Donald I. Steger was born September 22nd, 1923, to John Steger and Lucy Isley Steger on the family farm in Preble, New York, on the east side of Mount Topping. Don died August 26th, 2020 in his home at Cold Brook Tree Farm on the west side of Mount Topping in Homer.
Don attended Homer Academy, where he was coached in baseball and basketball by George Butts. They became life-long friends. He graduated in 1941 and was inducted into the Homer Central School District Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He played minor league baseball in Homer; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and again in Homer between 1942 and 1952.
Don married Connie Bell of Homer in 1948, and in 1952 they bought their property on Cold Brook Road. Over the next sixty-eight years, Don and Connie transformed a patch of run-down farmland into beautiful, productive forest. He operated a game farm and shooting preserve on the land for twenty-eight years, raising pheasants and mallard ducks and training German Shorthair Pointers.
While running the game farm, Don managed his land for timber improvement, cutting and drying upwards of 500 face cord of wood per year by 1981. Through hard work and a lot of patience, he watched his trees grow into healthy, mature forest. He enjoyed hunting whitetail deer and turkeys in his woods with friends and family.
Over the years, he made many treasured friends in each place and job that he worked. He was an active member of the Homer First United Methodist Church, a 61-year member of Homer Masonic Lodge #352, a former chairman of the New York State Forest Practice Board, and a member the New York Forest Owners Association.
Don is survived by his wife of 72 years, Connie, their daughters Ellen and Heidi, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of Don’s life will be held at a later date.
“Neat stacks of firewood drying in the summer sun give me a feeling of unparalleled satisfaction, except perhaps for the sound of a tom turkey gobbling in the spring woods.” – Don Steger
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald I. Steger, please visit our floral store.