Joseph Luther Steinbeck Jr., 74, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones at his home in Rio Rancho, NM on December 18, 2021. Joe was a decorated veteran who served his country proudly in the Vietnam War and spent much of his active military career stationed at Camp Lejune, NC.
Joe was born on January 29, 1947 in Moberly, MO to Joseph Steinbeck Sr. and Evelyn (Bentley) Steinbeck. After Joe graduated Lewistown High School in 1965, he decided he wanted to join the Marine Corps. He enlisted on March 16, 1966 and served with honor and distinction for 26 years. Joe served valiantly during 2 combat tours in the Vietnam War. He received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during his first tour in Vietnam.
Joe moved to New Mexico in 1987 and served as a Marine Corps recruiter until he retired on March 17, 1992 with the rank of Sgt. Major. Later that year, he met Rita and they began their life together. They were married in 1997 and just celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary. They moved to Cuchillo, NM where they lived for many years before moving to Rio Rancho, NM to be closer to family.
When Joe wasn’t working or with his family, he was hunting or scouting. He guided big game hunts throughout the Gila National Forest, took one grandson on his first big game hunt, hunted and caught animals that adorned the walls of his home, and spent many hours doing one of the things he loved best with the people closest to him. In the latter part of his life, he enjoyed spending time with Rita at home and watching Westerns or out in their yard enjoy the NM sunshine.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Evelyn Steinbeck, his maternal grandparents Bill and Katrina Bentley, paternal grandparents John and Elsie Steinbeck and his brother Jack Steinbeck.
He is survived by his wife Rita Steinbeck; his children Jeff and Rachelle Steinbeck, Joelle and Darren Goodwin, Rita (Cragun) and Gregory Sanchez, and Ray and Bibsie Cragun; his brother and sister-in-law John and Peggy Steinbeck; his grandchildren Kelly and Troy Cowan, Greg Sanchez, Tracy Sanchez, Nicole and Philip Baker, Randle Steinbeck, Jacob Steinbeck, Gabriel Goodwin, Adam Goodwin, and Cody Cragun; great-grandchildren Mateo Sanchez, Joshua Cowan, Darion Sanchez, Damion Sanchez, and Hayley Baker; his nieces and nephews Jason and Ashley Steinbeck, Jacklyn and Riley Pryor, Kristia and Tom Haney, Jillian and Kevin Woodworth, Juliea Steinbeck and Tamren Cardwell; and his grand-nieces and nephews Jonah Steinbeck, Rilyn Pryor, Sophia Haney, William Haney, and Milo Woodworth. They, as well as all those lucky enough to know and love Joe, will miss him very much.
Joe will have full military honors at Santa Fe National Cemetery on April 28, 2022 at 12:45pm.