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Wayne Ed Steerman


1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Wayne Ed Steerman Obituary
Wayne Ed Steerman

Marion - Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Helen Steerman, Wayne Ed Steerman is survived by his sister, Kathy Shaffstall of St. Louis, MO, and his many friends who allowed Ed to stay in his home until his death, including the friendships he developed with the volunteers from Meals on Wheels.

Ed was born in Harrisburg, PA, March 30, 1941, and the family later moved to Marion, Ohio. He graduated from Harding High School in 1959.

He loved the outdoors and early on had a deep interest in butterflies, and later on became an avid collector with knowledge of the trees and plants that attracted them. Over the years he built a major collection, and in 1996 he donated the collection to Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, his undergraduate alma mater.

He studied music at Heidelberg and Ohio State Universities, and after graduating with a music degree in choral and instrumental, he taught in schools in Ohio and Idaho.

Ed was a lead tenor in the Stuart Churchill Chorale. Churchill, who performed with Fred Waring 's Pennsylvanians, mentored Ed in the continued growth of his voice after arriving at Lewis-Clark State College, where Ed followed Churchill in the music position.

Ed played a wide variety of instruments with local bands, including the Gentlemen of Note, where he was a bass player. He thoroughly enjoyed watching thousands dance to the big band music he loved to play. Ed also spent a number of years playing in the orchestra pit for the Lewiston Civic Theatre. He also worshiped and sang in the choir at Lewiston's Congregational Presbyterian Church. Ed was a strings teacher at Lewis-Clark State College and the Lewiston School District No 1.

In 1970, he received an assistantship in music education at the University of Wyoming, where he discovered the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, NE. Ed became involved in a host of mountain man living history clubs. He was an avid canoeist, excelled in making bows and arrows, and crafted re-creations of Native American beadwork. During the summers he was a ranger on the staff of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. He cultivated long-term friendships with members of the Nez Perce Tribe, with whom he interacted and from whom he learned many interesting skills, including the tanning of hides.

He collected fur-trade era firearms and loved to discuss them and show them to friends. Long a member and admirer of the Museum of the Fur Trade, Ed had donated several significantly historic items to the museum, and they are on display there. In 2006 the museum named the center hall as "The Steerman Hall of Firearms."

Ed passed away Dec. 3, 2017, and a celebration of his life was held June 6, 2018, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Clarkston. Scholarships have been established in his name at Heidelberg, Ohio State, and Lewis-Clark State College.
Published in the Marion Star on Sept. 14, 2018
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