Cover photo for Steven Eugene Hans's Obituary

Steven Eugene Hans

November 30, 1956 — October 2, 2023

Harlingen, Texas

Steven Eugene Hans

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Steven Eugene Hans, devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, a man whose life was marked by service to others, went to Heaven on October 2, 2023, in Harlingen, TX. He was born on November 30, 1956, in Milton PA, beloved son of Frank and Nancy Hans.

After graduating from Milton Area High School in 1974, he embarked on a remarkable journey of serving God, his family, his country, and his community. He joined the US Navy, attending nuclear school and serving his country while gaining the knowledge and skills he used to support his family. He was a proud plank owner (because he was on the precommissioning crew) of both the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) and the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). During his service from 1974 to 1982 as a Machinist Mate (Nuclear), Steven discovered his love for travel and for his soulmate and best friend – a friendship that lasted a lifetime.

When he and Rosanne were engaged, he told her no one would take better care of her than he would, and he spent his life proving it. When his daughters and grandchildren were born, that promise extended to them. His loyalty also extended beyond his immediate family; he nurtured strong ties with friends he made throughout his life. He paid regular visits to Ed and Doris Boody and proclaimed them special friends.

His career took him through various nuclear power stations and training facilities. Steven was no respecter of titles; he chose instead to encourage and befriend the co-workers who met their responsibilities and earned their wages. In an era when women often faced limitations in the workplace, Steven assigned duties to his female colleagues based on their skills and actively supported their career advancement. Playing softball and sharing meals with co-workers was Steven’s fun way of building friendships.

Wearied by the politics of the nuclear industry, Steven accepted a position as fire apparatus engineer with the Nebraska City Fire Department, which he frequently identified as his favorite job. Ever.

Nothing brought Steven greater joy than the sound of children’s laughter, especially if he was the source. Whether playing games of peek-a-boo, whazzat, or hide and seek, he delighted in creating moments of pure happiness. Each of his daughters was deeply and uniquely loved by their father. As toddlers, he would take them to the park where he taught them about plants and animals. As they grew, he taught them to ride bikes, play ball, and enjoy a variety of foods. As teens, they learned the hard facts of life as Steven allowed them to make their own mistakes and deal with the consequences, but he was always there holding a safety net. A straight talker, Steven didn’t gush over his girls. He showed his love by his actions. He made it a priority to attend and support his children’s games, concerts, plays, and ceremonies. Watching his daughters find love and happiness brought great pleasure to Steven. He welcomed his sons and grandchildren with open arms and an open heart.

Steven had an adventurous spirit and lived life to the fullest. He planned annual family vacations and had everyone choose one day’s activity. His always included a speedy machine and water. He also enjoyed zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens. As a talented cook with a passion for food, he prepared meals that expressed love for those around him. Special occasions were celebrated by serving each person’s favorite meal, and somehow, he remembered who hated onions and who hated mushrooms. Food Network and magazines with recipes were sources of inspiration for him, and he enjoyed seeking out the next “best” restaurant to try.

Amidst his many interests and hobbies, hunting held a special place in Steven’s heart. He treasured memories of hunting over Thanksgiving with his family in PA at the cabin. He remembered with great pleasure a weeklong hunting trip with his dear friend Bob Schoenherr. Enjoying venison backstrap and heart, with fried potatoes and onions, was a simple pleasure that reinforced the bond he shared with his brothers.

Steven’s principled consideration for the people around him led him to dedicate himself to various causes throughout his life. He served as a Little League and softball coach for his daughters, instilling in them the values of teamwork and perseverance. He was also an active participant in the community as a preschool Sunday School teacher, a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical technician, and he drove an Emergency Response Vehicle for the Red Cross. When disaster struck Cedar Rapids during the derecho, he joined the team of volunteers serving with Mercy Chefs. He was commissioned as a Stephen Minister in April of 2023. Steven devoted himself to serving children by delivering beds from Sleep in Heavenly Peace and repairing playgrounds in eMalahleni. His humanitarian efforts extended beyond borders as he joined One Heart International in Lesotho and Swaziland (now Eswatini) to deliver food, clothing, and most importantly, a message of Jesus’ love.

A problem-solver, when he learned that people in Swaziland were walking five miles to get water, then losing half of it out of the dish on their head on the return trip, he devised a plan to fill lidded five-gallon buckets with food that his New Life church family could sponsor for R100. When the food was gone, the buckets could be used to carry water.

Steven’s faith was at the core of everything he did. Baptized and raised in the Evangelical United Brethren Church, he made a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior while serving on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He modeled following Christ by attending worship services regularly, dedicating time to studying the Bible, praying, and serving in various roles at the churches he attended. After leading a Rooted discipleship group in Iowa, he approached Pastor Mark McCoy and asked him to baptize him as an adult – a deeply meaningful step on his spiritual journey. Steven’s favorite Bible passage was John 3:17: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!” In Steven’s final days, when speaking with loved ones, he expressed confidence in his eternal destiny: “If I believe what I say I believe, you don’t need to cry for me. I will be in Heaven with Jesus.” Surely his faith was rewarded when he heard those words every believer longs to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Steven leaves behind a legacy of love and selflessness. He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife of 44 years, Rosanne (Schutz) Hans; his children Sarah (Hans) Sholes, Jennifer (Hans) Kurtenbach, Seth Sholes, and Cole Kurtenbach; and his grandchildren Adrien Sholes, Lily Sholes, Eli Sholes, and Isabella Kurtenbach.

He also leaves behind his parents: Nancy (Hans) Lobao, and Gerald and Ronnie Schutz; and his brothers and sisters: Frank and Linda Hans, Donna (Hans) Boyer, James and Cherry Hans, Lisa (Hans) and Bart Heinzer, Tim and Becky Hans, Kevin and Fay Schutz, Mary (Schutz) and Charles Davis, and Theodore and Laurie Schutz. Numerous nieces and nephews remember him with love.

His Gram, Pap, father Frank, and sister Vondella (Hans) Hause were there to greet him at Heaven’s gate.

Steven Eugene Hans will be remembered as a truly remarkable individual whose life was filled with selfless acts of service and loyal love for his family and friends. As we consider his life and bid farewell with heavy hearts, let us find solace in the knowledge that he touched countless lives in profound ways. Though he may no longer be physically present among us, his spirit will forever dwell within our hearts.

If you would like to honor Steven’s memory, the family suggests Mercy Chefs (https://mercychefs.com), a ministry that combines service to God with feeding God’s people.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at First Methodist Church, 321 E Harrison Ave, Harlingen, TX

To order memorial trees in memory of Steven Eugene Hans, please visit our tree store.

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