Edward Adolph SteinmannJuly 23, 1923 ~ May 6, 2017 (age 93)
Edward Adolph Steinmann, Sr., 93, of Rock Island, and formerly of Bettendorf, died Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home in Bettendorf. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Rock Island National Cemetery with military honors conducted by the American Legion Post 246 of Moline, Illinois . Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans or to the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House.
Ed was born at the family homestead in Bettendorf on July 23, 1923, the son of Waldemar P. & Ottelia K. (Kurtz) Steinmann. His mother died unexpectedly when he was 13 and his life path was thereafter forever changed. The Steinmann family were some of the first settlers of Bettendorf in the mid-1850’s, having arrived when there were 15 residents. He fondly remembered Bettendorf in the days when gypsies camped along the river and Devils Glen Park had many caves to enjoy.
As a young man he was involved in the Golden Gloves boxing program in Bettendorf, earning the moniker “Kid Cotton” because of his blonde curly hair. He was asked to turn professional, but declined.
He enlisted in the United States Navy on December 7, 1941 after the President made the call to Arms. He served as a Combat Air Crewman with Patrol Wing 2, performing patrol squadrons across the Pacific coast.
After his discharge he returned to Bettendorf, purchased two dump trucks and began his own hauling company, much of the time spent working at the original Alcoa site. Returning to skills he began at age 9 in the family business, he became a driver for Dohrn Transfer Company in Rock Island, and later ran their salvage store. He also farmed north of Mount Joy. After retirement he worked as a sergeant for Pinkerton Security.
In the 1980’s Ed purchased the West Kimberly Coin Laundry on Division Street in Davenport, repairing and maintaining the equipment himself. He sponsored the West Kimberly Coin Laundry Little League team and enjoyed speaking with his customers on a daily basis.
In the 1960’s, he was adopted into the Oglala Lakota Sioux Indian tribe in South Dakota by Chief Ben Brave Hawk. Always a proponent for the underdog, he petitioned President Lyndon Johnson to begin the government-assisted housing programs on the Indian reservations. He performed humanitarian work for approximately 30 years on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations, as well as being consulted in resolving the Wounded Knee conflict in 1973.
Remembered as a compassionate man who was devoted to his family, his advice and support will be greatly missed. “Forward Ever, Backward Never”, Ed enjoyed teaching his family about enjoying sunsets and clouds and nature in general. He was an inventor, an arborist and an artist. He was instrumental in having ramps and handrails installed at his home, the Fort Armstrong Senior Residence, after having witnessed a resident step and fall, as well as a POW flag being flown at the city offices in Rock Island.
Those left to honor his memory include his daughters, Dianna (Rod) Struss of Bettendorf, Christine (Mark) Vitosh of Leland, Illinois and Carrie Steinmann of Davenport, Iowa; his son, Dr. Edward (Lori) Steinmann of Urbandale, Iowa; six grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; his sisters, Sharon Conard of Davenport and Mary Jo Stollfuss of Poway, California; and his brother, Terrell Steinmann of Orlando, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.