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a person who seeks to promote human welfare; a philanthropist.
Steve House passed away on January 20th, from cancer one day after his 74th birthday. Summing up a person’s life, especially one who lived for 74 years, for such an occasion seems impossible - futile really but here goes….
Steven Harold House was born on January 19th, 1950, on the Wounded Knee Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as his father was employed there as an engineer with the Indian Bureau of Affairs. Education and religion were staples in his upbringing, his mother was a teacher, and his parents were devout Episcopalians. Growing up in South Dakota, Kansas and Montana with his brother Merle and sister Kaylene, he was involved in a variety of sports, especially the “tough” kind. There was even a stint as an amateur boxer. After high school he joined the Army and was trained to be an MP. Despite many being drafted, he enlisted voluntarily, and went off to the Vietnam war. Serving 2 years, 2 months, 11 days, 24 minutes, and 16 seconds, as he would state when asked “how long were you in”. After his tour in Vietnam, he was discharged from active duty, and continued his military service as an active reservist for the next 16 years. Shortly after returning from active duty, he enrolled in the college of Great Falls, Montana. There he met the vivacious Patti Geniesse. Once that spark flew it didn’t take long for the two to get married. Taking their new life to Wisconsin, they embarked on many adventures, most often ones that included caring for others such as running group homes for both young girls and boys and later being foster parents who provided respite care for older adults. Thus, his humanitarianism started. Eventually, and a few Wisconsin cities plus three children later, they settled in Waupaca, where he became employed at the Wisconsin Veterans home in King, working there for many years as a Social Worker and AODA counselor before retiring in 2005. Retirement brought new opportunities for him to become more involved in veterans’ affairs. He ran a veteran’s homeless shelter, held several elected positions with different Veterans organizations, most notably as President for the Wisconsin State Chapter of VVA, being appointed by the Governor onto the board of directors for the Wisconsin Veterans Affairs and editor of the state VVA News and Views publication. He enjoyed traveling back to Vietnam and was also engaged in philanthropic efforts to build libraries in Vietnam, Loas, and Cambodian villages, with the Libraries of Vietnam Project which besides his children was his pride and joy. Lastly, he had an ever-evolving list of artistic hobbies, which his grandchildren enjoyed doing with him. Physical activity was important as he spent many years as an avid runner and along with Patti the two partook in many community sports. There was great pride in his children and grandchildren’s activities, especially his boys’ football days. Steve was a deeply caring individual and made it his mission to help others. His actions always spoke louder than his words. When he did choose words, sage advice was sure to follow. Steve will be greatly missed, however the impacts of his selfless acts of service will be remembered forever more.
He is survived by his wife Patti, three children Stephanie (Jesse) Rintala, Nathan (Holley) and Simon, his 5 grandchildren Axel, Eleanor, Sloane, Franklin, and Henry. He is also survived by his sister Kaylene, along with a slew of sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family. And not to forget all his good buddies from younger days till now, there are lots and I promise we will mention you all at service.
He was preceded in death by his infant twins, Elizabeth and Adam, brother Merle, mother Lu and father Bill.
There will be a service to honor and remember Steve on Saturday February 17th. Visitation at 10am with a Church service to follow at St. Mark’s Episcopalian Church, Waupaca WI. Military honors will take place at the church after the service. A burial will be set for a later date at the Veterans Military Cemetery in King, WI.
House Funeral hotel block: Must call directly to make the reservation
Ramada by Wyndham Waupaca
110 Grand Seasons Dr, Waupaca, Wisconsin 54981