Surrounded by his loving family, in a room of prayer, Steve left this world for Heaven. He joked a few weeks before his death that God was looking for a new addition and his family is comforted knowing Steve is now dancing with the angels.
Steve was born on May 9, 1952, in Parsons to Paul “Pat” and Maxene (Hudson) VanLeeuwen. He grew up and attended school in St. Paul, where he earned the nickname “Handsome,” and was a 1971 graduate of St. Paul High School. He later attended Pittsburg State Vocational College, where he studied carpentry.
Steve had a long career in carpentry and craftsmanship. He took great pride as the owner of Quality Homes and Commercial Builders. He and his crew built numerous houses in Crawford and Labette counties and surrounding areas. He was also employed by O’Toole Construction in later years.
His strong Catholic faith guided every day of his life. He was a proud member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Girard. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus of St. Francis and St. Michael’s. Some of the greatest moments of his day were spent praying the rosary.
Steve was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved and cherished his wife, Mary “Deanne,” and was proud to be her husband. His family will remember his loud exclamations, with arms outstretched wide, of how he loved his family “This Much!” He loved telling jokes and making others smile and was a good friend to all he met. He was also a past member of the Brazilton Ruritan and local fire department.
He married Deanne McMillan on April 12, 1975, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in South Mound. She survives of the home.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his children, Jay Aloysius VanLeeuwen and his wife, Jenny, of Topeka, Mary Elizabeth Johnstun and her husband, Kase, of Manhattan, Steven “Blake” VanLeeuwen and his wife, Lindsey, of Arma, Kristen Janelle Graham and her husband, Douglas, of Girard, Autumn Renea VanLeeuwen and Chelsea Lynn VanLeeuwen, both of the home; four grandchildren, Gwen VanLeeuwen, Lukas Johnstun, Tess VanLeeuwen and Gabrielle Graham; two brothers, Mike VanLeeuwen and his wife, Mary Ann, of Topeka and John VanLeeuwen and his wife, Linda, of Walnut; four sisters, Shirley Gray of Parsons, Patricia Holland and her husband, Woody, of Erie, Mary Lou Reeves and her husband, Ron, and Susan Coeme, all of St. Paul; in-laws, Jay and Mary McMillan and their children, a family Steve loved as his own; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Francis Catholic Church in St. Paul. Burial will be in St. Francis Cemetery in St. Paul. The rosary will be prayed at 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Girard. The family will receive friends immediately following the rosary.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A donation for the family or memorials to St. Pius X Newman Center at Pittsburg State University may be left at or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357. Steve’s love for the Newman Center stems from his days as a student there, where he prayed, ate and often napped at the facility.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.