Richard Steenbergen


Richard Steenbergen  SM-2C  C Division 1944-1946 - - Submitted 4/2/11

STEENBERGEN -- Richard "Dick" Steenbergen, age 86, of Wyoming, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, March 25, 2011. He was preceeded in death by his son, Larry Steenbergen; granddaughter, Kelly Kopera; and daughter-in-law, Jennifer Steenbergen. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 64 years, marge; children, Gregory Steenbergen, Richard A. (Nancy) Steenbergen, Janice (Steenbergen) Scott, Mark (Kimberly) Steenbergen; 14 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Joyce Steenbergen; sister, Gertrude Prins; brother Harold (Doris) Steenbergen; and many nieces and nephews. Dick proudly served our country as a member of the US Navy during WWII in the Pacific Theater. Funeral services will be held 11:00a.m. on Tuesday at Beverly Reformed Church, 2141 Porter Street, Wyoming with Rev. Eildert D. Zwart officiating. Interment at Grandville Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet the family Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home, (Grandville) 4145 Chicago Drive. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Comments of Noah Joyner at Services for Richard

Marge, children, family and friends, we share in this your time of sorrow.

I am Noah Joyner from North Carolina: My journey in life with Richard began over sixty-seven years ago during WWII. We served together in the Navy. We were both signalmen on the same ship. We were blessed to survive the last two naval battles in the Pacific, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

In 1946 we were both released from the Navy, lost contact and eventually got married. We both began families, he continued in civilian life and I chose to make a career in the Army. I served during the Korean Conflict into the early years of the Vietnam War. I retired to my home state (NC) and one day Richard contacted and asked that Jane and I join he and Marge at their vacation cottage in the mountains of Tennessee. How could we refuse, it had been forty years.

Marge and Jane had family and home to talk about, Richard and Noah had navy and the war. A ships reunion was planned and the USS Estes AGC-12 came back to life. For the next 24 years our wives, Marge and Jane, helped plan, execute and attend our annual reunions. We couldn't have managed without them.

After our 2009 reunion, one designed, to allow all of Richard and Marges family to attend in Grand Rapids, the announcement was made that a new leader would be sought to allow Richard and Noah time for a well deserved rest.

Richard was more than a partner in this endeavor, we both needed a rest. Marge and Jane had helped us serve our shipmates for twenty-four years. After our chaplain died in 2000, Dick had taken over those duties. This association is blessed with so many wonderful people.

I will now communicate the passing of Richard to all of our members and friends. We will share the family burden of sorrow, there will be a void in our lives that our Savior will heal in time. May God bless Richard, Marge, family and this gathering. We give praise to our Savior for giving us such wonderful friends. Richard now joins those departed members of our country's "Greatest Generation." Amen.

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