School 19
Official Obituary of

Loretta T. Steppich

August 29, 2023
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Loretta Steppich Obituary

Loretta May Trainor was born on April 27, 1945, to John Vernon Trainor and Dorothy Knouss Trainor in Washington, D.C. Loretta joined older sister Carolyn Alice Trainor, and the little family lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. Two years later the family would welcome little brother, John Henry Trainor.

Loretta and her family grew up in their Silver Spring home. The family enjoyed raising Toy Fox Terriers and a precocious parakeet named Perky. Loretta graduated from Northwood High School in 1963. After graduating, Loretta went to work for the State Department in Washington, D.C. Loretta went on to work for the Department of Agriculture in their Greenbelt, MD Research Center. She had a 1950 Plymouth that her brother John would beg to borrow, and from that bargaining exchange the nickname “LouBabes” was born and remains to this day.

Loretta’s brother John went into the Marine Corps in 1966. Because John was away for Christmas that year, Loretta and her family were decorating the house and completing tasks that John would have normally done. This lead to Loretta taking the trash out to the street wearing her Marine Corps sweatshirt. A photo of Loretta in that sweatshirt was sent to John, and he showed it to a young Marine Lance Corporal named Alfred Steppich. Alfred saw that photo and wouldn’t leave John Trainor alone until John gave Alfred the address of the girl in that sweatshirt! 

Loretta’s very surprised and puzzled father saw a letter from someone obviously in the military. Loretta had no idea who could be writing to her and was not very interested in opening the letter one way or another. Of course, the letter was opened, and a correspondence began between Alfred and Loretta. Well, a few months later, Loretta accompanied her brother’s girlfriend Lisa Smith out to California where they would meet with John. Once in California, Loretta and Alfred got to actually meet in person, and they spent that week exploring the Marine base at Camp Pendelton and saw the sites in California riding in Alfred’s 1962 Corvette. Loretta and Alfred met people in California at that time with whom they would remain life-long friends.

After Alfred was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, he and Loretta were married at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Colesville, MD on May 23, 1970. They began their life together in Adelphi, MD where they lived when their son Alfred Anton (Tony) Steppich was born on March 22, 1972. When young Tony was three years old, Alfred and Loretta moved to their current home in Callicoon, NY. While there, their daughter Christl Hollie Steppich was born on August 18, 1976.

Alfred and Loretta and their children embraced their new life in Callicoon, NY. Their children were involved in local sports while Alfred joined the local volunteer fire department and also served in local government. This connected the Steppichs to their new community and many longstanding friendships were formed. 

In September 1980 Loretta started working with her friend Elaine Scardefield at the Jeffersonville Nursery School. Loretta and Elaine worked together in their little school for twenty years, and in 2000 when Elaine was ready to retire, Loretta purchased that nursery school and continued serving the Jeffersonville and surrounding communities by preparing their preschoolers for Kindergarten. The Jeffersonville Nursery School was closed when Loretta retired in June 2006.

Many of Loretta’s most treasured adventures were shared with her dearest friend Shelly Wiltshire. Loretta and Shelly took yearly trips to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and all through New York. 

Loretta will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. She has a spark and a fire of fun and joy that is contagious in her laughter. If you have been loved by Loretta Steppich, you will know that that love is fierce and protective; it is fun, and it is saucy. It may have come in the form of a peach pie or the best peach preserves ever made or that marvelous chocolate cake of hers. It may have arrived in a package you didn’t expect but that showed you were fondly thought of.

Loretta is survived by her husband of 53 years, Alfred Steppich, her daughter, Christl Steppich, her son, Tony Steppich and his wife, Anna Steppich, along with their daughter Ava Steppich, their sons Myles Ungerer, Jacob and daughter-in-law, Sharon Ungerer, and their daughter Caroline Rose Ungerer. Her sister, Carolyn Trainor Dant and her brother John Henry Trainor and his wife Lisa Trainor also survive their beloved sister. Her three nieces and three nephews will grieve the loss of this most treasured aunt whose love their own children have felt as well.

Loretta passed peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on the evening of August 29, 2023.

What was originally planned as Loretta’s Living Funeral will now be a celebration of life on Sunday, September 3, 2023 from 3 pm - 6pm at the Steppich Estate. This is a true potluck event. We look forward to seeing everyone to share your most treasured memories of Loretta.

Loretta requested that you share your condolences through donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Loretta T. Steppich, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Celebration of Life
Sunday
September 3, 2023

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Steppich Estate
Tonjes Road
Callicoon, NY 12723

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