1926 – 2009, Rest in Peace
9-minute slide show (The slide show starts with short video from his 80th Birthday three years ago -- and then continues with pictures from throughout Harvey's life. If you have some trouble with buffering in the short video at the start of the slide show, let it play through once and then hit replay.)
Who was Harvey Stegman?
by John, Leo and Chuck Stegman
Some of you know him as a member of the Stegman family from Plains Kansas. Harvey was one of 18 children. The Stegman family grew up in a small two-bedroom farm home. The boys slept in a barn with no heat, even on cold Kansas nights. The Stegman siblings remained close throughout their lives, and were always there for each other in times of need. They made many contributions to the world, in a variety of areas including serving God as a priest or nun, military service, medicine, education, and politics, to name a few. Harvey’s mother was widely known in Plains Kansas. You could address a letter to “Mom; Plains, Kansas” and it would be delivered to her. Harvey and his brothers and sisters brought more than 70 of their own children into the world.
Some of you may know Harvey as the fun-loving young man with a sense of humor who enjoyed cars, partying, was not afraid of a fight, and owned his own restaurant/bar called “Harv’s Tavern.” One story Harvey told about this time involved a patron who would repeatedly come in, order a beer, and pull out a hundred dollar bill to pay, knowing Harvey didn’t have that much change. But one day Harvey surprised him. After the man pulled out his hundred dollar bill, Harvey gave him his change – all in pennies. Also as a young man, he served in the Navy during World War II and met and married his first wife, Mary.
Some of you may know Harvey as a neighbor from Vanguard Drive, north of Denver, where he and his second wife, also named Mary, lived for about 40 years and raised my brothers and me. Dad had a lot of love for his neighbors and kept in touch with many of them even after he moved away after Mary’s death in 2001.
Some of you may know Harvey as a neighbor from Kingston Court in nearby Highlands Ranch where he has lived since 2001. Dad became very close to his new neighbors, and had great love for them. He enjoyed cooking and would often make meals and bring them to his neighbors. He was famous for his Christmas treats of peanut brittle, fudge and cookies, which he would give to friends and neighbors. Dad’s Highlands Ranch neighbors were very special people. They were extremely kind to him. They would shovel his walks when it snowed, trim his hedges, invite him to birthday parties, take care of his dog and pick up his mail when he went on vacations, and best of all, just drop by to visit with him.
Some of you may know Harvey from Coors, where he worked as a Purchasing Agent for many years. Dad bought parts for the machines to make the cans. Coors was very good to Dad and his family and he maintained a life-long loyalty to Coors. Many of you recall the green “Coors Profit Makers” jacket he wore throughout his later life. His friends knew that if they offered him any beer besides Coors Light, he would playfully give them a hard time about it. His job at Coors was very social, and he enjoyed going to lunch with the various vendors he worked with. He remained lifelong friends with many of them.
Some of you were lucky enough to know Harvey as a father, uncle, or grandfather. Harvey and his wife Mary raised three sons: John, Leo and me – Chuck. Dad was a loving and devoted father – a rock – who was always there for his family. His generosity, support, and loyalty were without limit. The last thing he wanted to communicate before he went to be with God was how proud he was of his sons. When I enlarged the family with Russ and again when Leo enlarged the family and married Angela, Harvey was delighted. And he happily took on the role of grandfather to Angela’s daughters: Jessica and Nicole. Dad was very proud of Angela, Jessica, and Nicole, and talked about them often. Dad also had close relationships with many of his nieces and nephews, and had great love for them.
Some of you knew Harvey as a member of the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus as a young man in Kansas, and met life-long friends there. He met my mother at a Catholic dance. He was an usher in the various churches he attended for most of his adult life. He attended mass at least weekly throughout his life, except for rare occasions when he was seriously ill. Since he moved to Highlands Ranch in 2001, he has attended St. Thomas More.
Harvey made life-long friends through all these avenues and more. He loved deeply and people from the many parts of his life are here today. Dad was many things to many people: champion of the games of cribbage, blitz and Mexican train; a man with an endless appetite for watching Western movies; a great cook; a die-hard Broncos fan; a loyal and generous friend in times of need; a kind, patient and tolerant man with great sense of humor who enjoyed having a good time. But no matter how you knew him, there are some things about him that you could not help but notice. Dad was a humble, good and generous man of integrity. He was faithful in marriage, and a devoted husband. His first wife died of Multiple Sclerosis after about one year of marriage. Dad lovingly cared for her during her illness. He also cared lovingly for his second wife, my mother, through the last 15 years of her life when she endured many health problems, including a broken hip, a leg amputation, and battles with cancer. After hearing Harvey’s life story, including how he cared for his wives, Tiki, the daughter of one of Harvey’s nieces, asked him how he was able to deal with his many life challenges. He responded in his usual quiet way with “When you’ve got a job to do, you just need to do it.”
Thank you all for coming here today to honor Harvey. Your support and love in general and especially during the past nine weeks was much appreciated by Harvey and all of us. Harvey said Thursday that it was time for him to “ride into the sunset.” He liked to sing western songs and one of his favorites was a sad song “When the Work’s all Done This Fall.” It was about a cowboy who longed to return to his home and family in the fall, after the seasonal cowboy work was done.
Well, Harvey your work is all done this fall. You can go to your true home for a well deserved rest and eternal reward. We know you are in heaven now with your loved ones who have gone before. And, knowing your giving nature, all of us here on earth who knew you now have a new guardian angel in their lives.
God bless you, and thank you.
Downloads & Links
Harvey's recipe for Quick Cheese Pockets (an old family tradition...but faster)
Eulogy (in Adobe's .pdf format -- if you don't already have it, download the free reader here)
Download the 620 megabyte slideshow/movie that is above (on YouTube) by RIGHT-clicking on this link and then picking "Save Target As..." (in .mpg format) Begins with a clip from his 80th Birthday party three years ago and the has pictures from throughout his life set to music.
Lyrics to Bruce Springsteen song called The Last Carnival
Lyrics to Sarah McLachlan song called I Will Remember You
These capture the feelings of many on this occasion.
And if you want to hear a version of one the songs he loved to sing, which is referenced in the Eulogy, here it is sung by Cowboy Slim Rinehart: When the Work's All Done This Fall.