Cover photo for Margaret Ellen Steinbach's Obituary
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1933 Margaret 2021

Margaret Ellen Steinbach

January 29, 1933 — December 14, 2021

Margaret Ellen Steinbach passed away peacefully on December 14, 2021, with her daughter by her side.

Ellen was born in Baltimore, MD on January 29, 1933, to Harry John and Helen Veronica Snider. She graduated from Seton High School in 1950 with the goal of going to college, but had to pivot her plans upon her mother's death. Ellen started work as a secretary, a job that paid the bills but wasn't nearly as fun as her other work: she was a USO girl. It was through her time in the USO that Ellen met her first husband, Donald Wohlgemuth, who was stationed at Fort Meade. They married in 1956 and had two wonderful daughters. During this time, Ellen decided to pursue her high school dream to go to college, showing the quiet ambition that was a theme in her life. In her 30s, balancing her schoolwork with two pre-teen children, she took courses at Delaware State University (an HBCU) and received her B.A. from Hood College in 1975, achieving the Dean's List at both.

After her first marriage ended, Ellen married Colonel John James Steinbach in 1979 and they were together until his death in 2006. Jim was the love of Ellen's life, and she continued to flourish in their marriage. Not only was she a caring, unflappable presence in a blended family—no small feat with multiple teenagers under one roof—but she discovered and engaged in new passions. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in Belgium when Jim was stationed at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, competently managing the PX and traveling all over Europe. They loved their Sunday trips to Paris and traveled together extensively after Jim's retirement, venturing as far as New Zealand.

Ellen and Jim settled in Peachtree City, GA, where close friends called them "a matched pair of bookends dedicated to family, friends, church, community and nation." Ellen, a lifelong Democrat who put the needs of her community first, noted that she didn't "believe in letting an opportunity pass." She lived by those words in her use of her time and talents to serve her community, and in her engagement with the things that brought her joy. A lifelong Roman Catholic, Ellen served as a lector and used her organizational skills in the church library. She was also a volunteer at the Fayette County Public Library and a voracious reader, a trait she passed down to her children and grandchild, who followed in her steps as an English major. When she wasn't volunteering or reading, Ellen loved gardening, calling her yard her "palette," and spending time with her and Jim's beloved cats. She was the reserved counterpart to Jim's gregariousness, with a quiet determination and deep loyalty and love that defined their marriage and all her relationships.

Ellen is survived by daughter Lori Wohlgemuth Tull (Tom) and granddaughter Melanie Veronica Snider (James); step-children Chris (Carey), Greg, Steve, and Therese; step-grandchildren Conarie, Matt (Kirsten), Ryan, Shea (Molly), Simone, and Tyler; 24 nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law Doris, Carol, and Maryann. She was predeceased by her husband Jim and daughter Janice Marie. Ellen will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2022 to rest in peace with Jim.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at https://www.mcalister-smith.com.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, Mt. Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Ellen Steinbach, please visit our flower store.

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