Richard Steager, age 83, of Seward, formerly of Brainard, Nebraska passed away peacefully Monday, June 7, 2021 at the Ridgewood Care Center in Seward. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, June 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Brainard with Rev. Steven Snitley, Celebrant. Committal will be at a later date. Lunch will be in the church hall immediately following Mass. Visitation will be 9 a.m. with Rosary at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning all at the church. In lieu of flowers, plants and statues, the family request memorials for future designation. Kracl Funeral Chapel in David City in charge of arrangements.
Rich was born August 30, 1937, in David City, Nebraska, to Mary (Hanus) and Louis Steager. The oldest of three boys, he was a faithful helper to his parents on the farm. He attended country school and later graduated from Brainard High School in 1955. On July 25, 1955, Rich married the love of his life, Cecelia Pekarek. Together they had seven children: Joette (Don) Novak, Vicki (Rick) Logan, Shirlee (Tag) Goldapp, Lori Comstock and Mike Decock, Ted (Nancy) Steager, Steve (Deborah) Steager, and Amy Hottovy. Rich and Cece were blessed with 21 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter.
Over the years, Rich worked a variety of jobs to support his family, but his true loves were dirt work and farming. He proudly owned Steager Construction for several years, building terraces, dams, and ponds for many in Butler county. Even when he worked nights at D&L in Columbus, he still farmed and kept livestock. If he went to the sale barn in Wahoo, his wife and kids never quite knew what he’d come home with. Rich was a lover of nature and all animals.
Rich’s favorite moments were spent polka dancing with his wife, talking cows, crops, and weather with his sons and grandsons, enjoying coffee and playing cards with the guys in Brainard, and giving his grandkids rides on the four-wheeler. He was a quiet, proud man with the most infectious grin and kind yet ornery spirit. Even the many nurses and caregivers who made his last months more comfortable fell in love with Rich’s easy-going nature and sweet smile.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, mother- and father-in-law (Joe and Betty Pekarek), son-in-law (Don Novak), son-in-law (Rick Logan), sister-in-law (Beverly Steager), brother-in-law (Joe Laughlin), sister-in-law (Tanny Pekarek), infant granddaughter (Samantha Novak) and infant grandson (Chad Steager).
He leaves behind his loving wife, children and grandchildren, brothers Ben (Donna) Steager and Jerry Steager, and a host of dear family and friends who rejoice in knowing he is now pain free, reunited with loved ones, and forever their loving guardian angel.