Wednesday, October 28, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
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.
SJHMC-Dept. of Transplant Surgery
22101 Moross Road, PB2, Suite 480
Detroit, MI 48236
ATTN: Dr. Darla Granger
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Steven Vollmar would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. A friend of his was a friend for life, and his zest for life was contagious to all who were near. A devoted family man, Steve treasured his wife, children, and grandchildren, and the things he enjoyed were only made better when shared with the ones he loved. Guided by an unwavering faith, he was passionate about sharing his faith with all who were near. Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, Steve lived a life of purpose and created timeless memories that his family and friends will forever treasure.
It seems only fitting that Steve’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1950s when televisions were becoming a regular part of our homes, blue jeans became a staple in our wardrobes, and the Beatles took the music world by storm with their rock ’n roll music. This was also the decade when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, giving momentum to the quest for civil rights. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1952 when Robert and Violet (Knipple) Vollmar were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Steven A. on August 17th on the Air Force base in Ft. Benning, Georgia. He was the middle of three children and was raised alongside his siblings, Robert and Janice. The family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where his father worked as a teacher while his mother was a busy wife, mother, and homemaker. Steve enjoyed fishing and swimming, but he didn’t like square dancing or garlic bread.
In many ways, Steve was a typical kid of his generation. He attended local schools and also worked at the Marina on Gull Lake in the summer. Like brothers often do, Steve loved to tease his sister, but she wasn’t always willing to put up with it such as the time she took a frying pan to his head! This story is now among the family archives. Steve’s high school years found him at Battle Creek Central where he was an excellent player on the school’s tennis team. He went on to graduate from high school in 1970.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a high school student was Steve’s introduction to the young girl of his dreams. She was a young sophomore named Ellen Jones, and he was a senior at the time. They met ice skating at Irving Park Lagoon, and they skated every night that winter. Ellen was drawn to his larger than life stories, and they connected right away.
After graduating, Steve attended Kellogg Community College, focusing in architecture. He later went to Kalamazoo Valley Community College and then went to Western Michigan University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in finance when we was about 40. This was a great fit for Steve since he was naturally good with numbers. As a young man he did have some fun, maybe even a bit too much fun! Then, life completely changed for him when he gave his heart to the Lord in the fall of 1972.
Just a short time later, Steve married his sweetheart on February 10, 1973, at First Presbyterian Church. Together they welcomed three children, Matt in 1974, Emilee in 1977, and Anna in 1984, into their hearts and home. Their mini-dachshund, Rosie, and their cat, Bob, were like additional members of their family as well. Steve was an active part of his children’s lives, and he was forever having fun with them. Whether they were playing ball in the yard, playing tennis together, or swimming, they were always doing something. Since Ellen didn’t camp, he often took the kids on his own, and fishing and hiking were additional favorite activities for Steve to do with his kids. North Manitou Island was one of his favorite places. He read and sang to the girls at night, often silly songs, and when grandchildren came along he was still the king of silliness. Steve was also there to help his children with whatever they needed. It was commonplace for him to ask his children what the most important thing to always remember was, and his kids were always quick to answer, “Daddy loves me.” As a family, they enjoyed taking some vacations together including to Anna Maria Island. At times, Steve and Ellen took some vacations together including a trip to Hawaii for their 25th anniversary. Basically, they loved going anywhere with sun and sand.
To support his family, Steve was a pastor at three different churches including one in Battle Creek, one in Kalamazoo, and one in Three Rivers. Beginning in 1978, Steve’s work changed a bit as he spent the following 25 years working in administrative duties and as a pastor of small groups and ministries. In 1984, they moved to Kalamazoo, and they later moved to Mattawan where they remained for 10 years. It was while listing one of their homes that their realtor, who was also a good friend, asked Steve to join his sales team. This was a natural fit for Steve, and he then developed a successful career in real estate with Berkshire Hathaway.
In his free time, Steve was always a bustle of activity. He loved doing yard work and was quite creative with the ability to see something he liked and then create it on his own. Steve was also a handyman around the house, rarely hiring anything out since he could do nearly anything on his own. He played a large role in building an addition to the dance studio they owned for a time, and he also took care of the maintenance on all their cars. He loved reading when relaxing whether something inspirational, motivational, or a good novel by Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler while on vacation. Steve loved good rock ’n roll including music from The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. Then at times he also liked Kenny G, George Benson, or worship music. It has been said that Steve could eat anyone under the table, and he never could get enough popcorn. He loved milkshakes and pie, especially from the Grand Traverse Pie Company with plenty of whipped cream. Steve did slow down some after his kidney transplant three years ago, which he was ever so grateful for. Prior to his transplant, he had been receiving regular dialysis.
Described as loyal, compassionate, faithful, and passionate, Steven Vollmar was a blessing in the lives of everyone he met. A proud German, he was known for his integrity and unconditional respect for everyone, and he was generous beyond measure. Steve’s faith was unwavering, and he was the rock of the family he adored. Life will never be the same without him here, but his timeless legacy will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.
Steven A. Vollmar, of Mattawan, died unexpectedly on October 23, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. Steve’s family includes his wife, Ellen Vollmar; 3 children: Matthew (Teresa) Vollmar, Emilee (David) Sefton and Anna Vollmar; 8 grandchildren: Sofia, Elijah, Mercedes, Sydnee, Benjamin, Madyson, Luke and Gabriel; mother, Violet Vollmar; 2 siblings: Robert II (Eva) Vollmar and Janice (Don) Cummins; and many nieces and nephews. Steve was preceded in death by his father, Robert Vollmar. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Wednesday from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900) where services will be held Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Burial will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery, Mattawan. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Housing Resource Inc. or St. John’s Providence Hospital for Kidney Transplants.