Bruce Steffek

Obituary of Bruce Duane Steffek

Bruce Duane Steffek, 65, passed away quietly at his home in East Greenbush after a brief illness on Friday, January 14, 2022. Bruce was born February 22, 1956, in Bay Shore, New York, the son of Edwin T. and Beverly A. (Westby) Steffek. Growing up on Long Island, Bruce perennially enjoyed the surrounding nature, from the summertime beaches to the parks and historical sites in winter. He graduated from Massapequa High School with honors in 1974, receiving a full National Merit Scholarship for academic achievement. A chess lover from an early age, Bruce became the National High School Chess Champion before graduating. He went on to attend SUNY Stonybrook, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1986. Before starting graduate school, Bruce attended the Swedish Institute in Manhattan, studying all aspects of both Swedish and Therapeutic Massage Therapy, as well as Reflexology.  In 1987, he married his best friend, confidante, companion, and love of his life, Jean-Marie Domino.  They met in 1980 and became close friends for several years before realizing they were meant to be together as a couple.  Bruce always said that he connected to Jean-Marie’s kindness and good heart and knew he’d want to be with her forever.  In 1988, Bruce and Jean-Marie moved to the Capital District, where Bruce attended SUNY Albany’s PhD program in Clinical Psychology. There he specialized in health psychology, contributing to pivotal research in non-drug treatments for headaches and hypertension. This combined his lifelong interests in both scientific research and naturalistic health. He had a genuine desire to educate others and to help them alleviate physical and emotional pain.  Bruce fell in love with upstate New York and never left the Capital District. A true nature lover ever since those early days on Long Island, Bruce delighted in exploring the lakes and mountains of the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Green Mountains as often as he could. He gravitated to the peace and extraordinary beauty that nature gave to him, and his everlasting wish was to spend as much time as possible experiencing that. His love of nature literally extended to his own backyard, where he collected and tended to his antique rose bushes and prized annual and perennial flowers.  After working as a family counselor and personal counselor for several local agencies, Bruce began working for the Child Protective unit of the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services in 2001. There, he influenced the lives of countless families as a caseworker before becoming a Supervisor to a unit of caseworkers. After 20 years of service, Bruce retired from the Department in November of 2021. Through this job, Bruce enjoyed spending time helping not just families, but also his coworkers. Many of his friendships were with his colleagues, with whom he enjoyed talking and laughing over a good meal. In 2006, Bruce was blessed to become a father when he and Jean-Marie adopted their daughter Susan. Becoming a family of three was a dream come true for Bruce and his wife. Bruce loved being a father and considered it the most sacred role he had in this life.  A true Renaissance man, Bruce immersed himself thoroughly in each of his hobbies. Among the hobbies that persisted in his life were baseball, bridge, Eastern philosophy, astrology, palmistry, gemology, holistic medicine, history, and the healing arts. Bruce’s adventurous palate was its own exercise in artistic appreciation: he could not resist trying all cultural delicacies, and Asian cuisine was by far his favorite.  An avid reader, Bruce delved into any and all topics of interest and never hesitated to pass along knowledge to anyone who had an open ear or mind. He amassed a large personal library, which he considered his true wealth.  large part of his library consisted of chess books. Chess was Bruce’s most passionate pastime, and his intense interest in the game grew from his teenage years until his passing. Locally, Bruce played in the Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga chess clubs in weekly matches and in local, regional, and state championship tournaments. He maintained membership in the United States Chess Federation (USCF), becoming a contributor to and ultimately, editor of—the USCF magazine for many years. Over the last decade, Bruce played online chess against opponents from all over the world. It brought him daily joy to play with and study the styles and techniques of each of his opponents.Throughout his life, Bruce cherished his dogs. He lovingly cared for, trained, and enjoyed the company of each and every one, considering them family and treating them like gold. The dogs, in turn, adored him, bringing him heartfelt joy, abiding love, and faithful companionship. Bruce's heartiest laughs and most genuine smiles erupted when playing with his dogs. His golden retriever, Rhett, will miss his favorite playmate terribly.  Bruce was a highly intelligent, privately sensitive, fiercely protective, and spiritually beautiful soul. Those who were blessed to really know him will miss him greatly.  Bruce leaves behind his adoring wife Jean-Marie (Domino) Steffek; his beloved daughter Susan Marie Steffek; his golden retriever, Rhett Butler; his sister Karen (Dennis) Jakubowski; his brother Kurt (Felicia) Steffek; his aunt Sandra Deck; his in-laws, Al (Angela) Domino, Judith Domino-True (Bill), and James Domino; his nieces and nephews, Camille Jakubowski, Justin Jakubowski, Valerie Steffek, Jillian True, and Natalie True; and his cousins, Mark (Susan) Deck, Robin (Doug) Poulin, Austin Deck, and Tyler Deck. 

Family and friends are invited to attend his calling hours Thursday 4-6Pm at the Rockefeller funeral home 165 Columbia Tpk Rensselaer with a memorial service to follow at 6Pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bruce’s name to a charity of the donor's choice.

Attnd via Zoom Link below

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83613482484

 

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Thursday
20
January

Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home Inc.
165 Columbia Tpk
Rensselaer, New York, United States
518-449-7047
Thursday
20
January

memorial service

6:00 pm
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home Inc
165 Columbia Tpk.
Rensselaer, New York, United States
518-449-7047
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