AMerican Veteran 11

Burt Steeves

March 11, 1925 ~ January 9, 2020 (age 94)


Arthur Burton (Burt) Steeves (94) died peacefully enfolded in the love of his wife, Dolly, at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids on January 9, 2020.

Born in Ansonia, Connecticut in 1925, he graduated from Ansonia High School in 1942. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps that following October, achieving the rank of corporal before his honorable discharge in December of 1945. He then studied business administration at the University of Connecticut, while playing on a traveling Veteran’s basketball team, which he continued to enjoy after his graduation in 1949.

Burt worked as a sales representative for BF Goodrich for twenty-five years. After leaving Goodrich, he joined the sales force of Chatham Fabrics where he worked for an additional twenty-one years. He truly enjoyed working in sales because it gave him an opportunity to make new friends from all over the country, many of whom he kept strong friendships with his entire life. He also enjoyed visiting new places and over the course of his career he lived in many different cities, including Kansas City, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, New York, Akron, back to Chicago and of course, Grand Rapids. It was in Chicago where this bachelor of 46 years would meet Dolly Keyes, the woman he would finally marry.

After dating for five years, they were married in Oak Park Illinois on New Year’s Eve, 1971. On that day, Burt became a family man, complete with two teenage daughters: Sheila and Debra.

Burt’s love of travel continued and the couple enjoyed traveling together to many places, including most of Western and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Egypt and India. Burt was a Mason and also a regular volunteer with the Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly in Chicago for over sixteen years. His love of basketball also continued throughout his life, and he played full court basketball in a local Grand Rapids pick-up league until just shy of his 92nd birthday. One of the greatest honors of his life was his participation on May 16, 2015, in the West Michigan Honor Flight which brought 100 veterans of WW II together on a flight from Grand Rapids to Washington DC for one very special day in our Nation’s capitol designed to honor their military service.

Burt is predeceased by his father, Walter Palmer Steeves, his mother, Eunice MacRae Steeves, his big brother Borden and his sister Dorothy Keleher.

He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Dolly Steeves, and daughters Sheila Heiser (David), Debra Denniston (Scott). Nephew Denny Steeves (Carol), nieces Carol Crowley (Ed) and Marilyn Clark. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Frankie (Michele), Kate, Elliot (Kristina), Eric (Anita), and Rachel. And five great grand children: Rachael, Anthony, Nick, Reverie and Scout. 

We will be celebrating his life with a memorial service on Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Metcalf & Jonkhoff, 4291 Cascade Road, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49546. There will be a reception immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to World Vision or the Semper Fi Fund.

To send flowers to Burt's family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
February 17, 2020

11:00 AM
Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service
4291 Cascade Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546


World Vision
P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way WA 98063
Tel: 1-888-511-6548

Semper Fi Fund
825 College Blvd, Suite 102 • PMB 609, Oceanside CA 92057
Tel: 1-760-725-3680

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