In Memory

Bill Steffy

A Service in Memory of Bill Steffy

will be held on

Saturday, October 24, 2009

beginning at 1:30pm


Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church

4230 Livernois Road

(just north of Wattles Road, east side of the street)

Troy, Michigan 48098

(248) 524-9339

The service will be about an hour and a half long, followed by a light meal. Everyone is welcome!


If you are unable to attend but have some words about Bill that you would like to be shared at the service, send an email to, or post them here.


Memorial contributions in Bill’s honor can be made to any of these organizations:
-WRCJ Public Radio ( )
-War Resisters League ( )
-Gleaners Food Bank ( )
-Emerson Unitarian Univeralist Church (

For further info go to the comments made by Danny Edleman and click on the link that he has posted


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12/05/11 10:30 AM #1    

Daniel Edelman

I was sad to learn of Bill's death from lung cancer in October 2009.  See  He's survived by his wife Ann and sons Daniel and Peter.

Bill was a good friend through all our years at Southwest.  We partnered on our science project on static electricity in ninth grade, a project that still triggers nightmares for me.  Bill, a fabulous science student, made a Vandegraff generator which was a hard thing to do, but he succeeded without difficulty so far as I can recall.  I made something called an electrophorus, actually a sulfur ball, and had a very hard time. My (badly flawed) technique involved melting powdered sulfur I got at the drugstore at 50th & Penn in a saucepan on the stove in our basement.  Then I poured the melted sulfur in a spherical xmas tree ornament I'd placed in a vise (our house had two stoves but only one vise (vice?)) in the workroom.  Needless to say I broke a lot of xmas tree ornaments  in the process & made an extremely stinky mess repeatedly.  

I remember Bill with his bass clarinet in the band and on band trips such as at Minnesota state mental hospitals.  There weren't a lot of places where people wanted to hear us play, not to say they particularly wanted to hear us play at the mental hospitals. 

Bill had strong political views & he stuck to them.  In senior English we were assigned to write book reports on biographies.  Ms. Welch had each of us say who we were going to report on.   Bill proposed to report on Leon Trotsky.  Ms. Welch said, "No Bill, this time we're only going to  report on good people."  I raised my hand & said that was problematic, how were we as mere high school students to make such judgments?

Bill & I kept in touch through college in Massachusetts.  I visited him & his wonderful family in the mid 80s in Detroit where he was working as an industrial chemist.  I miss him.



08/12/12 12:17 AM #2    

Jane Yablonski (Ross)

I recall Bil linMr. Wohlford's  class.  He always gave the socialist perspective on every event we discussed.  I learned so much from him. He signed his papers Wm J. He said he didn't like the way "Bill" looked. "Too many vertical lines!" I remember him as a very kind and gentle person.  

10/26/12 07:19 PM #3    

Jo Ann Tenner (Anderson)

Bill was a very dear friend throughout junior high and high school.

We were members of Lake Harriet Methodist Church, where we attended Methodist Youth Fellowship. 

 In our youth group we were both office holders.  

 We won church scholarships to the United Nations in New York City in Oct 1961.

We were in the Southwest Junior high band together. 

We were lab partners in Physics class and spent three years in Charlie Wohlford's social studies classes.

I attended the SW Prom with Bill.

He is greatly missed.

01/10/14 11:35 PM #4    

Andrew Quirt

Bill and I were unlikely friends, he a scholar, me, a disaffected wanna-be teen hood.  We played chess, and worked on our biology note books together for Mr. Petereson's biology class, handing in mirror images, which always garnered him an A, and me, a B.  

There was an angry, sadistic side to Bill,  I remember, having a painful ingrown toenail, which, when he discovered the afliction, took great pleasure in stomping on my toe. Of course that resulted in sugery. There are several other examples this behavior which I will not document.  Still and all, he was a product of a repressive family, so I understand -- not to be confused with forgiving.

The good that men do, lives on, while he evil is oft entombed with their bones.  

Sorry,. being dead doesn't change history.


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