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Robert H. Steuck, 88, of La Crosse, Wis., passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at his home.
Robert Herman Steuck was born on April 25, 1931, in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of Herman and Rose (Harris) Steuck and younger brother to Jane. He married Joan Elizabeth Hickey on January 28, 1978, in Belleville, Wis.
After graduating from Bay View High School, Milwaukee, in 1949, Robert moved to La Crosse to attend college, not realizing at the time that it would become his permanent residence. Favorite student memories include curling and traveling to Tampa, Fla., in 1951, wearing #44 for the Shrine Cigar Bowl.
Robert graduated from the then Wisconsin State University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science (Physical Education). In 1954 he earned his Master of Science (Health Education) from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. At this time, Robert took a break from academia for military service from 1954-1956 at the Logistical Command Post, Fort Lee, Virginia.
After military service, Robert returned to his alma mater, the now University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, in 1956 to begin his career in education. A life-long learner, Robert studied Counseling and Guidance in 1957 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and earned his Doctor of Education from the then Colorado State College, Greeley, Colo., in 1963. “Doc” Steuck, as known to his students, enjoyed a career at UW-L that continued until his retirement in 1993.
Achievements as professor at the university, 1956-1993, include spearheading the development of the Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation majors; coordinating efforts to establish a Military Science Department (ROTC) in 1969; creation of the Doc Steuck Special Project Award; and publication of the “Activity Program Fun for You” book in 1983. In 1997 he was awarded the university’s Excellence Award.
Robert’s love for La Crosse wasn’t confined to the university. He served as President and District 625 Conference Chairman for the Rotary Club of La Crosse in 1969 and 1979. He was Executive Director for the Downtown La Crosse Business Association from 1979 to 1980 and sat on the board for the Greater La Crosse Chamber of Commerce.
With as much time and energy spent at his beloved UW-L and in the community, Robert was also extremely proud of his family, acting as coach, chauffeur and cheerleader for his six children. He is remembered fondly for his Yabba Dabba Doo battle cry, whether appropriately shouted or not at sporting events and even graduation ceremonies.
Survivors include his wife, Joan; children Holly (Ben) Gerling, Kelly Hendershot, Robert (Janissa Muller), Joseph (Lisa Szela, fiancée), James and Mary (Jacob Knorr, fiancé); and grandchildren Benjamin, Morghan and Keegan Gerling.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Herman and Rose and son-in-law Justin Hendershot.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 28, 2019, at Mary Mother of the Church Parish, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse, Wis., with Military Honors to follow Performed by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post No. 52. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with burial to be held at Crucifixion Cemetery, La Crescent, Minn. Family and friends may also visit from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the church on Thursday, June 27, 2019, beginning with a rosary prayer service.
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