Joseph L. Steffes flag

Joseph L. Steffes

Joseph L. Steffes, 91, of Altoona, Wisconsin, died on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in his apartment at The Classic of Hillcrest Greens with his wife, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at his bedside.

He was born in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin on Aug. 9, 1929, to August and Francis (Pickert) Steffes. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a civil engineering degree. He worked for many years at Strand Engineering of Madison. He was the engineer who designed and oversaw the building of many of the bridges on Highway 29 from Chippewa Falls to Owen-Withee in the 1990s when it became a four-lane highway.

He was married to Phyllis and they had three sons. He then married Ione and was dad to a daughter and grandpa to one granddaughter.

While he was building the bridges, he lived in Thorp, Wisconsin. That is where he met his wife, Beverly (Brokopp), and became dad to her two daughters and son. He was grandpa to their 11 children and great-grandpa to eight. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Feb. 18, 2020.

He loved golf, fishing, hunting, the Packers, the Badgers and the Brewers. He and Bev had a home in Portage, Wisconsin, on the golf course where he spent many hours and taught his grandkids how to golf. They also had a home in Sebring, Florida, where they spent over 20 winters. His kids and grandkids loved going to Florida and spending time in the pool with grandpa and grandma. In Florida, he was the head of the 50-member “golf gang” at Francis 2 Mobile Court where they lived. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

He is survived by his wife, Bev; his three daughters, Donna (Tracy), Ruth and Cindy (Mark); four sons, Michael, Patrick, Paul and Robert (Koreen); his grandchildren, Don, Stephani, Sara, Jordan (his significant other Maria), Matthew (Chasity), Andrew (Kate), Rachel (her significant other Danny), Kevin, Nathan, Aaron (Kelsey), Abby and Katelyn; and his eight great-grandchildren, Shaylie, Shania, Kenay, Savanna, Sydney, River, Jedidiah and Evanna. He has one sister, Ethel in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin; many nieces and nephews, and a special “daughter,” Nancy from New Lisbon, Wisconsin.

There will be a private celebration of Joe’s life with his family and close friends in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The family would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the staff and management at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona where he received the best possible care from the wonderful resident assistants. They would also like to thank Mayo Hospice for helping him have the best quality of life he could at the end. A special, sincere thank you to two nurses who were there at the end – Amber and Evelyn.

In lieu of flowers, gifts, or cards, the family requests donations in honor of Joe be sent to the Eau Claire Children’s Theater, which was a big part of the family’s life, especially the grandchildren in Eau Claire.

Cremation Society of Wisconsin, Altoona is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at