Edmund Steimle Jr., ‘a guy who was the essence of life’
Edmund “Chip’’ Steimle Jr., a former health care executive in the Boston area and a long-term care consultant in Marshfield, once put an elephant in his friend’s Cohasset driveway to celebrate the man’s 40th birthday.
Richard Stevens arrived home to find a gaggle of neighborhood children gawking in wonder at the animal. It was vintage mischief for Mr. Steimle and his cadre of Cohasset friends.
“It’s hard not to think about Chip without a smile on my face,’’ Stevens said. “He was just a guy who was the essence of life. He lived it to the fullest. He was a consummate family guy, a great friend, and he had a terrific work ethic.’’
Mr. Steimle, who lived in Marshfield and founded Seniors Considered LLC, died June 8 when his heart stopped as he was shopping in a convenience store near his home, his family said. He was 64 and had no diagnosed heart problems, his wife said.
While his sudden death left his family longing for more time with him, Mr. Steimle died with nothing left unsaid, according to his loved ones, who said he lived a life full of expressions of love and loyalty.
“There was no unfinished business,’’ said his daughter Kim, who lives in South Boston. “We talked to him every day. There was nothing we wished we could have told him, or he would have told us.’’
The night before he died, Mr. Steimle had taken a romantic walk around Scituate Lighthouse with his wife. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in the spring. He had become a grandfather last year, and the Kousa dogwood tree he spent years nurturing in his garden had finally come into full bloom.
“He was very, very kind,’’ said his wife, Michaela “Mickey’’ (O’Callahan), who is an English teacher at Milton Academy. “He just took care of everybody.’’
He was thrilled by the birth of his grandson Nathaniel Brooks last year.
“My dad just adored him, and he just loved my dad,’’ said his daughter Erin Brooks of Hyde Park. “He’s a very active boy, and he doesn’t cuddle, but he would cuddle with my dad.’’
Born in Cambridge, Mr. Steimle was the youngest and only son among three children born to Rosalind and the Rev. Edmund A. Steimle, a Lutheran minister who preached in Philadelphia and was a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His mother died of a cerebral hemorrhage while Mr. Steimle was in college. His oldest sister, Sondra, was struck and killed by a car in the 1990s.
Mr. Steimle spent part of his childhood in Philadelphia. He went to boarding school at Milton Academy and graduated in 1965. He then graduated from Hamilton College in New York in 1969 and later earned his MBA from Suffolk University in the mid-1970s, his wife said.
The couple met soon after college, when Mr. Steimle lived in the unit below Michaela in an apartment building on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.
They raised their two daughters in Cohasset in a tightknit neighborhood of young families, where Mr. Steimle found lifelong friends.
“He was the life of the party,’’ his daughter Kim said. “He was the first one to throw on a song and get everyone dancing.’’
The birthday pranks among his buddies featured an animal showing up on each man’s 40th. When Mr. Steimle was the last to turn 40, Stevens knew he could not top the elephant, so he went with a live chicken and a hideous orange 1974 Gremlin car wrapped in a bow.
“It was all good, clean fun, everything Chip was about,’’ Stevens said.
On Christmas Eve at the Steimle house, Mr. Steimle always donned a tuxedo and hosted a formal dinner party. Choruses of Silent Night were followed by late-night dancing.
He usually began family dinners with words from a favorite psalm, beginning with the verse, “The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their meat in due season.’’
He also wrote “kitschy’’ poems for every family occasion and could always be counted on for a fitting toast, his family said. At funeral services held at Milton Academy on June 13, his daughters gave a eulogy and read their poem titled, “To Dad. To Chipper. To Papa Chip.’’
In 25 years as a health care executive, he held several posts, including director at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth in the 1970s and vice president at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston in the 1980s.
He started Seniors Considered six years ago and enjoyed using his experience to help elders cope with transitions to long-term care.
“He was wonderful with older people,’’ his wife said. “They felt very safe with him, and he found that very rewarding.’’
His absence was keenly felt on Father’s Day.
“He was a total family man,’’ Kim said. “He loved my mom. He called us his girls. We all got together that night and toasted him and watched a sunset.’’
In addition to his wife, daughters, and grandson, Mr. Steimle leaves his sister Linda Horn of Columbus, Ohio.
J.M. Lawrence can be reached at email@example.com.