Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

George J. Steger

Mr. Steger, 72, died following a year of declining health. He was the former director of the Lucas County Job and Family Services Department and a lifelong resident of Toledo. Born October 1, 1939, to James and Mary Margaret (Hunt) Steger, George grew up in the family home on Parkwood Avenue in the Old West End. He graduated from Rosary Cathedral School and Central Catholic High School. George earned a Sociology Degree from the University of Detroit in 1962. He then served as Second Lieutenant for three years in the United States Air Force. In 1964, he married Jane Wolcott, also a Toledo native, and the couple moved to South Carolina and Japan for his duty. Upon the couple's return to Toledo in 1965, George joined the Lucas County Welfare Department staff, serving as caseworker and community resources and staff development director over the next five years. During that time, George earned a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. In 1970, George left the Welfare Department assuming the position of Assistant Director: Office of Community Relations for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. His responsibilities included the evaluation of various community programs related to the Diocese's charitable giving. In 1974, George returned to the then Lucas County Welfare Department as Director. George quickly became known for openness in communication with his more than 500 employees, respect for the dignity of his thousands of clients, and absolute integrity in dealing with civic officials, trade unions and political administrations of any affiliation. Former Commissioner James Holzemer declared, "There now is regular and open communication between the department and the commissioners resulting in more productive and beneficial operations for both welfare recipients and staff. George's retirement prompted then Lucas County Commissioner Sandy Isenberg to proclaim July 20, 2002 "George Steger Appreciation Day in Lucas County. George was active and generous in his commitment to community. He served on various boards, including most recently, the local Catholic Social Services Board. George also held teaching positions for the faculties of the University of Toledo, Mary Manse College and Lourdes College. George enjoyed sailing, gardening, golf and travel, particularly to Northern Michigan. In recent years, eight grandchildren brought joy and energy only grandparents can comprehend. For many reasons George's priorities of faith, family, and friends made for a life well lived. George is survived by his wife, Jane; son, George Joseph (Sandra Commager), Canton, Michigan and daughters, Sarah (Daniel) Gillig, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Elizabeth (Charles) Schiavello, Columbus, Indiana; grandchildren, John and Katherine Steger, Connor, Maura and Aidan Gillig, and Zachary, Nicholas and Jack Schiavello; and sisters, Ellen (Sister Mary Kenwyn, OSU); and Jo Ann (Nonie) (William) Hoffman of Cary, North Carolina. The family suggests tributes to the Ursuline Convent in Toledo, Corpus Chrisiti Parish, where he was a member or the Toledo Museum of Art.Information obtained from the Toledo Blade online, www. toledoblade/obituary.