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Donald R. "Don" Steffen, 67, of Rockford, died January 3, 2016 in Alpine Fireside Health Center. Born Sept. 9, 1948, in Woodstock, the son of Walter and Bertha (Wienke) Steffen. Don graduated from Woodstock High School in 1966. He then attended the Univ. of Houston in Texas. His education was interrupted by the US Army. He served a tour of duty in Viet Nam as a radio operator. Don was awarded the Purple Heart and other medals during his tour. After his discharge he attended Herzing Institute in Rockford where he met his future wife. Don married Ruth Mahnke on July 8, 1972 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rockford, IL. Don completed his education at Northern Illinois Univ. His entire career was in the computer field. The last 20 years Don was employed at UDL Labs in Rockford. He worked his way to IT Manager and in 1996 Don was named Manager of the Year. Don was an avid golfer and very proud of the hole in one he made at Sandy Hollow. Photography was his hobby and his pictures of flowers are majestic. He had many memories of his days of travel in the US and overseas. His photographic skills were tested during his travels to Germany and the cathedrals and to Holland during the tulip season. Don's last river cruise was to Russia, where he toured Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow followed by the majestic structures in St. Petersburg. These travels offered photographic opportunities one could never imagine. They are forever reminders of happy times for the family. Don was a very active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church where he served as trustee and usher for many years.
Survived by his wife Ruth; sons, Tim (Nicole) and their children Megan and Max of Hartland, WI, and Erich and his daughter Hannah of Rockford; brother, David (Connie); and nephews, Randy (Liz) Steffen, Ken, Ron (Debbie), Don (Valerie), and Jerry Mahnke. Predeceased by his parents; brother, Bill; and infant sister. Special thanks for support during Don's illness to all the friends at Redeemer.
Funeral service will be at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, January 16, 2016 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 827 16th St, Rockford, IL 61104 with Rev. Paul Krause officiating. Visitation will be on Friday, Jan. 15 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 2nd Ave. and on Saturday, Jan. 16 from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church.

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Condolences & Shared Memories (19)

  1. Roger Fransen

    I remember Don when I was teaching computer programming at Herzing, fantastic student, also seeing him at UDL in later years when I was working at Pierce Chemical(now Thermo Fisher). This is a great loss to our community and he will be missed.

  2. Joe and Carol Yoder

    Don's dad, Walter, gave Carol guitar lessons from 1950-55 and remembers Don as a little boy playing on the floor of the living room. He was a cute blond boy. The Steffens were a wonderful family always pleasant to be around. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God give you comfort and peace.

  3. Bill and Khristy Horkheimer

    Don was and always will be a big part of my life and childhood memories. Great memories growing up next to you guys and even my first trip to Disney World. Thank you for being my "Second" family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys. God Bless

  4. Linda Whale

    Ruth, I was so surprised to read that Don had passed away. I wanted you to know that I always looked forward to seeing you both at Dr. Moore's. I also remember looking for you at Alpine Church Christmas Eve services. I'm sure you have so many wonderful memories and may they help you through this difficult time. My sympathy goes out to you and Erich, Tim and families.

  5. Judy Lindstrom

    Dear Ruth, I'm sorry for your loss. Love and prayers of sympathy to you and your family at this time. May you find comfort in the sharing of many happy memories and especially in the promise of the Resurrection.

  6. Judy Mahnke

    Don will be greatly missed by me and his nephews Ken, Ron (Deb), Don (Val), and Jerry Mahnke. We enjoyed his many photos especially of Ron & Deb wedding.

  7. Rosie Helm Elkin

    Praying for strength for you and your family during these difficult days. I think of you every day and wish I could be there.

  8. Delphine Poellot

    Ruth, had not spoken with you for some time now, and was unaware of Don's health issues. May our dear Lord and Savior bring you peace and comfort. Love, Delphine.

  9. Annette Bounds

    I am deeply sadden for your loss, I will always keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Jeffrey Fuller

    Remember Don and his airplanes, He always had nice ones he built.. During high school he would come to parties at my house. Went to Ruth and Don's wedding... He always was a good friend, missing u already.... .

  11. Dave and Toni Licht

    We were so very sorry to hear of Don's passing. May you all be comforted knowing Don loved his Lord. Have fond memories of all of you from our times at Redeemer. Blessings to all of you.

  12. Terry & Laurie Podeszwa

    What a sad sudden shock to hear of Don's passing during the holiday weekend of the new year while visiting relatives in IA/MN. Yes, we knew of his failing health, yet one is never prepared when the time comes. Words are almost worthless at times like this, but our memories help us through. We remember Don with his pleasant smile and helpful personality. He was a great teammate to have when we played at the golf play days. His willingness to serve on several boards & committees at Redeemer were appreciated indeed. Our prayer is that Ruth, family, & friends will be comforted by the grace, mercy, & love that only God can give, and has already given, with the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth we have just celebrated.

  13. Roxanna Nicholes

    So sorry for your loss. I will not be able to attend services but I will be thinking of you and your family. Love, Rox

  14. Jim Lippold

    My condolences. Don was a classmate of mine thru school. He will be missed at our 50th HS reunion.

  15. Robert Conour

    Sincere condolences to Don's family and friends, he will be sorely missed.

  16. Clarice and Michael Cook

    We are deeply sorry for your loss and will keep you all in our thought, heart and prayers.

  17. Jean and Kent Heise

    Don was fine man. His kind nature will be missed.

  18. Judy Riggert

    So very sorry, Ruthie! I'm praying for you and your family, that you will focus on happy memories. Love to you all.

  19. Dixie Johnson

    Don was a very special friend for many years. He was a very kind and gentle man. I'll always remember his smile!

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