August 17th, 1950 to May 28th, 2020
John Steinbacher, age 69 of Laguna Niguel California, passed away peacefully from complications due to ALS Thursday, May 28th in his home.
John was born on August 17th, 1950 to Robert and Ethel Steinbacher in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the tiny village of Mackeyville, where much of his family still lives and works. Quiet, pensive, and kind, John was always exercising his mind to benefit others. After graduating high school, John went to Penn State University for his undergraduate degree and eventually earned his Master's degree from the University of Washington. Growing up, John was a quiet kid who loved to escape through reading books. He would spend hours at a time reading, writing, researching, and learning; a passion that continued throughout his life. John also enjoyed the outdoors, finding peace and solace in the mountains and by the ocean. Over the course of his life he engaged in fishing and hunting, skiing, backpacking and camping, bicycling, kayaking, and much more. John was also an avid traveler, visiting over 100 countries and six continents throughout his lifetime. He lived all over the United States but his most beloved places were California and Idaho, where he spent much of the past forty years.
In 2019, John was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Always an active man, this diagnosis was particularly devastating to John and his family. Throughout his last year, John spent much of his time focusing on the people and things that meant most to him. He spent time with his two daughters, four cats, and partner Sylvia. Up until the end, John enjoyed visiting the beach and Dana Point Harbor, always taking photos of the sunset.
Loved by many, John has a large group of family and friends that he leaves behind. He is survived by his two daughters, Alison and Sofia; his five brothers, Stanley, Robert, Wayne, Patrick, and Edward; his sister Mary; his partner Sylvia; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members. He is preceded in death by both of his parents, Robert and Ethel; his sister Cathy; and several other family members.
John will be remembered most by the small, simple, and wonderful things about him. For example, he loved classical music and jazz. He enjoyed long bike rides, backyard gardening, and hours getting lost in a book. John loved spending time with his two children. His daughters have the best memories of him from quiet rides to school every morning, planting flowers and vegetables in the backyard, help with homework, and finally cuddling up in his big chair with a book to read together. More than anything, we will remember him as a gentle, caring, smart, and compassionate person. All of these wonderful qualities that John displayed added up to such a beautiful and fulfilling life.
John will be missed dearly by those closest to him, and we can't believe we will never see his contagious smile again. In replacement of flowers or gifts, the family requests that you honor John's memory through a donation to the ALS Association. This nonprofit runs the world's leading ALS research program, provides support for care services, and advocates on the behalf of people living with ALS. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, John's service will be postponed until July or August. More details will be made available by his family in the coming weeks.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Jun. 12, 2020.