Craig Allen Steffen of Spring Valley departed this life unexpectedly on August 22, 2016. He was 56 years young. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 32 years, Cindy (Pacura) Steffen. Craig and Cindy were about to embark on a year-long Peregrinatio, a Celtic word that refers to the pilgrimage of “leaving one's homeland and wandering for the love of God.” Craig no longer wanders and has found that great Love. Cindy remains behind to cherish his love and find her new purpose and “place of resurrection” in life. In a sense, Peregrinatio was a subtext for Craig’s life. He was born June 26, 1960. He and two other siblings were placed in the Annie Whitenmeyer Home of Davenport, Iowa, when he was two years old. He was adopted by Morris and Flora Steffen (both deceased) of Cumberland Iowa, along with his sister, Theresa. As a teenager, Craig took a one-way pilgrimage to Ohio to help begin a home church with his good friend, Rennes Bowers, a man who helped shape him personally and spiritually, and remained as close as a brother until the end. Craig was a devoted friend and lover of Jesus, always seeking to find His pure truth and wisdom. He came to understand that loving God is not about what you believe, but about how loving and wise you become, and what good fruit you bring to the world because of your relationship with the Creator. Because of this, Craig’s kind, open heart and sharp mind naturally made him a friend and mentor to many. He named his strategic marketing company, Paraclete Consulting. Paraclete, an ancient word used to refer to the Spirit, means “to come alongside to help and encourage.” That is Craig. Craig and Cindy had an amazing partnership and marriage. They loved their nature sanctuary home, good film, good food, traveling, talking politics and theology, continuously building harmony in their marriage, and adding many German shepherds to their lives over the years. Together they were leaders in churches, taught Marriage Maintenance groups, began a retreat center for women and hosted hundreds of gatherings at their homes in order to fulfill their desire to “refresh the hearts of the saints.” As a baseball enthusiast, Craig’s passion for the Orioles (yes, an Iowan who loved the Orioles) took him regularly to Baltimore to watch games, or to play in the Orioles’ Fantasy Camps in Florida. He discovered several wonderful friendships through this interest, which allowed him occasional fun and stress-free time away from home and routine. He also played baseball for the Dayton Ducks until he decided to quit while on top at 50. As a business man, Craig was a visionary and innovator. Working with his most recent client, The Wright Brother’s Institute, he led strategy, marketing and technology commercialization projects for a broad variety of clients, in order to help build the Dayton region’s economy. For several years he wrote monthly strategic marketing columns for the Dayton Business Journal. Craig served as an adjunct professor in the Indiana Wesleyan University MBA program. He had been board chair for two non-profit organizations, Good Works, Inc. (Athens, OH) and the AS ONE Network (Dayton, OH). Craig was also a 15-year member of the Dayton Rotary, which he valued as a great networking and philanthropic organization. Craig was a graduate of Antioch University with both a Bachelor’s degrees in Management and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management. After graduation he worked at Yellow Springs Instruments (YSI) and Ohio Willow Wood in Mt. Sterling, OH. Craig’s last pilgrimage focused on searching for “his tribe,” eventually discovering his biological family. This five-year journey is outlined in his acclaimed memoir, A Family Apart, Sleuthing the Mysteries of Abandonment, Adoption and DNA. One of the great joys of the past two years was finding and getting to know his biological father, Richard Nolta of Fort Dodge, Iowa, his grandmother, Helen Nolta
(deceased) of State Center, Iowa, and a new brother and sister. This journey gave great closure and healing to his life. Craig’s life is still filled with family and friends whom he loved and who love him. The last sentence on the jacket of Craig’s memoir reads, “We journey forward without fear.” Craig speaks prophetically and comforts us all with these words. Siblings: Ken Steffen (Rose) of Omaha, Nebraska, Theresa Jackson (Rick) of Griswold, Iowa, Ricky Steffen (deceased) of McMinnville, Oregon, Suzie (Nolta) and Bill Eckart of Kansas City, Missouri and David Nolta (Cindy) of Badger, Iowa. Aunts & Uncles: Kenneth & Helen (deceased) of Port Angeles, WA. New Aunts & Uncles: Barb (Robertson) & Dale Easton of Branson, Mo. and Sherrie (Robertson) & Steve Smith of Nevada, IA. Nieces and Nephews: Cindy (Pacura) & Marty Davids and son Jacob. Elizabeth Pacura-Nyberg and Adam Nyberg, Naomi Pacura and son, Jordan, Matthew Pacura, Dylan Pacura, Titus, Travis, and Tyler Jackson and Kerri Hayes. Special nieces and nephews, Sarah (Holihan) Smith, Rebekah (Holihan) Haines, Miriam Holihan, and Jordan Eckart. Beyond those mentioned, he was preceded in death by his mother,
Beverly Kay Robertson; several siblings, Steven and Jacquie, whom he never met; grandparents, Charles and Elizabeth Steffen of Griswold, Iowa; and Flora & Daniel Gardiner of Charitan, Iowa; father & mother-in- law, Lt. Col John and Veta Pacura; beloved brother-in-law, John Pacura, Jr.; and Craig and Cindy’s good friend, Patty Holihan, with whom he no doubt shares the wonders of eternity now.
Celebration & Memorial
Craig Allen Steffen
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Apex Community Church Theater
5200 Far Hills Ave. Dayton, OH 45429
Please join those of us who love Craig to celebrate his wonderful life.
We invite you to bring a story, a song, a poem, a scripture or other sacred writing that is meaningful to you, as we remember Craig during our time of sharing.
1:30 – Arrivals
2:00 – Service
2:30 – Voluntary Sharing
3:30 – Closing
Craig’s book, A Family Apart, will be available before and after the service for anyone wanting to more fully know him through his memoir.
The evening before Craig died, we sat on our deck and talked about making another donation to Mercy Corp. (www.MercyCorps.org), P.O. Box 2669, Portland, OR 97208. Being the generous person he is, he also told me to make a donation to Doctors without Borders (www.DoctorsWithoutBorders.org), 333 7th Ave., New York, NY 10001-5004. In lieu of flowers, we ask you to consider making a donation to these worthy ministries.
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