Charles Joseph Steffen

April 15, 2013

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Charles Joseph Steffen of Roanoke, Virginia died peacefully at his home on April 15, 2013 at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife of 60 years and neighborhood sweetheart, Patricia Kasper Steffen; daughter, Debra S. Clark, and grandchildren, Steffen and Sara; daughter, Nancy S. Via and husband Gary, and grandchildren, McKenzie and Logan; brother, Wallace, of Avon Lake, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Marie Sullivan, of Trinity, Florida and Marjorie Eglett, of Westminster, California; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Charles J. Steffen, Sr. and Mildred Newcomb Steffen. A graduate of Cleveland public schools, he became employed by Nickel Plate Railroad. Military service was in the Army 8th Air Force, the 339th fighter Group in Britain, during WW II as a P-51 Mustang fighter plane crew chief and inspector. Returning to Cleveland from the war, he rejoined the Nickel Plate Railroad as a secretary and traveled widely. Charlie completed transportation management courses at Columbia University, Northwestern University and Virginia Western College before moving upward in the marketing department of the railroad. In 1966, Norfolk and Western Railroad transferred the family to Roanoke, and after 42 years of railroad service, he retired in 1983. He remained a railroad hobbyist throughout his life. He was an avid golfer, boater and fisherman, and enjoyed photography and gardening. His war experiences led him to become an aviation enthusiast, and to acquire his private pilot's license. He was an accomplished accordion player in his younger years. During their retirement years, he and Pat traveled extensively to points around the globe, and divided their time between their homes in Roanoke and Punta Gorda, Florida. He was a long time member and past president of the 339th Fighter Group Association of WWII, a former member of Blue Hills Country Club, Punta Gorda Country Club, Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, the American Legion and BPO Elks. Services will be at the graveside in Evergreen Burial Park at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013. The Rev. Ronald Morris will officiate. Friends may call at Oakey’s South Chapel on Brambleton Ave. from 6 to 8 P.M. on Friday, April 19, 2013. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Carilion Hospice or the American Lymphoma Society.