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Obituary: John F. Steinbeck

Published on November 8, 2017 9:49AM



John F. Steinbeck

Feb. 6, 1936 –– Oct. 24, 2017

John Fredrick Steinbeck passed away Oct. 24, 2017, in Montrose, Colo. He was born Feb. 6, 1936, in LaGrande to Fred and Ella (Engel) Steinbeck. He graduated from LaGrande High School and headed to Cal Poly University in California.

After two years, he returned to LaGrande to marry his high school sweetheart Margaret Irene Smith on June 29, 1957. Together, they raised four children in Kenai, Alaska, and Enterprise.

After he married Margaret, he went into business with his father-in-law at River Products and moved to North Powder to raise hogs for the business. In the meantime, he and Margaret also started their family.

From there, his pioneer spirit took he, Margaret and three little boys to Sitka, Alaska, where he bought a batch plant and provided concrete for sidewalks and roads for a growing community.

His work in Sitka ended and he moved to Juneau and then Kenai, where he and Margaret settled. At that time, they had one more child, a daughter.

He continued working in concrete and construction until he purchased a small grocery store in Soldotna. His retail business grew into a larger supermarket in Kenai. He was very involved in his community’s development and because of this, he was elected mayor.

After 12 years in Alaska, John sold out, packed his family up in a Winnebago and toured the entire United States for a year. After this adventure, he and his brother, Frank, bought a ranch in Enterprise. He and Margaret spent 10 years in Enterprise raising their family and making life-long friends. In their retirement, they moved to Colorado to be near their daughter.

John was preceded in death by his parents and his grandson, Payton. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret; sons Nathan (Klista), Travis (Junie), Dusty (Michelle): daughter Stacia (Chad) Greiner; eight grandchildren; brother Frank (Patty); and several nieces and nephews.

As per John and Margaret’s wishes, they will be cremated and he and Margaret will be buried together in Cove upon Margaret’s passing.


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