Robert Lewis Steenhagen was born July 11, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Abraham and Rena (VandenBroek) Steenhagen, and passed away on February 5, 2013, at the Care Center of the Northfield Retirement Community.
Bob graduated from Union High School in Grand Rapids, attended Michigan State University, then enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1942 and served in the South Pacific until the end of the war, achieving the rank of sergeant. He received the Purple Heart. Upon his discharge in October 1945, he re-enrolled at MSU, graduating with a degree in Landscape Architecture. He then joined the National Park Service, with an assignment to a regional office on the East Coast. There he met Doris Brisentine, and they were married in Richmond, Virginia, on August 2, 1952. He worked on planning, design and construction for the NPS throughout the country, ending his career as Associate Manager at the Denver Service Center, NPS in 1980. Bob’s work can be seen in many natural areas, including Colonial Parkway, the Everglades, and the Cumberland Island National Seashore.
Bob received many honors throughout his life, including inclusion in Who’s Who in America. He was an Emeritus Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects, and received the Meritorious Service Award from the National Park Service.
In retirement, Bob and Doris traveled the world. He enjoyed golf, gardening, hiking in the mountains of Colorado, and was a master builder of classic sailing ship models. Bob was a man of character, an optimist, a patriot, and a great believer in the value of service. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Doris; 3 children: Cindy and husband John McDonell of Petersburg, Alaska, Deb and husband Walt Stachon of Northfield, Jim and wife Celeste Monforton of San Marcos, Texas; 4 grandchildren: Rena and Logan McDonell, Greg and David Stachon; his sister, Arlene Schwartz of Traverse City, Michigan; his brother-in-law, Ken (Bettye) Brisentine of Prospect, Virginia; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Evelyn Martindale.
Funeral services will be 10:00 AM, Monday, February 11, 2013, at the Chapel of the Northfield Retirement Community with Rev. Donna Buell officiating. Music will be provided by Donna Paulsen. Interment with Military Honors will be in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, following the funeral luncheon. Visitation will be at the NRC Chapel on Monday one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com