John I. Steffen
March 2, 1951 – May 10, 2019
Survived by wife, Kathleen “Kathy” Fimple; children: Jeremiah Steffen, Joshua Steffen (Michelle), and Dulcia Steffen (fiancé, Bobby Armstrong); seven grandchildren; sister, Paula Rosenthal (Art); brother, Gene Steffen (Donna).
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 14th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Wednesday, May 15th at 10:30am at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 3405 S. 118th St. Memorials are suggested to National Park Service Foundation.
John was born in Yankton, SD, the first child of Ralph and Dorothy Spenner Steffen. He grew up on the family dairy farm southwest of Hartington, NE. He attended Cedar Catholic High School and earned a state record in the high hurdles. He married and had two sons, Jeremy and Josh. In 1981 he attended a Beginning Experience weekend, where he met Kathleen (Kathy) Fimple. They married in 1982 and daughter Dulcia arrived four years later. John completed the surveying program at Southeast Community College and worked as a licensed land surveyor for many years in Nebraska. When health caused an early retirement, he earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from UNO and completed the courses for a master’s degree.
John was an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing whenever he could. Family vacations—and there were many—were always spent camping. The trips usually included one or more dogs: Akela, best buddy Patch, Chance, or new addition Bo. John worked in wood with projects including a cradle and a china hutch. He played the guitar and sang around campfires, at community events, and for mass at several parishes. John became involved with Special Olympics when Jeremy joined. He volunteered as scoutmaster when a Boy Scout troop formed in Lincoln for youth with developmental disabilities. He was proud that all of his scouts earned First Class and two became Eagle Scouts. For many years he volunteered for Special Journeys, a company providing travel opportunities to people with special needs. He made almost 50 trips with them to activities around the country. In recent years, he and Kathy traveled to the Bahamas, Alaska, Hawaii, and New England.
John is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and their daughter, Dulcia Steffen (fiancé Bobby Armstrong and children Riley, Levi, and Kenzi) and her daughter Ebony; sons Jeremy Steffen and Joshua Steffen (Michelle) and their children Lilianna, Alexander, and Charlotte. He is also survived by his sister Paula (Art) Rosenthal and their children Jennifer (Rusty) Kermoade and Jonathan (Brittany) Rosenthal, and his brother Gene (Donna) Steffen.
John will be cremated with a private family ceremony at a later date. He picked a wooded spot with a stream nearby in Forest Lawn Cemetery where wildlife is abundant. Family, friends, and neighbors will miss him dearly, but we know he’ll be happily spending time now with his favorite dogs sitting around a campfire drinking coffee in the morning and a beer at night.