his entire life. You never had to guess what his life was all about, he was radiant and filled with love for the Kingdom of God, and leading everyone he knew (or not) into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and into a deep personal relationship with Him, ‘the One whom he loved above his very breath’ from the time he and I first met in June of 1980.
We married eleven months later at a beautiful chapel in downtown Orange, California on April 25, 1981, and were blessed with two daughters Brittany and Kelsey, when we’d both been told we wouldn’t be able to have children. Miracle’s were not unfamiliar to us as a couple, and these amazing young women walk today in the same anointing for healing as did their father, Steven. He waited for them to arrive to say their final goodbye’s on his last day.
He was very aware, though very ill, yet even with his eyes closed much of the time, hearing all the words of love and comfort, and the many incredible stories of their lives together, being retold to him, and mine also, and how much, as a result of his godly influence in each of our lives, and worshiping the Lord in his peace filled room, was a truly magnificent time for the four of us. He left us quietly afterward with his last breath and went to be with ‘the Lord of Lord’s, the lover of his soul, Jesus’.
You were loved so very much, beloved husband, father, and friend to all. You will be missed greatly and spoken of by many through the coming years. Until we meet again in Heaven, I love you the best, forever and always. ~Romy