Eileen Steckman, 68

Published 9:16 am Monday, October 11, 2010

In loving memory of Eileen Karen Steckman, 68, whose journey in this life ended Friday, Oct. 8, 2010.

A memorial will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Chapel. Guest book signing will be at the memorial today and one hour prior to the funeral service on Tuesday or online at www.bayviewfuneral.com. The Rev. James Berning and Deacon Mike Ellis will officiate. Interment will be at the St. Theodore’s Cemetery.

Eileen is survived by her loving husband, Ronald; adoring children: Bryan, Pamela (Joe Opatz), Kristen and Bree (Tom O’Conner); grandchildren: Sydnee, Simon, Sophia, Nicholas, Sullivan and Dashiell; sisters: Elaine Horan (Johnny Brenham) and Helen Mattila (Roger).

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Eileen was preceded in death by parents: Edward and Eva Salmela; sisters, Vivian (Earl) Maikkula and Muriel J. Kelly; and brother, Lee E. Salmela.

Eileen Karen Steckman was born Aug. 29, 1942, to Edward and Eva (Kokko) Salmela in Cokato. A devoted wife and mother, Eileen was an accomplished stained glass artisan, world traveler, great cookie baker, creative duct tape user and Jeopardy. Enthusiast and all around best mother, wife, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend ever. (We seriously LOVE her).

Eileen passes on a legacy of uncommon wisdom, pragmatism, and humor to her four children and six grandchildren, embodied by her resonating refrain, “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride, if horse chips were biscuits we’d eat ‘til we died.” Which was frankly lost on her children until the day before yesterday; except for her youngest (that’s me!).

Clearly, Eileen’s guidance, love and support are still sorely needed, however, in true Steckman form we will soldier on, THANKFUL. “Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened.” Dr. Suess