Ralph A. Steiger ll, 94, died Sunday February 21, 2021 at his home in Naples, Florida, following a brief illness. His wife Fern Tyler Steiger survives him. He was formerly of Wilbraham, MA and Groton Long Point, CT.
He leaves a daughter, Linda Steiger of Naples and a son, Eric.
He was pre-deceased by his beloved daughter, Kimberly Steiger Rohrer and his third wife, Jean Anne Jackson and his brothers, Albert Steiger ll and Robert K. Steiger. He leaves 7 step children, Donald G. Webster, Nanci E. Condron and Kathryn L. Roy from his fourth marriage and John W. Davis, Stephen P. Davis, Thomas K. Davis and Susan D. Moran from his third.
Born in Springfield, MA in 1927 to Albert Edward Steiger and Mabel Knight Steiger, he attended Classical High School and Williston Academy where he was captain of the lacrosse and football teams. At this time he worked as a stock boy on the receiving docks at Steiger’s Department Store.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 19 and served as a 2nd Lieutenant as one of the youngest officers in the Army Air Corps assigned to occupied Berlin, Germany.
Following his enlistment, he attended Williams College before embarking on a 48 year career with the Albert Steiger Co., which remained in business for 101 years. In 1991, after 35 years as Vice President of Merchandising, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, the family firm grew from 3 to 10 stores before the chain and properties were sold to the May Company and other developers in 1995.
Ralph had a deep fondness for all the employees of Steiger’s and was a strong advocate for women in business. The Steiger family has always had a deep appreciation for the many wonderful customers they served over the years and always insisted that the customer come first. Mr. Steiger also served on the board of the Springfield YMCA and several businesses in the Springfield area.
Ralph was an avid golfer who hit a hole in one at age 90. Together with his beloved wife Fern, he cruised all over the world and they have both enjoyed whole-heartedly their so many wonderful friends and relatives. He will long be remembered as a terrific friend and as a kind, compassionate husband and father.