Steiner Was Great Ag and Community Promoter

by Peter Spicer

Former Granton resident Francis Steiner, who passed away at age 85 Monday, March 28, 2011, was a strong promoter of agriculture and the Granton Community.

Steiner grew up on a farm in Mauston in a family of seven, said his daughter, Sharon Garbisch of Granton, who explained farming was “in his blood”.

Steiner, who was a U. S. Army Veteran, taught agriculture at Granton High School for 39 years before retiring in 1988; he then taught agriculture at Mid-State Technical College in Marshfield for 10 years.

Steiner received many agriculture awards and was Wisconsin’s Outstanding FFA Alumni member in 1977 and was a 2006 Wisconsin Association of FFA Hall of Fame Inductee.

Steiner was also a speaker, radio host and author – he spoke at farm banquets for over 25 years, hosted the WCCN radio program “Let’s Visit Your Neighbor” for 23 years, wrote for area newspapers, including The Country Today, and authored the book “Recollections of a Country Kid,” which sold over 1,500 copies.

Francis Steiner with his book

Former Granton resident Francis Steiner, who passed away Monday, March 28, poses (above)
with a copy of the book he wrote, titled “Recollections of a Country Kid,” which sold over 1,500 copies. 
Steiner (below, left) poses with family friend and former student, Donald Krause.

(Contributed photos)

Francis Steiner and Donald Krause

Steiner also helped operate Steiner’s Variety Store from 1972 – 1982 in Granton.  Steiner’s wife Jeanette still resides in Granton. Five children and 14 grandchildren survive Steiner.

Despite Steiner’s many activities, he always made time for family, said Garbisch, who explained, “Family was important to him."

Much like the late great Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, Steiner prioritized God, family and then work, said Garbisch.

Steiner took time to time to teach his children important agriculture skills, including planting, said Garbisch, who added her father also taught his children how to dance.

“[Steiner] had a tremendous amount of energy,” Garbisch explained.

Steiner carefully researched where to take his family on vacations so the trips were educational for his children, said Garbisch, who explained state parks were some of the sites the family saw on those vacations.

In the classroom, Steiner not only taught students about agriculture but life skills, as well, explained Garbisch, who added Steiner’s classroom became part of his family.

“[Steiner] was always an educator,” said Garbisch.

After retiring from the classroom, Steiner continued to take an interest in the Granton FFA and other groups, said Garbisch.

Steiner modeled to others how to stand up for what they believed, said Garbisch, who added, “He was never afraid to speak his peace (piece)."

Roger Nitschke, who owns Roger’s Grocery in Granton and knew Steiner for many years, praised Steiner for his community involvement, stating, “He was involved in a lot."

Nitschke, while a student in Granton, had Steiner as a teacher, and explained, “Mr. Steiner was very good [at teaching]."

“[Steiner] was very proud of FFA,” Nitschke explained.

Steiner was the Granton Fall Fest Committee Chairman for 50 years, said Nitschke, who worked with Steiner on the committee and is currently t he Granton Fall Fest Committee President.

“[Fall Fest] was a big thing in his life,” said Nitschke, who added Steiner was a community-minded person who always promoted the community when possible, helping put Granton on the map.

Steiner was also a Rotary Club member and a Granton Park Committee member who helped establish the Granton Community Park approximately 35 yeas ago, said Nitschke.

Steiner always told Nitschke, “You should always brag up your community."

Please also see the obituary for Frances Steiner.

Obituaries for Francis C. Steiner (1925-2011):

Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, WI) 03/30/2011

The Loyal TRG (Loyal, Clark County, Wis. 30 Mar 2011)

Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) March 30, 2011

From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 6, 2011, Font Page

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, April 12, 2011

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, April 17, 2011

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