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This part of my Family pages deals with my maternal family.

Margaret Stecker (Mother) [1926 - 1983]
I never called her by any of the usual words one uses for their Mother, instead I called her "Marg" as did everyone else. The way she told it, everyone around called her Marg when I was a baby so thats what I learned to call her too. Despite what people might think of that, we were very close. It wasn't very often a mother-son relationship, but more one of close friends.

Marg was the Youngest of Five Children born to the Stecker Family after they came to the United States.

During my entire life she worked for Rockwell International. First on the Minuteman missile project, which experience lead her into the Apollo Space Program. After Apollo She was involved in the early development and production of Micro-electronics. When she passed away she was working on the B-1 bomber project.

Unfortunately I lost all of the photographs I had of her. She is easy to describe though: My mother could have been Lucille Ball's twin sister.

She was a very artistic individual. She enjoyed painting (although only as a hobby) and we took Ceramics classes together at Rockwell's Employee Recreation Center.

She also loved cats, there was always at least one in the house. (Which is probably where I get my love of them.) She was especially fond of the Siamese breed. (As am I.)

Marg fought for several years with Breast Cancer and had several surgeries.
By April of 1983 the cancer had spread all through her body and began to enter her brain. She Died on April 29th. I honored her final wish to be entombed at Rose Hills. (On Several Occasions she had told me she didn't like the Idea of someone mowing the lawn over her.)  Her Remains are located in Rose Hills, Mausoleum of the Valley, Section 1, Lot E, Grave 674. (Near the middle of the outside wall)

Anna Veros (Maternal Grandmother) [1886 - 1981]
The only Grandmother I knew was my Mother's Mother. She was of Magyar heritage and came from Budapest, in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

In Early 1914, realizing that the empire was about to be plunged into a major war, She and her Husband came to America. I know very little about the family before her, or her life in Hungary.

I do know that After arriving in the United States, they lived in New York State for a time and may have also lived in Michigan. Eventually the family settled in Ohio. At various times living in and around Stubenville, Martins Ferry, and Youngstown.

She was Married (and Widowed) Five Times. I only know about her First Husband (who was the father of her Five Children) and the Last. Her last husband (I think Named John Brandl) was Murdered. From what she told me it was the shock of finding her last husband spattered all over a hotel room walls by an axe that made her decide never to marry again. Among the "Near Misses" was younger man named László Löwenstein, better known as by his stage name Peter Lorre.

Some of my fondest memories of her were when I was very young, at the kitchen table with newspaper spread all around us and helping her to shell and grind walnuts. She often made traditional Hungarian Walnut Cookies because she knew I loved them. We would work on the walnuts together and talk for hours. We both also loved garlic bread, and she would bake fresh bread and we would pick the garlic from the garden fresh.

She remained quite active until the last year of her life. At the age of 88 she built a chicken-house on our ranch mostly by herself. She did enjoy the chickens and one became an accidental pet. He was a small American rooster which followed her all over the place. Once she was startled to wake up to find him sleeping on the headboard of her bed.

She had her first heart attack not long after the death of her daughter Agnes. Over the next 10 years she had several more and several strokes but managed to survive them. One of the strokes though caused her to loose the ability to speak and understand English (however she could still understand and speak in Hungarian.) Her death was finally caused by a combined Heart Attack (her 6th) and Stroke. (It is possible that her death was deliberately caused by an orderly, who later came under investigation for the deaths of other rest home residents.)

Anna was cremated and was returned to Ohio to be buried in the family plot, near her first husband.

Martan Stecker (Maternal Grandfather) [? - ?]
I never knew my Grandfather or anything of him. He died long before I was born and no one spoke of him that I remember.

The official records at Ellis Island list his nationality as German, and that He came from a village called Mariafolde (which at the time was part of Transylvania in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. At the end of WWI it became part of Romania.) [I always knew there was some part of the family from Transylvania but until I was working on this website and looked up the immigration records again, I didn't know it was my Grandfather that was the one.]

Agnes Abernathy (Maternal Aunt) [1917 - 1970]
"Aunt Aggie" was my favorite Aunt when I was very little. She lived in West Covina California and we visited her often, and her us often. I don't think she had any children and I never met or knew anything about her husband. (I'm sure they were separated or divorced as he was never at the house.)

In late 1969 or early 1970, Agnes was suddenly stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. She lapsed into a coma quickly and never recovered. For the last six months of her life, she was moved to a nearby convalescent hospital so that visitation with her mother was possible. On several occasions I made the walk with Grandma to visit Agnes.

Agnes left what money she had to me. It was used to fund my Tuition at St Catherine's Military Academy. (I don't know if it was by Agnes' wish that I attended, but I suspect it was.)
Mary DeFede (Maternal Aunt) [1919 - 2000]
Aunt Mary was the only one of the Stecker Children to remain in Ohio. For as long as I can remember, she lived in Wintersville.

She married Frank DeFede and had several children with him. She also had several grandchildren while I was growing up. The only thing I knew about Frank was that he was in some way involved with the USS Arizona memorial / salvage. Mary's son John was killed in military service. (I think in Vietnam, but it could have been Korea.) I met Frank, as well as my Cousins Billy and Frankie when one of Mary's children was wed; but had no other real contact with this branch of the family.

Mary followed the path of her Mother and became a Nurse. Although her career path took her into the state government as a nursing administrator.

She annually came to California to visit, always taking the Train. (She was afraid of Flying.) I remember her best for her comic book sneezes (Very literally sounded like "AH-CHOOOO!" ) and her cooking. (Although she said I always liked her Ravioli, it was actually her poppy-seed  pies and rolls I liked best of all.)
Ann Kellogg (Maternal Aunt) [? - ?]
Ann was the prototypical "Maiden Aunt" everyone has, the one the kids don't want to kiss but have to. Always a bit formal. About the only thing I clearly remember  as a child about her was a big (well big to a 5 year old) black ceramic cat she had. (See, even then ... the cat is what attracted my attention... lol)

Ann was the last of my family that I had contact with, and that was around 1989 or 1990. She had just gotten married (to her 6th Husband I think) and moved to the retirement community at Sun City California. (I cant remember her husband's name now so I have listed her as "Kellogg" which was one of her previous married names, the only one I remember.) I lost contact after that dinner due to my own life being thrown into disarray several times. Ann was the only member of my family to actually meet my Daughter.
John Stecker (Maternal Uncle) [? - ?]
The only thing I know about my Uncle is that there was some large family argument which caused him to leave home. He was never heard from again. Mary used to keep a phone book listing under her maiden name in the hope that John would one day decide to contact the family.