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Bernita Margaret "B" Steffl


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Bernita Margaret "B" Steffl Obituary
Steffl, Bernita "B" Margaret
passed peacefully at Friendship Village in Tempe, AZ on May 28, 2016 just eleven days short of her 96th birthday. B was born June 8, 1920 to Edward Peter Steffl and Anna Schwarz Steffl of Three Lake Township, MN. B had three younger siblings Genevieve, Donna Marie, and Joe. She graduated from Wells High School in Wells, MN in 1938 and completed her R.N. degree at Ancker Hospital School of Nursing in St. Cloud, MN in 1942. Her time at Ancker was the start of a series of life-long friendships she made in the nursing community. After B's Army Nurse Corps training in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, she joined the war effort and was stationed in Iran and Italy, where she nursed German POW soldiers. Her ship returned to the states on New Year's Day in 1946. In 1959, B joined the faculty at Arizona State University, where she became a pioneer in gerontological nursing. She authored the first-of-its-kind "Handbook on Gerontological Nursing," which was widely used by universities across the nation. Ever the adventurer and world traveler, B spent a sabbatical working with a World Health Organization conducting health assessments in post-war Vietnam and riding motorcycles into the jungle. B later received the Governor's Certificate of Merit for Service from the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging for her life's work. In 2007 ASU, honored her legacy by founding the Bernita Steffl Professorship in Geriatric Nursing. Bernita is preceded in death by her parents and two of her siblings. She is survived by one sister, Genevieve Steffl McCabe of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, as well as seven nephews and nieces: Jim (Deb), Pat (Brenda), Jean (Kevin Wilson), Dan (Brenda), Tom (Kate), Mary (Kevin Sutherby), Joanne (Peter McCranie), many great nieces and nephews, and a cadre of friends and students, all of whom were blessed to have had B touch their lives with her kindness, compassion, and generosity. In order to allow everyone who so dearly loved B to attend, a memorial service will be held in mid July. For more information on the service, you may email her nephew Jim at BSteffl@yahoo.com. Donations in B's honor may be made to the B Steffl Professorship in Geriatric Nursing at ASU.
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 1, 2016
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