Lloyd Lawrence Stepien passed away peacefully on Sunday July 18, 2021 at the age of 95 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lloyd was born in Sobieski, Wisconsin on July 28, 1925 to Frances and Stanley Stepien. He was the 4th child and first son in the family, and grew up with his many siblings on the family farm in Sampson, Wisconsin. Lloyd joined the army in 1945 and served in the 82nd Airborne Division, 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment until his honorable discharge in 1946. He returned to Sampson, where he worked as a blacksmith. He married Dorothy (Dottie) Calba on July 1, 1950 and they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they lived for over 50 years. They had two daughters, Cindy (Kevin) Connell of Greendale, Wisconsin and Rebecca (Shawn Kennedy) Stepien of Madison, Wisconsin.
Lloyd had a long and eventful life in which his love of family and of work were the dominant features. Beginning with his blacksmith shop in Sampson, Lloyd spent a lifetime working with metal in various jobs at various companies, eventually buying, with his wife Dottie, their own business, Commercial Heat Treating, Inc. in Milwaukee in 1973. Lloyd worked tirelessly (some would say relentlessly) at the company until his retirement in 2018. In the years before the purchase of the business, Lloyd also managed to be a part-time farmer, raising steers and pigs. He was also a beekeeper for many years, and grew cucumbers commercially.
Lloyd had deep ties to his large family, and was generous with his support of family members and friends throughout his lifetime. He had many happy memories of working side by side with his father on their farm, of skating on the river with his brothers and sisters and occasionally being the underage driver when his older sisters needed a ride to a dance in Krakow. He had a gift for visualizing projects and making them come to life, including fulfilling his dream of building a cabin by the river on his and Dottie’s land on Stepien Lane in Sampson, building a bridge on the river and developing and maintaining fresh water springs on the property. Never letting rules and regulations slow his plans, he designed and constructed the cabin, and created many of its architectural flourishes, including a stairwell made from a curved log, a hand-crafted kitchen table and chairs, designer ironwork on doors and brackets and a stone wall with a garden. Throughout his life, Lloyd retained his sense of fun, “haunting” his daughters, nieces and nephews with spooky visits during camping events and “hurling to the sky” the kids on the rope swing in the yard of the cabin. He was immediately identifiable in his blue worksuit with his name on the front, and by his impressively large and capable hands (once referred to as being “like a sofa”). He was never happier than when he was cultivating the garden with his beloved vintage John Deere Model A tractor or using the other John Deere tractors in his collection for projects. He loved having his large extended family over to the cabin for work projects and enjoyed hosting family celebrations with bonfires and fish boils.
Lloyd is survived by and missed by his daughters, his sons-in-law, his two grandchildren Jessica Connell and Erin (Brock) Fritz, sisters and brothers Dennis (Joanne) Stepien, Jerry (Dottie) Stepien, Bonnie (Dick) McDermid and Tom (Diane) Stepien, in-laws Marion Stepien, Beryl and Harold Delzer and his many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Dottie, his parents, his brothers and sisters Julie (Bob) Heinzen, Sophie (Donald) Kraszewski, Stephanie (Sister Delorice) Stepien, Florence (Frank) Kowalkowski, Louis Stepien, Marie (Ben) Schoenborn and Lorraine Stepien.
Friends are invited to gather with the family at Assumption B.V.M. Church, 119 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski, Saturday, October 16, from 10-11 a.m. The Funeral Mass for Lloyd and Dottie will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church, with Fr. Carmen Scuderi, O.F.M. presiding.
Lloyd’s daughters would like to express our gratitude to the compassionate assisted living staff at St. Camillus, especially Shareka Truss and Harvette McFarlan, as well as Tracy Schlicht in hospice care. Special thanks to the Colleen Mas of the chaplain’s service for her loving visits and support for Lloyd and his family during his time at St. Camillus.
“Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch…And a holy thing, a holy thing, to love. For your life has lived in me, your laugh once lifted me, your word was gift to me…To remember this brings painful joy.” Judah Halevi