Charles Steeber’s journey began in Kansas City, Missouri. He was born the younger of two children, having a sister who was eight years older. He attended grade school in Taberville, Missouri and went to high school in Appleton City, Missouri. Afterwards, he attended The University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, studying book keeping and accounting. He took a job with the Pontiac Division of General Motors upon graduating. He worked in various departments, eventually becoming an auditor for the company.
However, Charles wasn’t just a master of numbers. He possessed an artistic spirit that inspired many talents and hobbies, including writing and the creation of stained glass. He also found inspiration in his religion, family and wife.
“I met my Marion at an Independence Day Dance,” said Charles. It was a blind date, set up by a pair of mutual friends who wanted to double date. “The rest is history.”
Charles and Marion continued to see each other and were eventually married on May 31, 1953. Together they attended church and created a community of friends.
Del and Bill Baier attended their church, and it was Bill who introduced Charles to his love of stained glass.
“They asked us over for dinner and I saw his displayed work,” said Charles.
Bill invited Charles to come back another afternoon and taught him the ins-and-outs of stained glass. Charles practiced on his own, perfecting his new skills through trial and error.
“My first creation was a pear, I think.”
He drew and designed each of his pieces. While they started simple, it wasn’t long before he was creating works of art that wowed friends and family alike.
One special creation was a Nativity Scene containing seventeen figures. It was entered into a fine arts show at the Methodist Church in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Charles won second prize.
“The judge was really impressed by the accuracy and composition of each piece,” said Charles.
Another special creation was made later, depicting the town of Bethlehem, the Christmas star, Calvary, and the Lord watching over them all. Like all of his creations, the glass was held together by lead strips. Charles wanted something special for an outer frame to make it convenient for handling and displaying. He contacted a manufacturer in Israel, purchasing wood from the olive trees of Bethlehem. The wood was cut and finished, carefully embracing the image of God’s-love.
Over the years, Charles has given many of his projects as gifts to family and friends. He donated over six hundred red glass flames to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the local Methodist Church of Waterford, Michigan in 2007. He also has work on display at the town museum in Appleton City.
“The museum features information on the town’s history and residents,” said Charles.
The museum also holds a collection of Charles’ writing, including a booklet of poems. One of his earliest works was written in 1942 and is entitled “High School Students,” but there are many others, describing Charles’ life and emotions.
“I write my thoughts, my feelings and things I’ve learned,” said Charles.
His faith is a big inspiration to Charles, as is his love of Christmas. Like his glass work, many of Charles’ poems, essays and short stories center on the birth of Christ.
“Christ’s birth is a big part of my life,” said Charles. “It’s a big part of who I am.”
Note: There are many poems of Charles to choose from, but we hope you enjoy reading “Friendship” written by Charles in 2019.
Friends are those you would like to know well,
or maybe you already do.
You respect their opinions,
and can usually tell
that the feelings are mutual with you.
There is trust in the air,
And you can talk to them with ease.
Each is willing to share.
And each tries always to please.
Disagreements may arise,
But there exists no ill-will.
Harsh words are not wise,
And words remain pleasant still.
The way to find a friend
is to be friendly concerned.
Then soon feelings will blend,
And Friendship is earned.