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Obituaries » Bernard Claude Emile Steger

Bernard Claude Emile Steger

May 22, 2017


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Bernard Claude Emile Steger

June 13, 1932 – May 22, 2017


Bernard was born in Mulhouse, France on June 13, 1932. He passed away at Petaluma Valley Hospital on May 22, 2017. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends after living a full and hearty life.


Bernard grew up during the World War II German occupation of France and had many tales about how hard life was during the war. Growing up in post-war France, he attended waiter school and then enlisted as a paratrooper in the French military. He was sent (by boat) to French Indochina (Vietnam) and was in active duty. After discharge from the military, he went off looking for a better life. He went to work at famous resort areas in Switzerland including Lugano, St. Moritz, Interlaken, and Basel. He met and married the love of his life, Cecile Steger, on December 13, 1955, and celebrated 59 years together before Cecile’s passing in March 2015.


Bernard and Cecile traveled by Ducati motorcycle to various jobs in Switzerland before deciding to immigrate to Montreal, Canada. In Canada, they again worked at famous hotel restaurants like the Empress Hotel, and after working in Bermuda for a short stint, returned to Canada where their son Eric was born in Montreal. Following his birth, they immigrated to the United States, landing in Los Angeles. Bernard again worked at famous restaurants of the time, including the Brown Derby and Trader Vic’s, even serving John F. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy.


They continued to move around looking for better jobs and lived in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, before settling down in Mill Valley, where their daughter Michelle was born. The next stop was Greenbrae where they lived for many years before Bernard took on his next challenge by buying and running a restaurant, the Hitching Post, in Dunsmuir, California. After about seven years of owning the restaurant, he sold it and both Bernard and Cecile retired in Mt. Shasta. There, Bernard enjoyed many years of fishing, hiking, climbing Mt. Shasta, and enjoying the many outdoor activities in the area and on their farm-like property. Bernard loved to entertain, and many friends and family would come to visit or stop by as they traveled I-5.


Bernard is survived by his sister Jeanine Federle; son Eric (wife Donna) and daughter Michelle; grandchildren David (wife Rebecca), Simone, Madeleine, Melanie, and Daniel; and great grandchildren Vincent and Angelo


A celebration of life and loving memoirs will be held at St. James Church, Petaluma on July 22nd at 10 a.m.