Gerald (Jerry) Eugene Steepleton, 84, of Cedar Rapids, passed away on March 16, 2018, at the Hiawatha Care Center, his residence for the last two and a half years. Services were held at St. Pius Catholic Church on Wednesday, March 21.
He was born in Vinton, Iowa on October 2, 1933 to Mahlon (Steve) J. and Frances O. Steepleton. He was the eldest son of their eleven children and excelled in football and track, eventually earning him a place in the Hall of Fame at Vinton High School in October 2008. He graduated and later joined the 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment from October 12, 1953 to October 11, 1955 with 26 airborne jumps to his credit. He married the sunshine of his life, Colleen Virginia Reilly, on October 22, 1955 in Van Horne, Iowa. Jerry and Colleen were married 57 years. They settled in the Noelridge Park area in Cedar Rapids where he worked for Home Town Dairy and Colonial Bakery before buying his own business, Odorite of Eastern Iowa. During this time, Jerry and Colleen raised seven children while he grew his business. He made it his mission to talk to every person he would meet and share a joke and a smile.
After he retired, Jerry and Colleen enjoyed their winter excursions to Arizona, Nevada, Florida and California. His greatest joys were his grandchildren and he couldn’t stop sharing his stories about them.
Jerry and Colleen were charter members of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids and his faith was always his compass. Jerry and Colleen cofounded the St. Lukes Parent Support group for parents who have lost children to cancer. Jerry was a life member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5390, which awarded Jerry the Family of the Year award in 1978 – 79. “Ole Jer” never met a person he didn’t like. He was known for his great humor and easy going personality.
He will lovingly be remembered by his six children, Theresa Nance (TJ) Corona, CA; Rick (Michele) Cedar Rapids; Marty of Cedar Rapids; David (Jennifer) Rowlett, TX; Carol Steingreaber (Paul) Cedar Rapids and Brenda Origer (Tony) Greenwood, IN. He will be forever admired by his sixteen grandchildren; Leah, Lindsey, Ali, Tommy, Scott, Megan, Emily, Mahlon, Amanda, Jackie, Nicki, Kate, Nick, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Josie and his six great-grandchildren. He leaves behind five sisters; Carolyn Curtis, Janet Metz, Joanie Fox, Julie Wilson, and Mary Roemig; two brothers; Joseph and Patrick Steepleton; many nieces, nephews and close friends.
He is proceeded in death by his beloved wife Colleen; cherished daughter Sherri Ann; his parents Frances and Mahlon; his sister Joyce; and his brothers Steven, James, and John.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Hiawatha Care Center staff for the care, support and love they showed their father, Jerry.
In lieu of Flowers a memorial fund was established for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.