Joseph Steren, 59, of East Troy, passed quietly from the loving embrace of his family at Wheaton Franciscan Hospital in Racine on November 21, 2009, after defying the odds to survive pancreatic cancer with a magnificently optimistic spirit for nearly four years.
Joe was born in Milwaukee on August 8, 1950, to Sam and Doris (Knipsheer) Steren, who preceded him in death. He married the love of his life, Lynne, whom he continued to affectionately address as “Miss McMahon,” on June 1, 2002. Joe was tremendously proud of his daughter, Monica Steren, 19.
Joe retired from the Wisconsin State Department of Public Health on September 1, 2009, after 32 years as a Registered Sanitarian.
A true renaissance man, Joe's intellectual curiosity and relish for living led him down many avenues. He was an accomplished sportsman, a champion competitive shooter, adventurous gourmand and photographer. Joe loved rich conversation, spicy foods and flying down the road on his motorcycle with his wife or his daughter on the back.
Joe's love of history and deft research skills made him a respected amateur historian, particularly of WWII-era and military history. He collected WWII memorabilia, learning everything he could about the pieces he collected.
Joe's loving commitment to his friends and family was a delight and a constant in all aspects of his life. His gentle, genial nature was apparent to all who knew him, and he was a loyal and compassionate husband, father and friend. Joe mustered the resources to engage the disease with the same steadfastness of spirit, humor and strength of character that he brought to every pursuit. Surviving this cancer as long as he did, never giving up on living as fully as he knew how, is a testament to the good soldier he truly was.
Joe will be tremendously missed by his wife, Lynne; daughter, Monica Steren; and extended family Amanda (Steve) Peterson, Emily (Ryan) McBride, and grandchildren Mackenzie Peterson, Bryce Parrish, Lily Parrish, Taylor Peterson and Mason Peterson.
He is also survived by relatives Jeff (Mitzi) McMahon, Kass McMahon, Dolores McMahon, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Devoted felines Pywacket and Itty Bitty Kitty will never have a warmer lap to nestle in.
A celebration of Joe's life will be held on Saturday, November 28, at Spinnakers restaurant, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway in Racine. Relatives and friends will gather at 11 a.m. with a memorial celebration beginning at noon.
Memorials to the family have been suggested
Sturino Funeral Home
3014 Northwestern Ave., Racine 262-632-4479