Thursday, April 16, 2015
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
The rosary will be recited at 5 PM. Following the rosary, visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A man of great strength, courage, and honor, Steve Rosenthal was the sort of man everyone wanted to know. Whether it was his relaxed and fun-loving demeanor, his outstanding musical talents, or his rather unique sense of humor, he was the heartbeat of wherever he went. There was never anything or anyone who was more near and dear to Steve’s heart than his family, and it was easy to see that the sun rose and set with his beloved grandchildren. As his family and friends can attest, he was a true patriot who was so proud to have served his country during a time of need. Faithful, devoted, and genuine, Steve will be deeply missed while his memory is forever cherished by all who were within his reach.
It seems only fitting that Steve’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the Roaring Twenties when innovation was leading the way to new frontiers. Radios, refrigerators, and washing machines became part of our homes, and with the wide implementation of the assembly line, cars were more affordable for the average American. Amidst this exciting time there was some excitement in the family of Nick and Frances Rosenthal as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as winter held the city of Kellner, Wisconsin, firmly in its grip in 1924. The big day finally arrived on February 12th when the baby boy they named Steve J. drew his first breath. He was the eighth of nine children in his family, and he was raised in the Kellner area. To provide for the family, Steve’s father was a farmer who also owned a bar. He was a student at local schools including Lincoln High School where he was known as a talented baseball player and fast runner. Steve went on to graduate from high school in 1942.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Steve’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Millie, and she attended Alexander High School in Nekoosa. They were both great dancers who loved to dance. They began dating, and over time they found themselves deeply in love. Steve and Millie were united in marriage on June 1, 1946, in Wisconsin Rapids.
Even though he was drafted into the United States Army, the Marines needed more men so Steve and a few others were picked to be in the Marines instead. He was a radioman who worked on codes with the Native Americans in Iwo Jima. After being hit with some shrapnel in his foot, Steve was awarded with a Purple Heart.
Throughout his life Steve worked hard in everything he did. He spent some time working at a gas station, and he also took some classes in engineering but later decided that engineering wasn't a good fit. Steve then did various odd jobs, especially since he and Millie needed to support their five children. He was in the Marine Reserves for a time, which brought him out to Oceanside, California. From there they returned to Wisconsin, but they eventually settled in Oregon. Steve was a recovery engineer in Oregon City for a number of years. They then spent several years in North Bend before Steve requested a transfer and to Otsego, Michigan. In 1973, Steve began working for Menasha, and they settled in Plainwell. He retired in 1986.
While Steve worked outside of the home, Millie was able to be a housewife. He loved coming home everyday as there was nothing that was of greater importance in Steve’s life than his family. He could be strict as a father, but his kids knew he would always do whatever he could for them. For years he coached his sons in baseball. When he became a grandfather later in life, Steve couldn’t have been happier, and he lived to spoil his grandchildren rotten with every chance he got!
Always one to keep busy, Steve was a man of many interests. During their retirement years they traveled all over and spent time in Texas. Steve and Millie did plenty of dancing and golfing, and they also went shopping or just goofed off. Usually he got up early to go have his coffee and head out for some golf, and when Steve came home he and Millie had breakfast together. Steve was a card player who loved poker, and as someone who was a very talented musician, he played many instruments including the concertina. He was entirely self-taught, and he could also play the drums, keyboard, guitar, and the ukulele. Steve was a gifted singer. During his younger years he played in various bands, and his kids grew up with music in the house all the time. Steve always loved a good polka, and he later came to appreciate country western. He was very handy with anything around the house, as he never hired a contractor for any work throughout his entire life. In fact, Steve even built their first home.
Although he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he fought it and was in remission for several years. It later spread to his lungs, which was too much for his body to overcome.
All who knew Steve Rosenthal would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He had a great sense of humor. Steve has been called a perfectionist and was detail oriented with numerous gifts and talents. He was also passionate, and he was a true patriot through and through who proudly flew his American flag. Fun-loving with an adventurous spirit, Steve will never be forgotten.
Steve J. Rosenthal, of Kalamazoo, died on April 14, 2015, at Kairos Dwelling. Steve’s family includes his 5 children: Stephanie Buchanan, Steve (Dora) Rosenthal, Tena (Jim) Vogt, Ruth (Daniel) Barrett and Dr. David (Allyson) Rosenthal; 4 grandchildren: Michelle Barrett, Rhiannon (Carl) Goertz, Ian Rosenthal and Ellen (George) Malamas. 4 great-grandchildren: Stevie, Billie, Addison and Grayson. Steve was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Millie, in 2011; and 8 siblings. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Thursday from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900, where the rosary will be recited at 5 p.m. that afternoon. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday 11:00 a.m. at St. Ambrose Catholic Church. Please visit Steve’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kairos Dwelling.