Friday, October 06, 2006

Jim, we want a do-over

Left: Bill Nigro, Mike Riley , Greg Dunn and Jim Steinbach.

If ever a person existed who lived to give to others, it was Jim Steinbach. Jim didn’t just touch someone’s life, he made an impact.

If you knew Jim for very long, sooner or later you were going to get one of his famous early morning calls. He got up before the crack of dawn and probably paced waiting for the first glow of sunlight so he could call his target at a “decent” hour. Sometimes he would almost be mid-sentence before who ever he woke from a deep sleep registered what he was enthusiastically saying.

He would usually start out with some variation of “I need you to do something for me.” The “for me” always, always somehow actually meant “for someone else.” It might be a person he’d met in the grocery line who was having difficulty with a broken pipe, or a member of his church who couldn’t solve a problem, or a retired soldier who needed a visit.

Oftentimes it was for help on one of his big projects. He worked tirelessly to get Fayette Senior Services a new home. He worked selflessly to get “his” candidates elected. Those at St. Matthews Catholic Church know how he devoted so much to his faith and his church.

Most of us will never know how many people he impacted and how much we have to thank Jim Steinbach for doing.

Jim went through a lot physically over the past many years. He had a hip replacement, had a stroke, and had a myriad of lesser physical problems that would have most of us sitting in a rocking chair. In early 2005 we came within a hair’s breadth of losing him when his aorta burst. He was supposed to slow down, and he did. Instead of whirling around like Superman in super turbo speed, he slowed down to ten times the normal speed of most.

If Jim wanted something done and he thought you could help him do it, you could run, but you couldn’t hide! He was a bulldog who kept digging until he found the right person to do what HE needed done.

Jim was even bigger than his giving though. He was sharp with a keen sense of right and wrong. He kept up with the happenings of the world and was a veracious reader. He loved his computer and used it as a tool to – you guessed it – help and educate others. Phone calls from Jim in the morning, faxes in the afternoon and emails in the evening were just a matter of course. He was witty and had a great sense of humor.

Somehow, amidst all he did for others, he found time for nurturing his relationship with his wife, Ellen and their family. He was a loyal friend and knew what true friendship was all about. He golfed until his health made him slow down. He worked out at the gym and kept in good physical shape.

He was a member of the Fayette Metro Kiwanis and was always the first to volunteer to go for training, to sign up to help at an event or to head a committee.

Right now the world is out of kilter and it is going to take some time for it to begin to right itself. Jim Steinbach is no longer walking the earth in the flesh and many, many – more than can ever be counted – are going to miss those early morning phone calls, those visits and his caring.

Jim, we want a do-over. There are just too many who are going to miss you and too many things that need a proud old soldier's attention.

Just a quick note to all who will join Jim in heaven in the future: He’s already in the process of reorganizing things to make them more efficient, so just know it’s going to be better than it was before he signed on for duty with the angels.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Fayette Senior Services or to Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore. Parrot Funeral Home is handling the arrangements with services and viewing to be held at St. Matthews Catholic Church, Tyrone. A family-style luncheon will be held in Jim’s honor after the service on Tuesday.

If you’re a friend and would like to do something to help, please know the church has the food situation pretty much under control through Tuesday. Help is needed with food for the after-service luncheon. If you are a member of St. Matthews please contact Lisa Shupenus,, if you’d like to find out what is needed. If you are NOT a member of St. Matthews and would like to help, please email Janet Dunn, or call 770-631-9630.
Photos 2, 3 & 4:
2. Jim decorating his truck for the 4th of July parade in Peachtree City.
3. Eating breakfast during a break from working at the annual Metro Kiwanis fund-raising pancake breakfast in Fayetteville.
4. Checking out the Easter bunny's basket at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast.

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