February 16, 1949 - October 17, 2016


A gathering of family and friends will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud for John R. “Big John” Steichen, age 67, of Waite Park, who passed away on Monday, October 17, 2016 at his home. Family and friends may also continue to celebrate his life at the St. Cloud VFW Post #428 after calling on the family at the funeral home. Burial, with full military honors, will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Wendelin Cemetery in Luxemburg.

John was born on February 16, 1949 in St. Cloud to Roman and DeLores (Gaida) Steichen. He graduated from St. Cloud Technical High School in 1967. Following high school, he immediately entered the service and honorably served his country in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After returning home from Vietnam, he married Sandra Ashfeld on December 20, 1975 in Watertown, South Dakota. He was a semi-driver for Bernick’s Pepsi for many years.

Big John was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved to go fishing, hunting, golfing, RV camping, and bowling. His favorite sport though was softball, playing since he was in Little League. Eventually he would go on to coach David’s Little League team and win the Championship. He loved going for drives and doing burnouts with his 1969 Pontiac GTO. He was an avid craftsman, making dream catchers and replica Native American headdresses. John was also a collector of military memorabilia, especially from the United States Marine Corps and rare coins.

John is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Sandie, of St. Cloud; children, Tammy (Donny) Manuel, of Litchfield, Jeff, of St. Cloud, Stephanie (Mike) Buersken, of St. Cloud and David, of Waite Park; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Tanya; granddaughter, Chloe Manuel and brother-in-law, Art Welle.