September 16, 1933 - February 3, 2018
Andrew J. Steyer, 84, of Lincoln, passed away on February 3, 2018. He was born September 16, 1933, to Frank and Josephine (Furasek) Steyer in Valparaiso. Andy Steyer lived his life with equal parts fortitude and gratitude, his personality characterized by easy smiles and abundant kindness. He was the youngest of five children; the only boy in a farm family that worked hard to make a good life in rural Nebraska.
Later in life, he would reminisce about those hard-scrabble days, looking back on them with nothing but fondness. His heartfelt appreciation for what God and good living provided never wavered. As a young man, Andy enjoyed playing baseball and basketball, but weeks before his 16th birthday, polio struck, robbing his legs of muscle and strength. The disease never took his optimism, however, and he defied expectations to walk again, unassisted, for a great many years.
In 1965, Andy married Ruth (Clark) Harrison, a widow with four young children. He took to fatherhood like everything else, with a mild manner and good humor, adopting the four in his heart and becoming their Dad in every way. Within short order, the family grew by two more children. He took pride in providing a good life for his family, never splurging on things for himself, but never wanting for anything either. It was during this time that Andy left his position at Continental Trailways and began his public service with the State of Nebraska's Department of Social Services.
Although he never attended college, Andy earned his way to chief of accounting for the department, always able to find the exact paper he needed in the towering piles on his desk. In 2000, after 33 years of service, Andy retired to enjoy sunny days on the back deck or in the driveway, visiting with his family and neighbors. In the last year of his life, Andy lived at Madonna - St. Jane de Chantal, where despite health problems, he never complained and instead charmed the staff with his good nature, lighthearted orneriness, and his unconstrained wheelchair steering.
By his example, Andy left his children and grandchildren a legacy of life lessons: Choose gratitude, be kind, serve others. And, of course, read the entire newspaper and recycle everything - even a bent nail can be straightened. He was devoted to Ruth all the days of his life, with her health and happiness always at the forefront of his mind. Andy died Saturday, February 3, 2018, surrounded by his family.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; four children: Magee Mixan, Geoff (Pat) Harrison, John (Lisa) Steyer, and Anne (Alan) Phelps; 12 grandchildren: Nate (Brandie) Bennett, Kara (Tony) Jacobsen, Cadi Mixan, Emily (Mike) Kottwitz, Jim (Stephanie), Paige, and Noah Harrison, Joel, Ted, Lucy, and Grace Steyer, and Josie Phelps; five great-grandchildren: Holden and Halle Jacobsen, Vinny and Cecily Kottwitz, Liesl Harrison; two sisters: Blanche Walla and Rose Walla; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Marie Cuda and Bessie Voboril; and daughters Kathie Harrison and Chris Bennett. His family extends sincere thanks to the attentive and kind staff at Bryan East Campus' Intensive Care Unit and at Madonna - St. Jane de Chantal; they provided excellent care with compassion.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, at St. Teresa Catholic Church. Fr. Jamie Hottovy will celebrate. Interment will follow in the Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Friday, February 16, at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home, 4040 A Street, Lincoln NE 68510. A rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials suggested to Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, or masses at St. Teresa Catholic Church or St. John's Catholic Church, both in Lincoln. Online condolences may be left at www.bmlfh.com.