Mr. Kenneth William Steblein passed from this life Thursday afternoon, April 14, 2016, at his home in Hitchcock.
Born March 6, 1960 in Lockport, New York, Ken moved to Galveston County 27 years ago to begin a position at the University of Texas Medical Branch where he has worked since. Ken graduated from Newfane High School in 1978 and entered the prestigious Longwood Gardens Horticultural program in Kennett Square, PA and continued his studies at the Threave School of Gardening in Castle Douglas, Scotland. Texas soon called and his career began as a nursery manager at Newell and Newell Business Park in Ft. Worth before opening Texas Select Landscape. Texas also led him to find the love of his life, Colleen, and they were married in October of 1988 in Dallas.
Ken had a lifelong passion for raising plants and animals and was a highly regarded local source for information of horticultural knowledge and backyard farming techniques. Ken began the UTMB Earth Day Celebration in 2000 and it has become an annual event on campus that has won many state and national awards for the educational impact the celebration serves. He rarely said no to anyone wanting tips on how to grow anything and loved spending time in the garden with his sons. Ken was dedicated to environmentally sound recycling and sustainability practices and had a volunteer spirit which led to positions within several organizations including the Galveston County Master Gardeners, Recycling Alliance of Texas, International Oleander Society, Galveston Garden Club, the Naval Academy Parents’ Club of the Gulf Coast and the Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association to name only a few. He spent many hours mentoring and teaching people of all ages tips on everything from how to compost, planting tips and raising chickens or goats to how to show animals at the county fair. His latest and newest passion was as a regular vendor at Galveston’s Own Farmers’ Market where shared his abundant garden with the town.
Ken’s most prized accomplishment is the legacy he leaves on earth within his three sons; Andrew, Mark and Kenneth. The boys, Colleen and many, many friends and family will long hear his voice in their ear to take canvas bags to the store, don’t use plastic plates and cutlery, turn the water off while brushing and reuse anything that may have another purpose.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Andrew Steblein; grandparents, Lorraine and Lewis Clark, William and Amelia Steblein.
Survivors include his loving wife of 27 years, Colleen Sweeney Steblein; sons, Andrew McFadin Steblein of Phoenix, Ensign Mark William Steblein and fiancé, Christine Thorgersen of Corpus Christi, Kenneth Clark Steblein of Corpus Christi; mother, Lois Steblein of Lockport, New York; brothers Paul and wife, Tina Steblein of Fairfax, Virginia, Richard and wife, Christie Steblein of Fort Worth; sisters, Teresa and husband Steven Hayner of Lockport, New York, Susan Steblein of Plano, Patricia Matlock of Plano, Cynthia and Gustavo Ruiz-Riquer of Fort Worth; along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and great friends.
Funeral Services will be 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at First United Methodist Church, 200 FM 517, Dickinson with the reverends Jack Matkin and James Littleton officiating.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 — 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 18 in the chapel of Hayes Funeral Home, 10412 Highway 6, Hitchcock, TX (409)925-3501.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Galveston County Master Gardener Program, County Extension Office, 4102-B Main Street, LaMarque, TX 77568