Steinbrugge, John Max
November 8, 1923 - July 20, 2013
We celebrate the life of John Steinbrugge, who was a prominent Orange County businessman for over 50 years. John was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1923 to Henry and Marie Steinbrugge. He was the third son of four children, and moved to Portland in 1925. He attended Llewellyn Grade School, Washington High School and Oregon State University, majoring in Civil and Structural Engineering. During these years he demonstrated his outstanding mathematical ability, with Honor Roll and scholarship recognition.
, as an 18 year old, John joined the Navy and became a meteorological officer and was sent to UCLA
to become a weather forecaster. He became an Ensign at Notre Dame Midshipman's School and was an officer before he was 21. He was the top student at UCLA out of 160 students studying meteorology. He served at the Miami and Bermuda Naval Air stations until the war ended. John stayed in the Naval Reserve after the war and eventually became a Lt. Commander. He retired from the Reserves after 20 years.
After graduation from Oregon State, John started his career in Southern California designing buildings for earthquakes. During his career, he worked at firms that did the structural engineering for the Seattle Space Needle, the Palm Springs tramway, and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. In 1962, John opened his own structural engineering firm in Newport Beach, CA, where at its peak, he employed 30 engineers. He evolved from being a technical engineer to a problem solving business person.
John truly enjoyed hiking in the mountains, and climbed all of the local Southern California Mountains, many of them over 10,000 feet. John was 80 when he retired and moved back to Oregon to be near his two daughters and their families. He explored many of the trails in Forest Park, and it was not unusual for him to walk 5 miles daily. He also enjoyed reading and discussing American History and was a collector of Lewis and Clark's adventures. He often read 30-50 books a year.
He believed in giving back to the community. He had been very active in his church in California, as well as being on the Board of Directors of the Orange County YMCA and the Golden West College Foundation.
John will be remembered by his never ending desire for integrity, ethics and hard work. His ability to apply good judgment and common sense necessary in the engineering field and in everyday living is what brought him success. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Norma; his daughters and son-in-laws, Laura and Dennis Winkelman and Karla and Robert Piatt; grandchildren, Kristina and Tyler Lekas and Makaila Fant; and sister, Margaret Steinbrugge.
Please join us for a Celebration of Life memorial service on August 24, 2013 at 11:00am at Sunset Presbyterian Church at 14986 NW Cornell Rd, Portland 97229.