|Stephan Edward Oestreicher, Sr., 64, 1583 Prestwick Drive, passed away at 10:15 p.m. Monday, October 12, 2009 in his home surrounded by his family.
Steve was born January 30, 1945 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to Alfred Oestreicher and Margaret Koblitz. He graduated from Aquinas High School in 1963 and married Betsy Ross on May 9, 1964 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
A man of strong faith, Steve supported the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and most recently St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Galesburg. He and his family lived in many communities throughout the country, while he pursued his 35 year railroad career. A supervisor dedicated to his men, Steve retired from his position as Superintendent of Operations at the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad in 1998, filling his life with his family, friends, and travel.
He was an avid traveler and camper, guiding his family and friends on numerous driving tours and achieving his life-long dream of seeing all of the continental United States as well as Alaska. He saw God in everything and would even stargaze with his kids lying on a picnic table in the middle of Utah. Steve maintained his sense of humor and positive outlook on life even through the most difficult times and put others before himself in all areas of his life.
The man who loved to travel has made his last journey and is safe at home with the Lord.
He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and four children, Al (Michele) of Spokane, Washington, Betty (Stephen) Neale-Oestreicher of St. Louis, Missouri, Chris (Laura) of Galesburg, and Steve Jr. (Salima) of Arlington, Virginia; nine grandchildren Joe, Sarah, Paul, Nicholas, Jessica, Oscar, Christopher, Megan, and Kate; one sister Mary (Darol) Burge of Washburn, Iowa, one brother Mike of Sparta, Wisconsin; one brother-in-law Bill Gianoli of La Crosse, and one sister-in-law Carlene Oestreicher of La Crosse, and many, many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Margaret; four sisters Arlyne, Sally, Katie, and Betty; four brothers Jimmy, Fritz, Paul, and Joe.
Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, celebrated by Fr. William Miller and Deacon Jim Haneghan. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Watson Funeral Home, with the rosary being prayed at 8 p.m. Private family burial will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to St. Patrick's St. Vincent DePaul Society.