Joan Steffeck

Joan Irene (Jeske) Steffeck, beloved mother, wife, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother (Gigi), friend and neighbor, peacefully entered heaven’s gates with her wings on Sept. 14, 2023, at the age of 89. Living with dementia for the last seven years of her life, Joan held fast to her love of family, faith and zest for life.

Joan was born on Nov. 25, 1933, to the late Emil and Marie Jeske. She graduated from Suring High School in 1951. After high school, she enjoyed exploring and working in Door County. Joan met her late husband, Abel Steffeck, at a dance in Spruce. They were married on Sept. 22, 1956, at Suring United Methodist Church, where she was a lifelong member. They were blessed with 56 years of marriage.

While making her house a home and raising five children, Joan also worked at Stengel’s grocery store. At election time, she served as a poll worker for the village of Suring, and she assisted her husband, Abel, with bus duties for Suring Public School. Volunteering at the local nursing home for bingo and working at the American Red Cross bloodmobile kept her active.

Joan loved taking care of others. She was known as grandma to family and friends alike. She could often be found in her kitchen, baking fresh cinnamon rolls and cookies or canning her unforgettable refrigerator pickles, which were enjoyed by many members of the Suring community. She taught her family to always make twice as much food as you think you will need for a party and have plenty of coffee, cold beverages, snacks and cookies for anyone who might stop by for a visit.

In her free time, she loved gardening, watching the birds and wildlife in her backyard, fishing and spending time with family and grand dogs. She always welcomed a trip to the casino and eating a meal out with her sister, Myrtle. Having a cup of coffee with friends at LaVerne and Gail’s Diner was a favorite weekly activity. Another passion of Joan’s was attending music and sporting events at Suring Public School. In the evenings, you could often find her curled up with a good book on the couch.

Many valuable lessons were learned from Joan during her 89 years of life. What she didn’t teach her family was how to live without her.

Joan is survived by her sister, Myrtle Jeske, of Milwaukee; five children, Leslie (Tammy) Steffeck, Lynn (Julie) Steffeck, Mark (Cindy) Steffeck, Michael (Renae) Steffeck, all of Suring, and Marsha (Gary) Krahn, of Green Lake; grandchildren, Joshua (Shyann) Steffeck, of Peshtigo, Kaitlynn (Austin) Gueths, of Shawano, and Liza Steffeck, of Antigo; great-grandchildren, Owen and Emelia Gueths and an expecting great-grandchild in February to Joshua (Shyann) Steffeck.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Abel; parents, Emil and Marie Jeske; and sisters, Janice and Jeanne Jeske.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, at Suring United Methodist Church, 404 E. Main St., from 1 p.m. until the memorial service at 3 p.m. with Pastor Dominic Petit officiating. Interment will occur at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Gruetzmacher Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a memorial donation in Joan’s honor to the Suring Area Public Library or Unity Hospice. The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to the staff of Unity Hospice and to Deb, a special friend of Joan’s, for their care and compassion shown to Joan during the last chapter of her life.