March 1, 1926 - September 11, 2018
Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, 2018 in the Chapel at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth.
Abbie Allen Steffler, age 92, died peacefully in her sleep on September 11, 2018 at her Trinity Terrace home in Fort Worth, TX, joining her beloved husband Rudy and her Lord Jesus.
Abbie, named after her Aunt Abbie, was born on March 1, 1926 and grew up in Manchester, Georgia with her sister Nancy and parents Thomas Smith and Louise Grubb Smith. Her family moved to New York in the late 1930’s where she attended and graduated from White Plains High School in 1942. She received a full scholarship to attend Syracuse University and graduated in May, 1946 (at age 20) with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering as the only female in her Engineering class.
In the summer of 1944 she met Rudy Steffler of San Antonio, Texas while attending Syracuse. Rudy was in the Army attending OCS school at the University and met Abbie at a Sorority dance. They dated that summer until he was shipped out for further army training and was eventually deployed as an Army Paratrooper to Europe during WWII in November of 1944. He served under General Patton in Europe, and returned to New York by boat in July, 1945 following Germany’s surrender on May 5. He and Abbie traveled by train to San Antonio in August and were married in Rudy’s childhood home on August 30, 1945. They spent their honeymoon at a family fishing cabin in Rockport, Texas.
They returned to Syracuse to allow Abbie to complete her degree and then moved to Houston, Texas in the summer of 1946, where they lived and raised their family, until 1992, when they moved to Fort Worth, Texas. Abbie and Rudy had 3 sons – Brad, Scott and Mark – who each completed high school and college in Texas and then relocated to Alabama, Fort Worth and Virginia, respectively.
Abbie worked as an Engineer at HL&P until 1949 when first son Brad was born. She was a homemaker until the early 1960’s when she decided to become a high school mathematics teacher. She received a Master’s Degree in Math Education from the University of Houston in 1965, and taught high school in Houston and Galveston until 1990 when she retired. She was skilled in teaching advanced subjects like trigonometry and calculus, and especially enjoyed her time at Sterling High School in Houston as her son Mark attended school there with her during the early 1970’s.
Rudy and Abbie built and lived in their ‘retirement’ home in Galveston Island from the early 1980’s until 1992 when they moved to Fort Worth, TX to be close to son Scott and his family. Together they built a vibrant life there, joining Christ Chapel Bible Church, making many new friends, staying involved with family and playing lots of bridge from their home in Mistletoe Heights. Abbie became well known in the community as a high school math tutor and worked with high schoolers most days from 3 to 6 pm during the school year. Both she and Rudy made many friends with the parents of the kids Abbie tutored. Rudy passed away in July, 2003 and Abbie remained in their home until moving to Trinity Terrace in 2008, where she happily spent her last 10 years with us.
Abbie is survived by her 3 sons and their families – Dr. Brad and Kathy Steffler of Mobile, Alabama, Scott and Karen Steffler of Fort Worth, and Mark and Robin Steffler of Ashburn, Virginia. Abbie had 9 grandchildren – Ashley, Sarah, Joshua, Adam, Abbie, Grace, April, Alice and Daniel (whom she has joined in Heaven) – along with 12 great- grandchildren – from ages 15 years to 3 months.
Abbie was kind and dedicated to family, especially her life-long love Rudy to whom she was married for 58 years. She often said that she knew why God gave her sons, after teaching high school girls for 25 years. Abbie loved and supported her family and friends, and was loved by many because of her joyful attitude, smile, easy laughter and graciousness. She expressed appreciation openly and easily to others, including those at Trinity Terrace who helped and served her. Most of all, she loved God with a deep and abiding faith that never faltered, even in the most difficult times. She is now celebrating with Jesus, our Lord and Savior, in glory and peace.