Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Born Dec. 28, 1932, in Paso Robles, California, to Edward Steffani ’31 and Lois (Spalding) Steffani, Edward Steffani ’56 spent his early years in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, where he attended Holy Cross Elementary in Santa Cruz and St. Leo’s and Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. He received a B.S. in civil engineering from SCU, the third generation of Steffanis to graduate from Santa Clara. His first job was to help build the sewer system in South Lake Tahoe. He was director of Public Works for the California cities of Emeryville and Yuba City. He retired as general manager from the Stockton East Water District in 1999 and then worked part time as general manager at North San Joaquin Water Conservation District until 2011. He and his wife, Gretchen, have lived in the Stockton-Lodi area of California since 1983. They built a home on ten acres outside Lodi, where they raised horses for 25 years. Ed loved his family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed working around his ranch, body surfing when he was young, playing golf and tennis, watching every Raiders and Oakland A’s game, dogs (especially his corgis), cats, and horses. He was always busy building or fixing something. Though his body failed him, his mind continued to be active to the end. He will be remembered for his generous spirit and never-ending willingness to help. He died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease on Jan. 24, 2019, the fourth anniversary of his wife Gretchen’s death. A descendant of California pioneer families. Ed was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet, and Gretchen, his wife of over 40 years, as well as son Joseph, grandson Derrick, and brothers John Steffani ’61 and Michael. He is survived by children Teresa Knox, Victoria Steffani and David Oakes, stepchildren Calvin Thompson (wife Mariel) and Hawley Kobayashi (husband Russell), sister Patricia Steffani, nine nephews and nieces, and grandchildren Joshua Steffani, William White, Jennifer Knox, Tanner, Grace, Mia and Emiliana Thompson, Devyn and Patrick Hogan, and Ben Kobayashi.