Donald Steinberg, 90, was born in Toledo, Ohio on August 12, 1922, to Sarah and Julius Steinberg and grandson of Rabbi Isaac Shapiro, the first orthodox Rabbi in Toledo. He was the youngest of eleven children and is survived by his brother, Raymond Steinberg of Phoenix, Arizona and his sister, Belle Swartz of Toledo, Ohio.
Dr. Steinberg attended Fulton School and Scott High School where he achieved excellent academic honors while participating in football, basketball, baseball and track. Following high school, he played football for The Ohio State University in 1942, 1943 and 1945, the latter year while attending Medical School at Ohio State.
He played on the 1942 OSU National Championship team coached by Paul Brown. Dr. Steinberg became the de-facto historian for that team and published a book, "Expanding Your Horizons-The Greatest Collegiate Football Team" chronicling not only the accomplishments of the team on the field that year, but, more importantly, their post-football achievements as many became leaders in their fields of work. While playing football, Dr. Steinberg was 2nd Team All-Conference at End in 1942 and was the Big Ten Scholar Athlete in 1945.
One of his proudest moments was when Coach Jim Tressel gave the remaining living members of the 1942 team National Championship rings with the 2002 champs. Dr. Steinberg's book served as a catalyst for the team in 2002 as it was required reading for the team and he addressed the team twice during their championship run. Coach Tressel remarked, "Dr. Steinberg will go down in my mind as a difference maker extraordinaire."
His athletic accomplishments were rewarded by induction into the Toledo City League Hall of Fame in 1987, the Scott High School Hall of Fame in 1986, the Jewish Community Center Hall of Fame in 1995, as well as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Intercollegiate Hall of Fame in 1989.
Following his graduation in 1946, he served his country as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado and then completed his Residency in General Surgery at Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn, New York from 1949-1954. While there, he was an instructor in Surgery. In 1954, he returned to Toledo practicing General Surgery until 1990 when he retired. His research in treatment of generalized peritonitis gained international recognition in three publications. He also implemented and served as Medical Director of the colon cancer screening, Northwest Ohio Heme-Occult Program at Riverside Hospital. This program also gained national recognition as it was in many publications as well as being featured twice on Dr. Art Ulene's segment of the Today Show.
Besides his countless professional achievements, Dr. Steinberg was extremely involved in the community leading the amalgamation of three orthodox synagogues into the current Etz Chayim synagogue on Woodley Road where he served as President for ten years.
Family was everything to Dr. Steinberg. He married Lois Treuhaft in 1953 and was blessed with three sons, Steven, James and Daniel. Unfortunately, James passed away at age five of a congenital heart defect and his wife Lois passed in 1968 at age 43 from Breast Cancer. He then met his soul mate, Janet Green Ertis and they married in 1971 and enjoyed 41 wonderful years together. Janet has two daughters, Laurie and Stephanie. Their families gelled together and all four children have had very successful careers led and inspired by their parents. Between the four, they have sixteen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren.
Dr. Steinberg is survived by his loving wife, Janet; sons, Steve (Beth) of Columbus, Ohio, Dan (Linda) of Toledo, Ohio; daughters, Laurie (Morris) of University Heights, Ohio, and Stephanie (Mark) of Merrick, New York, sixteen loving grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to extend a special thanks and gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at the University Of Toledo Medical Center for their fabulous care for him over the last two months as well as to the Staff of Hospice of Northwest Ohio (Perrysburg) for giving him his comfort and dignity for the last few days of his life. Donations in honor of Dr. Steinberg can be made to Congregation Etz Chayim or Hospice of Northwest Ohio. Arrangements by Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home (419-535-5840).
Published in Toledo Blade on Oct. 30, 2012