George O. Steenhard, 88, of Rockwell, IA, died Friday, March 20, 2015, at the Rockwell Nursing Home, where he had been a resident since July 2010. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, March 23, 2015, at the Rockwell United Methodist Church, 303 Monroe Street, with Rev. Travis Stevick officiating. Visitation will be from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at the Rockwell United Methodist Church. Interment will take place in the Rockwell Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by the Rockwell Legion. George Otto Steenhard was born June 27, 1926, near Chapin, IA. He was born on the family farm and was the youngest of seven born to Joe & Gesina (Dannen) Steenhard. He was educated in the rural schools in Chapin. George was 7 years old when his parents were killed in a car accident. The seven children farmed together for a year when George went to live with his Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Abe Meints of Thornton. He later lived with his brother Dirk and Molly Steenhard of Sheffield. At the age of 11 he lived and worked for several families one of them being Ted Mollenbeck of Sheffield. After finishing 8th grade he quit school and worked for $5 a month because he thought that was worth more than an education. In February of 1944, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Navy. He served aboard the Destroyer Escorts USS Austin and USS Wantuck in the Aleutian Islands of the South Pacific during WWII. He was honorably discharged in May 1946. On October 16, 1946, he married Merle Hopkey at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA. They made their home in the Alexander area where they worked for Joyce Boelman. In 1948, determined to live his dream of being a farmer, he started farming with his brother John. They farmed together for one year. George then rented farm ground from Retta Dunning and later purchased the farm. They moved into Rockwell in 1980 and retired from farming in 1991. He is survived by his wife of 68 years: Merle Steenhard of Rockwell; 2 daughters: Vicky (David) Klang of Clear Lake, IA, and Debra (Tom) Weaver of Dougherty, IA; and 1 son: Gary (Darla) Steenhard of Rockwell. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; 5 brothers; and 1 sister.
Interment will take place in the Rockwell Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at the Rockwell United Methodist Church.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, March 23, 2015, at the Rockwell United Methodist Church, 303 Monroe Street, Rockwell, IA.