May 2, 2019
Henry Steinke passed away peacefully at home, under the loving care of his family on May 2, 2019 after a long battle with heart disease.
Henry was born in Bohlsen Germany and moved to Canada at the age of 14 with his parents and sister. They settled in Vernon, which he chose to be his forever home. Henry became fast friends with his neighbour, Vern Grelson. Their relationship turned into a lifelong friendship and their families are forever intertwined.
Henry worked as a surveyor for the railroad, which funded his education for a Bachelor of Science degree. He worked in quality control in the Diary Industry where he met his wife Elaine whom he married in 1967. In 1973 he obtained his teaching degree and substituted for several years. Realizing a permanent teaching job in Vernon was not meant to be, he pursued other possibilities to keep his family in the home they just built on their hobby farm. He then obtained a steam engineer certification, which lead him to a custodial career working at Beairsto and Seaton schools. He retired in 1999, to continue his true passion of farming.
Henry was an intelligent, hardworking, understated, and loving man. He was a lifelong learner who loved to read and valued the importance of education. He also knew how to save a penny and worked diligently to instill this quality in his children. His parents cultivated his true passion for gardening. He spent hours in his garden and you would not find a more calloused hand or more dirt imbedded under fingernails than his. Henry also valued raising his own animals for meat and had many different types of animals on his farm over the years. If he wasn’t in the garden in the summer, he could be found in the hay field. Henry was a devoted son who loved his mother deeply and he visited her daily, helping her with anything that was needed. Henry and Elaine raised 2 amazing daughters over 30 years on their beloved farm and later welcomed 2 incredible son-in-laws into the family. In his later years, Henry cherished time spent with his precious grandchildren. He always had his big beautiful smile on and watched them with pride when they were in the room. They were everything to him and he could not have loved them more.
Henry will be missed by his wife of 51 years, Elaine; Daughters Lisa Burton and her husband Len and Laura Champigny and her husband Mike; Grandchildren Hayden, Ben, Elliot and Amelia; Sister Erika Strutynski and her husband Archie; Niece Marnie and nephew Jason along with extended family members and friends. Henry was predeceased by his parents, Henry and Elsa and infant twin brothers, Werner and Walter.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Ansdell for his compassionate care, the wonderful staff at the Vernon Square Safeway Pharmacy, and the Community Care staff who assisted Henry remaining at home until the end. Also, a sincere thank you to Southward Medical that went above and beyond to assist us at short notice and for Creative Mobility for ensuring we had the perfect wheelchair to allow for accessibility in our home.
A Celebration of Henry’s Life will be held at the Kalamalka Country Club on Friday May 10th, 2019 at 11 am, 8305 Westkal Road in Coldstream.
Cremation arrangements have been made with Bethel Funeral Chapel Ltd., 5605 27th Street, Vernon, B.C V1T 8Z5, (250) 542-1187.
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