John David Steiner, age 96, passed peacefully on October 19, 2020 at AngelsGrace Hospice. John was lovingly cared for at home by his wife, Ginny, as his health faded with various illnesses in his last two years of life.
He was born on August 7, 1924 in Fond du Lac to Arnold and Viola Steiner. He reminisced about his very happy childhood growing up in Oakfield. His family moved to Fond du Lac when he was twelve.
John’s high school graduation class of 1942 was the first after World War II was declared. He volunteered for service and requested placement in the Marine Corps, but was assigned to the Navy to fill a quota. After basic training at Navy Pier, he was sent to the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. There, Navy and Air Force pilots were trained to fly PBY’s, planes that could land on water. John’s assignment as Plane Captain was to verify that the plane was ready for flight and then to fly along over the Gulf. He achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class.
After the war, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. While completing a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in Oshkosh, he pursued and married Virginia Scheuerman. He taught biology and general science in Mellen, and then was employed by the Kaukauna Vocational and Technical School as the Driver’s Education and Academic Instructor.
He left to take the same position at the Waukesha Vocational and Technical School. He completed a Master’s degree in Adult Education at Stout University. He was elected president of the newly formed teacher’s union and was the first Director of Research and Development, working on the specifications for the soon-to-be built new school.
John continued to work on a doctorate in education while he was employed as District Administrator by the Pecatonica and Black Hawk Schools. He completed his degree, the Ed. D, before becoming administrator of the Rosendale-Brandon School District. Being there, he was close to his parents in their final years. He had a home built in the woods near Eldorado where he spent many happy years of retirement working on his projects.
Always a creative fellow, John designed and built a sports car in his parent’s garage while a student in Oshkosh. He designed the action and built an entire rifle while employed at Kaukauna. He remodeled all of his Waukesha home and continually worked on his home in the woods. He built large and unique fireplaces in both homes. He enjoyed many hours restoring vintage firearms to “better than new.”
John was an ROTC member while a student in Madison. He was a member of the Air Force Reserve while employed in Waukesha. In retirement, he was a member of the Black Wolf Schuetzen Verein.
John was preceded in death by his brother Daniel, and his sister, Norma. He is survived by Virginia, his anchor, who appreciated his talents and tolerated his whims and unending projects. He is survived by daughter, Lisa Rabidoux (James Heller), who inherited so much ability from him; by granddaughter, Aimee (Ryan) Busse; by great-grandchildren, Jade, Avi, and Ina; and by nieces and nephews. He is survived by sister-in-law, Marion Sang.
John was a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. His strong faith was fostered in his childhood home.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held for the family at Riverside Cemetery of Oshkosh.