Dr. Stephen Robert Speidel

Dr. Stephen Robert Speidel, known and loved as Steve, passed into the next world on Saturday, June 8, 2024, holding the hands of his wife and daughter. Three years ago, Steve miraculously survived two heart attacks but the third attack this past weekend was too much; his generous, loving heart grew weary and he found peace.

Steve was born March 17, 1951, to Mildred A. (nee Ross) and Stephen F. Speidel in Prophetstown, Illinois. Every year for the last 32 years he gave great thought to his birthday meal, Irish or German always the two choices, as the very German man born on St. Patrick’s Day. Steve moved often in his childhood but had the fondest memories in Cazenovia, Wisconsin – a small town with wide open spaces to be explored. Steve loved an adventure. Steve graduated from Cedar Grove High School in 1969 lettering in wrestling and was already an accomplished trumpet player. Steve attended UW-Oshkosh and loved to tell the stories of his closest college friends including his experience in the Algoma Boulevard Riots, “I was just walking back to the dorm when I saw everyone running away from a riot being chased by cops – the cops looked mad, so I ran too but I wasn’t even sure why!” After UW-Oshkosh, Steve attended Marquette University completing a degree in dentistry in 1978. He practiced dentistry for 43 years in Waupun, Ripon and Fond du Lac and was known for being gentle while demanding excellence from himself in patient care – it was common for him to attend to a patient need on a weekend or even holidays with his criteria – “if they are in pain or it’s embarrassing, I’ll be there.” He cared for multiple friends and patients at the end of their days in their own homes to “give them whatever dignity I can”. He was also generous, but humble, offering free services as he saw the need for veterans and those trying to turn their lives around.

Steve married Robin Lynn Giles on June 15, 1996, at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Fond du Lac. Following the ceremony they had a block party reception with many friends/members of the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band playing in a big band, Sandy Scudella singing Robin’s favorite ‘Orange Colored Sky’, much food and much drink! They were blessed with two children, Stephen, 25, currently

serving in the United States Navy and Kay, 24, currently carrying on the family musical tradition in the Milwaukee area. Steve was very proud of his children and would brag with updates and pictures to anyone who would listen.

Steve was an incredible cook; no one could match his white bean cassoulet, carbonara sauce, grilled steak and of course his famous “egg thing”. Steve was also a skilled carpenter building cabinets, a two story play fort for the kids when they were little, a gazebo and even an entire front porch on their home. Steve loved fishing at the family cabin, taking a special interest in fly fishing the last few years. The neighbor to the family cabin often said he loved to watch Steve fly fish because he was patient and careful, enjoying the process whether he actually caught a fish or not. That was Steve.

Steve was a member of many organizations over the years including the Waupun Rotary Club, Fond du Lac Symphonic Band, Lakeside Evening Kiwanis, Morning Kiwanis and church committees but if you knew Steve you knew his passion was music – German music in particular. Steve found a second family after high school with the Andy Justmann Band. He traveled to Europe several times, often to perform. He played with many bands as a regular or a sub through the years including John Check and the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band for many years, but ultimately found another band family in the Dorf Kapelle which he joined the year before he married Robin and was still actively playing in. When he was in the I.C.U. three years ago he asked for a pen and paper and wrote a note to Robin, “Dorf job”, because he wanted her to let them know he couldn’t make the gig. One of his favorite songs was ‘Blue Skirt Waltz’ which Robin sang to him in the I.C.U. three years ago while he was sedated – by the last line of the chorus he was singing with her and trying to smile.

Steve is survived by his wife, Robin, children, Stephen and Kay (Yanni Chudnow), sisters Luanne (Mike) Ritsema, and Barbara Oskey, brother, David (Linda) Speidel, special cousin Diane (John) Ordway, nieces and nephew Emily Oskey (Craig), Naomi Oskey (special friend Shawn), Stacey (Travis) Whitcomb, Colleen (Brandon) Ebersole, Leslie (Emily) Oskey and Matthew (Nicole) Speidel, great nieces and nephews, Evalynn, Elise, Brynn, Landon, Collin, Allie and Owen and Steve’s mother, Millie. Steve is also survived by his mother-in-law, Kerm Giles, who he enjoyed making pancakes, grilling pork chops and watching Packer games with. Steve was preceded in death by his father, Stephen F. Speidel.

Steve loved all things German (and would likely correct this to say, Tirol and Austrian and Czech, not just German) – music, food and beer. The family will hold

a small private ceremony, however, they invite you to a celebration of Steve’s life with the people and things he loved. Please join us as you are able on Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at Avenue 795 (the former KC Hall), 795 Fond du Lac Ave. in Fond du Lac for music, dancing, food and drink. The family is grateful to Sam Broeniman for organizing some friends to play music and encourage you to bring your horn and join the jam. If you have a story and/or photos you would like to share for the slideshow the family will share on June 22, please email Kay at klspeidel17@gmail.com – the family looks forward to you sharing your memories with them.

“It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” ~1 Corinthians 15:52