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James A. ‘Jim’ Steder

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 1:15 a.m. CST

ROCHELLE – James A. “Jim” Steder, 68, of Rochelle, passed away peacefully Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his loving family and friends.

He was born Oct. 4, 1943, in Amboy, to Paul and Pauline (Schauer) Steder. Jim married Bonnie J. Schabacker on March 20, 1964, in Rochelle.

Jim graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 1961. He then went on to complete an automotive trade program in Nebraska. Jim spent the next 50 years building, repairing and customizing automobiles. He began working for Gene Thornton at the age of 15, and in 1983 purchased Thornton’s Body Shop. He owned and operated the family business until 2009.

Jim loved to spend time at the cabin he designed and built with his sons, brothers and friends. His interests included motorcycles, airplanes, boats and woodworking, but his passion always was for his wife and family. Jim was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Rochelle.

Jim was a devoted husband, father and grandfather (papa). He generally was considered the “go-to” guy by his friends and often referred to as the “voice of reason” by his family. He is described by all who knew him as honest, hard-working, patient and kind.

Survivors include his wife and soulmate, Bonnie of Rochelle; two sons, Rick (Eve) Steder of Davis and Chris (Cassie Cecil) Steder of Monroe Center; brothers, Ron (Karla) Steder of Rochelle, Bill (Teresa) Steder of Elgin and Bob Steder of West Brooklyn; and three grandchildren: Emily, Sara and Jenna Steder.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Candace Steder in infancy.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Unger-Horner Funeral Home in Rochelle. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Gregory Hoffmann officiating. Burial will be at Trinity Memory Gardens in Rochelle.

A memorial has been established to St. Paul Lutheran Church. 

The family would like to thank Renae Anderson from Heartland Hospice and Dr. Harvey Einhorn and the SwedishAmerican staff for all their kindness and considerate care during his illness.

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