Madeline Sena Steckelberg
August 29, 1919 – October 20, 2020
Graveside services for Madeline Sena Steckelberg, 101, of Chamberlain, SD, were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at Riverview Cemetery of Chamberlain, SD.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the family wants everyone to practice diligent social distancing however, encourages spiritual attendance or through a card or phone call.
Madeline Sena Steckelberg died Oct. 20, 2020, at Sanford Care Center of Chamberlain, SD, at the age of 101.
Madeline Sena Steckelberg was born Aug. 29, 1919, in Buffalo County of South Dakota on the family farmstead along the banks of Crow Creek to Marie (Krull) and John Mayer.
She was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church.
She attended school at Gann Valley, SD, and following her graduation from Gann Valley High School of Gann Valley, SD, in 1937, Madeline pursued a nursing career through St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, SD. She and eight other students received their registered nursing diplomas in May of 1940.
While in nurses training, which was taught by the Nuns of St. Mary’s, she would always tell the story of the first penicillin shot that was administered at that hospital because the Sister giving the shot emphasized that the students need to remember this because they were “watching history.”
Madeline returned to Chamberlain, SD, in 1941 to work for Dr. T. Jones at the Chamberlain Sanitarium.
On June 14, 1941, Madeline was united in marriage to Raymond Steckelberg at the home of Lucy Steckelberg.
The family moved to Kimball, SD, in 1957 and there she cared for relatives, friends and neighbors and also many cancer patients in their homes.
In 1958, Ray purchased a men’s wear store and Madeline returned to begin working at Community Bailey Hospital. She became the director of nursing in 1975, a position she held for eight years. She assisted long-time physician, L. W. Holland with surgeries and made rounds with him each day. Madeline was on call 24/7 during the time when the Big Bend Dam Project was being built.
A wonderful tribute to Madeline is all the stories of young girls starting at the hospital as a candy striper or aide only to later achieve their RN degree all because they worked with Madeline. One of her greatest honors was to place the RN pin on Vickie Mills who pursued her degree because of Madeline.
Madeline enjoyed playing bridge and belonged to multiple bridge clubs.
While living at Regency Retirement, she played bridge weekly up to turning 100 years old.
Grateful for having shared her life are her children, Linda Miller and husband, Duane, David Steckelberg and Duane Steckelberg and wife, Sheryl; many grandchildren, many great grandchildren, several great great grandchildren; a sister, Alice Scranton and husband, Ronald; two sisters-in-law, Lorraine Mayer and Loretta Glass and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Steckelberg; her parents, Marie and John Mayer; three brothers, Clarence Mayer and his spouse, Raymond Mayer and his spouse and Johnnie Mayer; a sister, Donna Bridge and her spouse and the mother of three of her granddaughters, Linda Cullen.
Hickey Funeral Chapel of Chamberlain, SD, was in charge of arrangements.
The obituary may be seen at www.hickeyfuneralchapel.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established for a scholarship in the medical field.