Richard Zeke Steinhaus, Jr.
Rick is being honored in a private memorial service on November 18 in Tarrytown.
Rick wrote this essay on the occasion of his 60th birthday, just three years ago.
His own words are the best way to honor his life and the extraordinary things he experienced.
He is so profoundly missed and will be forever.
"Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."
In my 1st 60 years, I have lived, loved and lost….I have held my mother’s hand as she took her last breath of life. I have made friends and enemies alike. I have failed at marriage and have also knocked it outta the park….I have seen man walk on the moon, limp across the finish line, and have witnessed launches at Cape Kennedy….I have learned the meaning of chronic, progressive illness and the value of a pension, a 401K, an IRA and financial advice from people who know much more than I do….I have learned the meaning of unconditional love. In my 1st 60 years, I have had the unique pleasure of announcing my friend’s name as “now pitching for the New York Mets”….I have raised a glass with champions and watched losers sob in their beer….I’ve learned if the best part of waking up IS Folgers in your cup, maybe it’s time to examine your life….I have sailed on the QE 2.…I have worked in radio stations, hospitals and nursing homes.
In my 1st 60, I have buried too many people to count, but have accepted that death, mine, yours and everyone else’, is part of a life well lived….I have smoked pot and.…I’ve been on the radio in my hometown, and had days of living beyond my means….In my 1st 60 years, I have run a marathon, I have arrived in NYC before I left London, thanks to supersonic travel. I have gotten a master degree and have watched mozzarella get made in Italy….I have actually owned a Diner’s Club card….and a Nissan Pulsar.…
In my 1st 60 years, I have held the Stanley Cup and had my picture taken with Cher. I have had a smart phone. And a DUMB phone….I have faxed, vaxed, emailed, texted, FedEx’d, Skyped, podcasted, preboarded, smuggled, zoomed and waited for film to come back from FotoMat. I have progressed from beer to martinis with many a stop along the way at red wine….In my 1st 60 years, I know that my glass is ½ full a lot more than it’s ½ empty….
I have gotten bumped, upgraded, accused, recused, excused, dismissed, rejected and lost my way. In my 1st 60 years, I have learned the value of being a good listener and the intangible value of looking someone in the eyes as you give and take. I have said “I do”..…I have also said I do not….I have broken bones, teeth, promises, and hearts. I have learned “they’re real and they’re spectacular”! I watched the twin towers crumble sure as I watched them being built 30+ years before.
In my 1st 60 years, I have seen mindless, brainless colleagues go on to unimaginable success. I have seen valedictorians choose to check out rather than go on. “I’ve seen the lights go out on Broadway; I’ve seen the Empire state laid low”….In my 1st 60 years, I’ve tried to learn how to accept help with graciousness.…I have learned the meaning of narcissistic personality disorder….I have learned to accept responsibility for mistakes I have made. I have made a lot of mistakes.
In my 1st 60 years I have parked planes at LaGuardia Airport. I have ridden in a limo, a hot air balloon, a cable car, a chairlift, a cruise ship, a glider, on horseback, an elephant, a Maserati and learned to drive a stick (though Valerie might dispute), I’ve been to Fenway, Maple Leaf Gardens, Boston Garden, Wrigley Field, the original Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Candle Stick, and walked on the ice at Madison Square Garden….
In my 1st 60 years, I have seen the sun rise and set nearly 22,000 times, lived through blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, black outs, super storms, AIDS, SARS, the Bird Flu, Mad Cow, COVID, the Vietnam war, the Persian Gulf war, Apollo 13, Challenger, Dan Quayle, and have come to appreciate George W. Bush as a compassionate, decent leader. Have grown to LOVE Les Mis….but walked out of Phantom….
I learned the value of therapy, and that perfect doesn’t really exist in life. I have learned how to forgive but am still capable of holding a grudge. I have seen my name on scoreboards at Yankee and Shea Stadiums and MSG….I have been on stage at Radio City Music Hall….
In these 1st 60 years, I have come to value fresh blueberries, a really good watermelon, a fine porterhouse, grill lines when I bar-b-q, a hot shower, a great massage, acupuncture, lavender and freshly picked basil from the garden, the wind at my back, EZ Pass, the backup beeps/camera on my car, a freshly mowed lawn, a newly paved street, Netflix, a full tank of gas in my car, a 7 letter Scrabble word, being able to laugh in the face of adversity, lightning storms, the stars and planets we can actually see, the stars and planets that we can’t see, the smell of a newly unwrapped Rawlings baseball, a size 32 waist, the sound of the ocean crashing into the shore…
In these 1st 60 years, I have come to appreciate and respect life outside of NYC, the complexity of the flavor Vanilla, relished the idea of being a “Junior”. In my 1st 60 years, I am sorry to have tossed out old baseball cards….and some love notes….and am extremely thankful, and appreciative of every opportunity I have ever had, and failure I have learned from.
I arrived on 6/26/60….And if there was ever a sign from the universe, my love, Valerie, was literally born at 6:26 PM….
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of the charities Rick appreciated and supported:
Wounded Warrior Project
ASPCA-NY, or any animal rescue organization
MS Society-NY Chapter or National Organization
Ice Hockey in Harlem