STURGIS | Ronald Peter Steichen, 91, passed away peacefully on Sept. 30, 2019. Born Dec. 28, 1927, in White Lake, Ronald was the second of Carl and Marjorie (Shank) Steichen’s six children.
After service in the army, Ronald married Marjorie (Purschke) on April 18, 1951, in Spencer. In 1957, the couple moved to Sturgis where they raised their three daughters. Ronald worked on many state road projects as a crane and heavy equipment operator, among them the Spearfish Canyon highway and the Keystone Y bridge. He also participated in construction of the Titan and Minuteman missile base sites. As a member of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, he joined the Knights of Columbus, helping to maintain the cemetery grounds.
Having been raised on a farm in eastern South Dakota, Ronald looked forward to pheasant hunting in the fall. In retirement, Ronald became an avid gardener, supplying neighbors, friends, and relatives with tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beautiful roses, and a variety of colorful gladiolas. For many years, Ronald met with his “crew” for breakfast at various spots around Sturgis, and in keeping with his social nature, he delivered Meals on Wheels.
Ronald liked spending time with his grandchildren. He taught his oldest grandchild how to drive a stick shift. He wrangled a very hyperenergetic toddler into cooperation and watched in awe as his teen grandson busted some moves while playing a music video dance game. He traveled to Louisiana, California, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, Iowa, and Canada to visit family and friends. He enjoyed the time he spent with his numerous nieces and nephews.
After his wife Marjorie died in 1994, Ronald became more focused on his youngest grandchildren.
Every visit seemed fun and memorable whether it was time spent outdoors in the garden planting a tree, going out to eat, or demonstrating pride at a sporting, theater, choir, or band event.
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He is survived by daughters, Donna (Daryl) Kleppin, Mary (Dean) Gapp, and Rhonda (Mark) Britzman; grandchildren, Desa Kleppin (Cory) Duskin, Lyndsey Kleppin, Katherine Gapp (Evan) Moorehead, Kylee Britzman (Kyle French), and Ali Britzman; great-grandchildren, Alaina Duskin, Parker Duskin, and Elliot Moorehead; sisters, Catherine (Duane) Kruse, Margaret Bogenhagen, and Clara (Francis) Determan; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
Ronald was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Diana; his wife of 43 years, Marjorie; sister, Mary Kinney; brother, Francis Steichen; and grandson, Aric Kleppin.
The family thanks the staffs of both the Sturgis Regional Senior Care nursing home and the Veterans Hospital at Fort Meade for the exceptional care they provided over the past three years.
Visitation was held Oct. 2, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel.
Funeral services were held on Oct. 3, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, with Father Timothy Castor officiating. Burial followed at St. Aloysius Cemetery.