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Oil and Gas Investor

By now, many of you have learned of the untimely passing of editor-in-chief Steve Toon on Oct. 22 of a heart attack while working from home. We all feel we’ve been robbed of one of the good guys. It is a sad duty to have to write this tribute to him, in the space reserved for his monthly editorials. The entire Hart Energy family and staff of Oil and Gas Investor, past and present, are shocked and heartbroken at the news of his passing. He was a great colleague and good friend.

He was “a consummate professional, and his leadership and insight will be missed,” said Rich Eichler, CEO of Hart Energy. “He leaves big shoes to fill.”

Steve was one of the hardest working editors I’ve known, smart and creative. He joined Hart Energy in 2007 after more than 20 years of journalism experience and assumed the editor-in-chief role in 2016 after being our resident A&D expert who had built up a large network of industry sources—and friends.

He was passionate about upholding high standards for himself and the staff and was well organized. A dedicated journalist who graduated from Baylor University, he was constantly trying to improve the magazine’s editorial content and tried new design approaches to make sure the pages were compelling. He conceived of and designed the A&D section of the magazine, as one example of his thoughtful concern for making the content better. He also wasn’t above putting in long hours, sometimes even on a holiday weekend, when the situation called for it. He loved doing the research and the interviews.

Many of you met Steve personally because he was also active in all the various Hart Energy DUG conferences and the annual A&D conference in Dallas. He helped plan the agendas and hosted many of these events, and he was a frequent panel moderator as well. He was such an amiable, outgoing person that he became a good networker, and as such, was well-known and well respected by our readers and event attendees. He has won several in-house Hart Energy writing awards in recognition of his skills.

In Memoriam: Thank You, Steve Toon
Steve Toon at Hart Energy's annual A&D Strategies and Opportunities Workshop in September 2016. (Source: Hart Energy)

He was serving on the board of the Houston Producers’ Forum at the time of his passing.

Hart Energy and the Toon family are grateful for all the expressions of sorrow and messages of praise for Steve that have come flooding in, many from industry contacts who had worked with Steve recently on crafting good articles or planning events.

“He was a man of substance and integrity,” said Dennis Petito, CEO, Montrose Energy Capital Advisors.

“I knew Steve well, and we shared many dinners and conversations together in the past,” said Ted Williams, COO of EnCore Permian. “He is such a wonderful person, and I’m saddened to hear about his sudden passing.”

Anyone who knew Steve knew he was a devoted family man who spoke often of his three children. He was also an active volunteer at his church and for several years with his local Boy Scouts of America troop, where he helped his son to become an Eagle Scout most recently. He was a proud father. Steve was a busy man, but he never made you feel he was too busy for you.

He loved to travel and organized many family trips throughout the U.S. He was an avid photographer as well, never without his camera, which served him in good stead when, after college and before starting his career, he backpacked in China and throughout South America; he published a book about his adventures in the latter, which will be a fascinating keepsake for the family.

A future fund is being set up to help with Steve’s son and twin daughters’ education and will be announced at a later date.