Norman Thomas Steckler, of Waterloo, SC, formally of Mt. Carmel, IL passed away on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Laurens, SC at Laurens County Memorial Hospital, at the age of 89, from complications of pneumonia.
Norman was born in Mt. Carmel, IL on January 14, 1930 to Herman Anthony and Louisa Rose (Trapp) Steckler. He was the youngest of 6 siblings. He attended grammar school and high school in Mt. Carmel and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School. When he was young, he attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mt. Carmel with his family.
After high school he worked with his brother Herman J. "Bud” on the family farm and with farm machinery sales. He also joined the Illinois Army National Guard from 1948-1951. There he qualified as an “Expert” marksman. After leaving the IL Army National Guard, he immediately joined the United States Air Force (USAF) for even bigger dreams and aspirations. It was in the USAF that Norman learned the skills of aircraft maintenance and electronics that took him, literally, around the world for decades to come. Some of that time was spent in the USAF, but most was spent as a civilian contractor for Lockheed Martin. His work took him to Marietta, GA working on B-47 and C-130 aircraft; Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa in the C-130 program. Then back to the states to Lake Charles, LA, as a key supervisor in quickly revitalizing their programs for overhauling aircraft. Next, he headed to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for 7 years, working with the Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 program, then on to Johannesburg, South Africa for 4 years working with South African Airways. After those 4 years he resigned from Lockheed Martin, to move back to the states and start an aircraft parts business and a non-destructive testing business in Florida.
Always seeking adventure, Norman in his semi-retirement moved to South Carolina and continued to work in aircraft maintenance for Pembroke Airmotive, Inc.
In full retirement, Norman enjoyed the pleasures of country living with his wife, Vicky, in South Carolina. He relaxed with the dog, mowed his lawn, grew a vegetable garden and enjoyed sports programming. Norman was a quiet man, with few words, never boasted about his adventures, his engineering talents, nor all the places NOT captured in this brief history, his-story, (so we did it for him). He loved his family, and those were his parting words before he died, “I love you.” May you know that he loved you always! Forever, will we miss him!
Norman is survived by his wife “Vicky” Beryl (Dunstan-Styles) Steckler; sons, Tom and Traci (Heintz) Steckler of Washington; Tony and Kristine (Carlson) Steckler of Arizona; Grandchildren Tiana, Tyler, Michael and Katherine Steckler; Step-daughter Lorraine (Styles) and Bob Vivash and three step grandsons and step great grandchildren all from England; stepson, Ken Paddock and family of California. Also, he is survived by two sisters Virginia Cado of California and Louise Peter of Mt. Carmel and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Lastly, Norman’s first marriage was to Sally, formally of Mt. Carmel, IL. From that marriage he had 3 children; David, Cynthia, and Beth Steckler. He always carried you in his heart.
Norman was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers; Sylvester, Bud and Robert Steckler; his sons’ mother Michiko (Oka-Paddock) Steckler and stepson Mark Styles.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Mt. Carmel on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 5 :00 p.m. Interment of his cremains with military honors will be held prior to this service at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
Memorials can be made to St. Mary’s Catholic School and Church.
Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the Steckler family.
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St. Mary's Catholic School
417 Chestnut Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
St. Mary's Church
125 W 5th Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863