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In Memory of Steve Ensley

Steve Ensley_in memoryIt saddens me deeply to notify the community that Steve Ensley passed away on the evening of May 3, 2022. I had the honor of working with Steve in both his professional capacities as well as on a personal level of friendship.

Steve and Carol Ensley shared a life together for more than 50 years. They purchased property in our beautiful community in 1988 and became full time residents in 2004.

Steve received his MBA and BBA from the University of Michigan. After which he spent 40 years in the private industry with a focus of finance and marketing.  

After moving to the City of Ocean Shores, and becoming actively involved in the community, Steve dedicated 5 years as the director of the Ocean Shores Convention Center and the Finance Director for the City. This was during a time the nation was going through an economic downturn.

During his tenure, Steve was instrumental in improving the City’s financial position by reducing debt, managing expenses, improving the City’s credit rating, clean timely reported audits from the Washington State Auditor’s Office. Steve restructured the Ocean Shores Convention Center debt to provide long-term viability. While initiating the repayment of all interfund loans.

Steve worked in tandem with former Mayor, Crystal Dingler and former Police Chief, Mike Styner to ensure the City of Ocean Shores remained financially sound during such an uncertain time. Like Crystal, Steve made direct pivotal decisions on behalf of the City and community that setup the City of Ocean Shores to have the financial clarity we have today.

Most of you will remember Steve Ensley in his Council Member Position No. 5 capacity. What Steve brought to the dais and community was a clear and confident position on subjects that the Council were tasked with making decisions on. Without question the financial background Steve provided was the most influential to the City. Steve took time to articulate to the City Council and Citizens, his position on a variety of  topics. Steve would educate all of us on the financial decisions that we were tasked with and  how those decisions would directly impact the community. Steve’s opinions and positions, whether we agreed or disagreed, were respected by all those who worked with him.

From a personal perspective, Steve was always willing to take my calls, meet at any time, and just talk me through whatever topic was on my mind. I could always count on Steve’s friendship, thoughts, and insight. Steve helped me immensely when I became Mayor, genuinely wanting me to be successful. Steve would constantly check in on me even though he was fighting his own medical battles. I counted on Steve as a person that even when we disagreed, he graciously provided me with a civil debate. I will miss being able to talk to him about everything, both personally and professionally.

Ocean Shores, in my opinion, has lost a true leader, neighbor and I have lost a dear friend. Please place his family and our community in your thoughts as we navigate this great loss.

Jon Martin