Virgil Steven Tarbet Neves

Virgil Steven Tarbet “Steve” Neves, 57, of Salt Lake City, UT, died on February 6, 2018, after a protracted illness. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 11 am, at the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, 500 North Main Street, Pleasant Grove, Utah 84062. All friends and family are invited to attend and provide a few words as appropriate.

Steve was preceded in death by his mother, Gloria Gay Nuttall Neves Garrard, father, Glen Frank Tarbet, step-father, Wilford Leslie Neves, and step-mother, Betty Bennion Brown Tarbet. He is survived by his step-mother, Arsenath Ann Ellison Tarbet, and step-father, Robert Garrard; his siblings Jerry (Kay) Neves, Linda (David) Uranga, Scott (Julie) Tarbet, Jami (Brad) Bernards, Carrie (Tony) Pearce, David Tarbet, Penny (Dallas) Freeman, Victor (Caroldean) Tarbet Neves, Alan (Glynis) Neves, Marci (Lynn-deceased) Reed, Michael (Bethann) Neves; as well as thirteen additional step-siblings and their spouses. Steve also considered a great many friends as part of his family, and he will be equally mourned by them.

Artist, musician, environmentalist, humanitarian, and entrepreneur, Steve was an integral part of both the burner and punk communities in the Utah and Intermountain West area. He began playing guitar as a child. He also played keyboard and world percussion. As an event producer and promoter, he was instrumental in establishing and nurturing numerous desert concert venues over the course of thirty years, including the annual Burning Man event in Nevada.

He merged two of his great loves, music and the environment, when he created TeamFree, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of public lands. The organization revitalized abandoned mine sites by clearing debris and tailings, restoring vegetation, and sealing the tunnels to guard against mishaps by unwary explorers. Steve was a gifted artist and graduated from Salt Lake Community College three times, each degree a different area of the Visual Fine Arts. Commercially successful, his work has been displayed in numerous shows, reviews, and galleries. His love of art extended into his extensive collection that demonstrated his affinity for Cubism and African tribal art.

Steve began breaking bones as a child. At the age of eighteen, he suffered a life-threatening automobile accident that put him in critical condition and left him with permanent brain damage. Even so, he went on to accomplish amazing things. Over the years, as his health deteriorated, with multiple scrapes with death, the aftereffects of those incidents, and debilitating pain which ultimately confined him to a wheelchair, he became progressively more reclusive. Although he dropped from the public eye, he never dropped his passions.

First and foremost, Steve was a humanitarian. The words of long-time friend Brett Colvin, photographer, sum him up perfectly:

“Awaking today to hear that a most loving spirit has left us. Neeves (sic) was an Artist a friend and one of the finest humans that I have ever met. Always there to help when called upon and even when not called upon. "The Whetherman" as we called him and the name that he coined to himself. Which was apropos for Virgil Steven Tarbet Neves who could isolate what, whether, when or why you may have crossed his path. Neeves (sic) could work a Chinese 19th century railroad worker under the rails. He could make a lonely heart company and give peace when no other could. I loved him for his examples of this so many times. His penchant for fine libations will be remembered. His gentleman’s way, his peace and love! RIP "brotherman" as he used to call me whenever I called: without a beat, without judgment, this fine human spirit gave joy to soooo... many in this life!”

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