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Jacob Steigerwald

May 30, 1931 June 1, 2022
Jacob Steigerwald
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Obituary for Jacob Steigerwald

Jacob was born to Josef and Elisabeth Steigerwald on May 30, 1931. At Banatska Topola.

His indigenous Danube Swabian ethnic minority was disenfranchised under Tito as of 1944. In May 1945, Jacob was hardened to the forced labor camp at Charleville, Banat, along with other internees. They were required to perform agrarian labor with getting enough nourishment, getting enough rest on hard floors in empty confiscated home of indigenous Germans was also elusive.

Unlikely chances of being able to survive winter without warm clothes prompted Jacob and other to consider defecting to neighboring Romania. Ancestors of the farmer who hired Jacob had come to this region of old Hungary from Lorraine in 1770.
Approaching age 16 in spring of 1947, Jacob managed to make his way to Austria as one of millions of refugees; however, predictions were that it would take decades before normal living conditions could be attained. Wanting to partake of a good life sooner, Jacob hoped for a chance to go to a country where living conditions were promising. In 1951, he happily arrived in Chicago, Illinois.

While Jacob was deprived of civil rights in 1944, he had completed 6 years of formal schooling. He truly deplored not being able to continue his education until after he had arrived in America. What allowed him to earn a living while pursuing courses without delay was attributable to having obtained job experience as a house painter in Austria.

Upon having served in the U.S .Army from 1953 to 1955, Jacob studied under the GI bill. In 1956, he was married to Marie Holecsek, with whom he had three children. Thanks to staunch support from his wife, he was able to serve as a language professor at Winona State University in Minnesota for 21 years.

Jacob is survived by his widow Marie and their son Rick, his wife Dane (Oliver), daughter in law Marzena, brother Tony, his wife Martha and grandsons Nick and Matthew. Preceded in death by his son, Carl and daughter, Ellen.

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Winona State University Foreign Language Scholarship Fund.

Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, Minnesota.

NOTE: An account of the decedent’s life is provided in his publication of 2001 Profile of An Americanized Danube Swabian Ethnically Cleansed under Tito (ISBN 0-9615505-4-6, among holdings at select libraries).

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2:00 PM 6/17/2022 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 6/17/2022 4:00:00 PM
The Chapel at Ellis Family Services

13436 West Arbor Place
Littleton, CO 80127

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The Chapel at Ellis Family Services
13436 West Arbor Place Littleton 80127 CO
United States

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