It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Frank John “John” Steinbruegge, Jr. on Sunday, September 10, 2023, at his family home in O’Fallon, MO. John was born on August 29, 1977, to Linda and the late Frank John Steinbruegge, Sr. in St. Louis, MO. He was a devoted husband; patient, loving father; a loyal brother, son, son-in-law, uncle, cousin, and friend; and a life-changing educator, whose legacy lives on in his music students, including his own sons.
John joined the Knightpride Marching Band as a freshman at Francis Howell North High School, igniting a lifelong passion for both music and education. John marched in the FHN Drumline throughout high school, playing in the bass drum line all four years. He also participated in concert band, symphonic wind ensemble, pep band, winter drumline, and the Fair St. Louis Honors Band.
In 1999, John met his wife, Meredith, in Springfield, MO, where they both attended Missouri State University and were members of the Pride Marching Band and Color Guard. John and Meredith married in June of 2004, and went on to have two beautiful children, Colin John and Benjamin Leo, whom John treasured. He and Meredith found great joy in raising their sons and spending time together at home. As a family man, John was funny and full of stories. He was an integral part of many large family gatherings, and his kind and gentle presence will be deeply missed.
In college, John served as instructor of the drumline, principal percussion chair of the Wind Ensemble, and a four-year member of the Percussion Ensemble. He founded the Missouri State Winter Drumline, joined the elite DCI marching ensemble Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, and marched in the MACY'S Thanksgiving Day Parade, London New Year's Day Parade, and Rose Parade. After graduating with a degree in Music Education, John was a favorite instructor at Gateway Indoor Percussion and Modulation Z, both independent indoor drumlines, and served on the St. Louis Rams Drumline. He served at Winfield High School from 2013 to 2021, first as Assistant Director and then Director of Bands; played in the handbell choir at Wentzville United Methodist Church; and performed in the Wentzville Community Band with his son, Colin. He has led or assisted countless high school marching bands and drumlines, composing award-winning productions and helping coach young musicians to excellence. As accomplished as John was as a musician and teacher, his proudest moments were found working with his son Colin’s high school drumline – in which, of course, Colin plays the bass drum.
John is survived by his his wife, Meredith Steinbruegge (née Britt), and his two sons, Colin and Ben; his mother, Linda Jean Lawrence (née Turner); his sisters, Jennifer Lin Wilton (Greg), Kathleen Jane Moore (Jimmy), and stepsister, Sarah Lynn Lawrence; his nephews Ewan Frank Burns-Wilton, Elijah Alistair Burns-Wilton, Phoenix Zachary Jones, Sterling Orion Jones, and Adam Taylor Stolk; his nieces, Alexia Genesis Jones and Fiona Kathleen Wilton; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Frank John Steinbruegge, Sr.; his stepbrother, Leo Stanley Lawrence; and his grandparents, Jerry W. Turner, Virginia M. Turner (née Smith), Winfred E. Steinbruegge, and Bernice L. Riechers (née Link). He was followed in death by his stepfather, Leo Mercer Lawrence.
John was a shining light in the world of music education, touching the hearts and minds of countless students and fellow teachers throughout his career. His passion for music and his ability to inspire young talents were truly remarkable, leaving an indelible mark on those who had the privilege of learning from him. That so many of his former students have themselves become music educators is a testament to his kindness, talent, and ability to connect with young musicians.
The family is hosting a visitation at Baue Funeral Home Cave Springs on September 18, 2023 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. The funeral is scheduled for 10:00 am on September 19th, also at Baue Funeral Home Cave Springs. If you would like to make a contribution to Colin’s and Ben’s future educational needs and care, there is a GoFundMe in John’s name, or there will be envelopes available at Baue for cash and check donations.