Alphonse J. “Al” Steiner, 79, of Chilton passed away peacefully on Jan. 6, 2020, surrounded by his family after a short battle with cancer.
He was born Aug. 13, 1940 in Charlesburg, son of the late Joseph and Pauline (Krebsbach) Steiner.
Following his graduation from high school, Al proudly served in the U.S. Army with the 32nd Red Air Division and the 127th Infantry during the 1961 Berlin Crisis. Before his discharge from the armed forces, Al married the love of his life, Frances “Fran” Meyer, on April 22, 1961 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Kiel.
Upon his honorable discharge, Al’s first job was with Hingiss Implement as their parts manager. He later moved onto Midland/Tri-County Co-op where he was the plant manager from 1967 until 1979. In 1979, Al and Fran purchased the Sugar & Spice Bake Shoppe on Main Street in Chilton and served their customers until 2000. The citizens of Chilton still miss their tasty treats to this day. Al continued his baking heritage at the Hilbert Uni-Mart from 2000 until 2005.
Al was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Chilton where he diligently served as an usher and helped in the kitchen and at church picnics while remaining prayerfully vigilant at the Perpetual Adoration Chapel and distributing communion for the Eucharistic Ministry.
Forever civic minded, Al was a member of the American Legion Post 128, often assisting with Chilton High School football game ticket sales. Al and Fran also cared for their community by frequently visiting people at the local hospital and nursing homes and driving people to appointments if they could not find a ride. Making a better life for others was seen in all he did, including the more than 22 gallons of blood he donated to local blood drives. He was a member of the Chilton Optimist Club for over 15 years. He served as secretary/treasurer for Catholic Financial Chapter 118 for more than 20 years and helped plan many of their dinners and functions. Through his efforts in the chapter, Al was named the 2009 Fraternalist of the Year. In the past, he also volunteered countless hours for the New Hope Brunch and was a former leader of the Go-Get-’Em 4-H Club in New Holstein.
Al was a lifetime member of the Chilton Eagles Club where he served as their president and vice president for more than 10 years. He was a fixture at the Eagles Hall, being the resident “Mr. Fix-It” and maintenance man whenever he was called upon for assistance. He was known for his help setting up the banquet hall for events, assisting with the Red Cross blood drives, flipping brats, organizing bingo games, printing flyers, helping with concessions and organizing volunteer work schedules. Al’s hard work and dedication with the Eagles Club was recognized when he was elected to the State of Wisconsin Eagles Hall of Fame on Sept. 13, 2014. Recognizing his devotion to his community, Al was honored by the Chilton Chamber of Commerce as the 2015 Citizen of the Year.
He loved his mornings with his 7 Angels coffee buddies, chasing a ball with his golfing groups, and wondering where the next “mystery” would be on their bus trips. But even more than his many games of sheepshead, spinning a polka on the dance floor, planting his sunflowers, and building his Pillsbury Doughboy collection, Al treasured his time with his family most of all. His gentle spirit, wonderful selfless heart, and unconditional love always will be remembered by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his true love, Fran.
Al was a man of few words, but many wonderful actions. He never really retired and always said, “I’ll be back to work.” His golden heart stopped beating, and his hard working hands are now at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.
Survivors include his wife Fran of 58 years; his children, Sharon Tipton, Karon (Craig) Weninger, Randy (Laurie) Steiner, and Brenda (Phil) Zastrow; his grandchildren, Holly (James) Gamez, Kyle (Jeni) Coffeen, Kady (Tyler) Lefeber, Jonathan and Tyler Williams, and Dylan and Claudia Zastrow; his great- grandchildren, Eli, Logan, Mason, Isabella, Brady, Olivia, Baby Lefeber, and Jeni’s children; a brother, Ralph (Alice) Steiner; and his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jeanne and Wayne Stauss, Anna Mae and Gerald Schmitz, Gerald and Sharyn Meyer, and Betty and Lee Karls.
Al was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Sylvan and Margaret (Junk) Meyer; a son-in-law, Darrell Tipton; and a brother, Melvin (Caroline) Steiner.
Friends may call at Wieting Family Funeral Home, 411 W. Main St. in Chilton from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14 with a vigil prayer service at the close of Tuesday’s visitation. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, visitation will continue at Wieting Family Funeral Home from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 54 E. Main St. in Chilton with the Rev. Jon Thorsen officiating. Burial will be in the St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Chilton. Memorials have been established in Al’s name to Good Shepherd Catholic Church and to Chilton Area Catholic School.
Al’s family would like to thank Fr. Jon, Deacon Randy Jaekels, Deacon Dennis Bennin, and all the family and friends who visited and offered their prayers and support. They would also like to thank Wieting Family Funeral Home for their assistance during this difficult time. A special thank you goes to the doctors and nursing staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Ascension Calumet Hospital in Chilton, and the caring and compassionate nurses and staff at Calumet County Hospice. Good Bye My Love.