Neighbors join to help former Scout leader’s familyPublished 9:32am Thursday, October 15, 2009
EDWARDSBURG – Loving, caring, dedicated to his family and friends, Steve Dannenberg put his whole heart into anything he did, according to his wife, Sherry Dannenberg.
“Steve was a sales rep for a mobile home company in Holland, when we met. For two years we dated long distance, one weekend in Holland, one weekend in Edwardsburg. We were the best of friends. He shocked me when he proposed to me. He had bought the ring and everything without me even knowing it. He got down on one knee and asked me right in the middle of his company Christmas party.”
Steve was very active in the community. He was Assistant Scout Leader to Troop 593 and Pack 539, becoming involved when his grandson Tyler was six.
He was also a member of St. Peters Masonic Lodge. Although he hadn’t served in the Armed Forces, he was also very involved in the American Legion, as commander, and an officer in the Sons of the American Legion, both in Holland and Edwardsburg.
“He was very proud of the work they did, and he loved the flag. He helped the Scouts put out flags on the gravesites of veterans every Memorial Day,” Sherry added.
“Steve went by many names. Tyler was 18 months old when Steve became Pe-Pa. Steve never had his own kids, and loved Tyler as his own. He was also “Dink” and “Mr. Gattlenberg” to his son-in-law, Randy (Regina) Reynolds. Steve was fun. Never a dull moment. We did fun, stupid things, like the time we came back from the cabin in Branch. It should have been a 3 hour drive. It took us 9 hours to get home. We hit every garage sale and flea market between here and there.
“He had the cabin before we met. It was his favorite place. It was quiet. We used to sit around the campfire with friends. He liked to hunt, fish, canoe and four wheel. Riding the trails was a family thing. We all drove quads. Love of the outdoors even extended to mowing the yard. It took five hours to do it all because he did our house, mom’s, Gina’s and the neighbors. It was his way of relaxing.
“Steve had lung cancer. We had just sold our house and bought another in June 2008. They told him he was sick in September. He continued remodeling the house and worked the whole time, even during chemo.”
On Jan. 5, 2009, Tyler’s birthday, the doctors told him his cancer was in remission.
His excitement though was short lived. By February, the cancer had come back.
On March 31, he went to the emergency room.
“The cancer had not only come back, but spread. Neither one of us had any idea that it was so bad. Steve passed away suddenly in the emergency room at Memorial Hospital. I hadn’t even called family, because we both thought he was coming home,” Sherry said.
When he died at the age of 52, his wife put him in his American Legion uniform and put his folded up Boy Scout uniform in with him, along with Tyler’s folded Scout uniform.
“We lost our insurance when the company Steve worked for went out of business. I was working and Steve had been looking for work, even through his illness.
“I want to thank all the wonderful friends and family that stood by me during this time. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I am so grateful to everyone that has decided to have this benefit. Thank you all for your help and support,” she added.
A benefit for the family of Steven Dannenberg who died from cancer March 31, will be held on Saturday Oct. 17, beginning at 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 365, in Edwardsburg.
The event includes food, live music, raffles and an auction. Donation $5 per person. Contact: Randy and Regina Reynolds (269) 663-2176 for more information.