Mr. Stephen C. Ganshert USA (Retired)
Cadet Company: F2
Date of Birth: December 29, 1942
Date of Death: April 30, 2014
Died in Sartell, MN
Interred: Salisbury National Cemetery, Salisbury, NC - View or Post a Eulogy
Stephen Carl 'Steve' Ganshert was born on December 29, 1942 in Freeport, IL to Carl and Phyllis Ganshert. Steve loved the outdoors and worked summers until 1959 at a fishing resort in Ontario, Canada. He graduated in 1960 from Aquin High School and worked that summer for the Freeport Silo Company, building silos. In the fall of 1960, he started at Northern Illinois University, completing his freshman year and "getting his bearings" before receiving his appointment and joining the West Point Class of 1965.
Steve came to West Point endowed with a sense of humor and a love for the outdoors. Steve appeared somewhat shy to those who did not know him well, but his friends will not easily forget his practical jokes or the double-take talk which became known as "Ganshertisms." Humor was a big part of Steve, and reading was a close second. Not surprisingly, his favorite subject at the Academy was English. Steve had a well-developed grasp of words and their often multiple meanings. Shy, but highly respected, he was never at a loss for a good joke. For example, when Steve was the supply officer in F-2, he was told to remove our mattresses for replacement and put the old mattresses on the stoops. Probably his most infamous stunt was to then telephone an anonymous "order" to the company clerk next door to do the same. Dutifully, the neighboring company moved all mattresses down to the stoops where they lay stacked as that company's cadets coped with spending the night on springs or floors. Another thing he did from his room (sitting confinement) was use a fishing pole with a tennis ball on an invisible line and dangle it out the window, tugging on it when someone walking by tried to kick the ball. He too was the subject of practical jokes. Shortly after he arrived at West Point, he received a letter from the congressman that had appointed him indicating that the appointment was being pulled. It really shook him until he noted that the initials of the secretary, who supposedly typed up the letter (which by the way was on stationary from the congressman's law office), were MUD.
Though he was a goat at heart, Steve was often able and willing to help a classmate. Steve brought an ever-present humor to everything at the Academy. He was known for having a load of books that occupied every nook and cranny in his room. He was also a stamp collector, which he continued throughout his life. His girl at the time (Linda) used to send him packages affixed with plate blocks, a favorite way to collect stamps. He also spent his share of time on the Area and in confinement. Through it all, Steve was a great friend and supporter of others.
Steve married Linda May on June 19, 1965 in Freeport, IL. Steve and Linda had dated since high school. They have three children: Amy Ganshert, Laurie Bell and John Ganshert. Steve and Linda have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by his siblings: Cynthia Burgett, Philip Ganshert and Jay Ganshert.
Following graduation, Steve was commissioned in Field Artillery. He later switched to Quartermaster Corps. His assignments included the 3rd Armored and 3rd Infantry Divisions, Vietnam (Headquarters Logistics Command), and he was Company Commander in the 501st S&T Battalion at Fort Hood, TX.
Steve retired from the Army in 1970 and directed logistics for several companies including Kimberly-Clark, Newell Companies, Graber Industries, Frank's Nursery and Crafts, Books a Million, Furst-McNess and Ferche Millwork. The family lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and finally Minnesota. He retired in 2005.
Steve enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, playing cards and writing his humorous blog. He did various jobs at churches to which the family belonged (parish council, usher, finance committee, minister of communion, commentator, greeter and lector). He was also member of Toastmasters and MENSA.
Unfortunately, Steve developed COPD and succumbed to its ravages. Steve never lost his love for the outdoors nor his humor. As the disease worsened, he was unable to fish or engage in other outdoor activities but found a way to exercise his active sense of humor through his blog, "Rambler," which he described as "Steve Ganshert's irreverent and possibly irrelevant ramblings that are a mix of puns, limericks, editorial comments and sarcasm as the mood indicates." It was, of course, much more than this, and it brightened the lives of many subscribers.
We remember Steve as a good and faithful friend who loved a good joke. He had a knack for smoothly inserting a pun into a conversation with many often "getting it" and laughing after the conversations actually happened. He also made the most of a situation. On one occasion he joined a group of fellow First Classmen on a weekend camping/fishing trip in upper New York, where the group of eight or so managed to catch one little, skinny pickerel. A let-down? Not with Steve around. He orchestrated a celebration, complete with the whole crew measuring and weighing our nine-inch minnow for the cameras. He never gave up, and as evidence of his ever-present humor and reminding all of his love for fishing, an open tackle box was displayed at Steve's funeral, and visitors were urged to take a bobber and use it in his memory.
Steve personified the class's motto: "Strength and Drive" and the Academy's: "Duty, Honor, Country." Grip hands, my friends, as we say goodbye to Steve. He was a proud member of the Class of 1965, a true professional, great friend and wonderful and loving husband/father. He will be missed by all. Well Done! Be Thou at Peace.