Stephen H. Sandebeck, 69, of Salem, Ohio died suddenly July 5, 2020, from injuries suffered in a fall while visiting with family in Winneconne, Wisconsin.
Steve died at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah, Wisconsin with his wife Darlene, son Larry and daughter-in-law Missy by his side.
Steve was an organ donor. His kidneys and liver were transplanted within 72 hours of his death, and his skin, retinas and tissue will be used by as many as 70 people over the next 10 years. His heart will be donated for medical research.
Since moving to Salem from his native Maryland, Steve embraced and was embraced by his new community. He was a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwood Realty Services. He was the concessionaire at the Salem Community Center, where he also coached youth baseball and provided private instruction.
He also owned and operated Chesapeake Diversified Food, which for years and up until his death provided a popular food stand at festivals in the mid-Atlantic and East Coast regions. He was well-known for his Italian sausage, gyros, Old Bay-seasoned fries and homemade lemonade.
People who knew Steve said he never had an unkind word for anyone. He made friends instantly and easily. He was loved.
Steve lived life to the fullest and was not afraid of death, his spirituality guiding him in the belief that there was something bigger than ourselves.
Steve grew up in the Towson, Maryland area and graduated from Towson High School in 1969. He then matriculated to Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and played baseball for hall of fame coach Ed Athey.
Like many of his contemporaries, Steve stayed in Chestertown after graduating from Washington College. He was involved in the local music and sports scenes, and was a favorite concessionaire at area festivals including the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair in Baltimore and the Annapolis Boat Show, both in Maryland.
He returned to his alma mater as an assistant baseball coach for Athey and Athey's successor Al Streelman, retiring along with Streelman at the end of the 2012 season when the Shoremen won a program-record 28 games. All told, Steve, who was affectionately called “Sandy” by the players, their families and his coaching colleagues, was a member of the Washington College baseball staff for 20 years. He was a bench coach and coached the catchers; no fewer than seven Washington College catchers received all-conference recognition under Steve's tutelage.
A showman and talented musician, too, Steve in 2017 was inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame as a member of the Majestics.
Steve is survived by his wife Darlene Scarsella Sandebeck of Salem, Ohio; a cousin who was like a sister, Mary Lee Sas of Timonium, Maryland; and his children: Larry and Missy Mellinger and Ella (5) of Burlington, North Carolina; Angela and Eric Devine and Jillian (12), Cole (11) and Natalie (7) of Salem; Lee Sandebeck and Noah (8) and Royan (2); and Taylor Sandebeck.
Due to restrictions associated with the COVID pandemic, no memorial service was held.
At a later date, Steve's wife, children and grandchildren will scatter his ashes in the Chesapeake Bay area he loved and at Washington College's Athey Park in Chestertown.
In lieu of flowers, donations to support youth sports at the Salem Community Center may be made to Salem Community Foundation, 1098 N. Ellsworth Ave., Salem, Ohio 44460.
Arrangements by Mueller Funeral Home, Winneconne, Wisconsin.
If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.