The Life of Ellwood Kutz Steckel

In the death, yesterday morning, of Dr. Elwood K. Steckel, 84, Kutztown loses another of its fine old gentleman, whose genial smile, optimism and sacrificial services as an old time general practitioner, will be greatly missed. He died as he would have wished, ”with his boots on,” his doctors sign having been in use up to May 23rd, when he suffered a stroke. And it was due to illness, that he was unable for the first time, to attend the reunion of his class of 1877 at “ The Normal.”
Interest in Kutztown affairs, one of his last acts was to donate a complete shelf of good literature to the proposed Kutztown Library Association, - 20 large volumes entitled, “University of Literature.”

A native of Bath, Northampton county, a son of the late Edward and Susan (Kutz) Steckel, Dr. Steckel following his graduation from, “The Normal,” taught for thirteen years in rural Berks. He than took up the study of medicine, entering Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia from which he was graduated, having been up to the time of his death, one of its oldest Alumni. A horse and buggy doctor, he saw service for 59 years, fair weather or stormy, both in Orwigsburg and Kutztown. He wore out seven horses in his travels, and was using his sixth motorcar at the time of his death.
During his life time he saw many changes in the medical field, and took pride with keeping up times. Incidentally he delivered more than 2,000 babies in Schuylkill county alone.
An enthusiastic worker in religious circles, his influence was felt not only in the churches in Orwigsberg, but in town; and last Easter he attended Communion at the Goshenhoppen, Church, East Greenville. He was also a prominent Mason.

Among those who will mourn him most is Thomas S. Levan, his crony for many years. “He was my best friend,” the Kutztown historian said, “and I shall miss him sorely.”
The funeral will be held Saturday at 1:30 p. m. at the Schaeffer Funeral Home, the Rev. Samuel Obetz, officiating, and interment will be made in Hope cemetery.

His son Commander Abner Steckel of the U. S. Navy, will arrive tomorrow from Key West, Florida, for the funeral. His other survivors include a brother, Peter, Reading and a sister, Mrs Jacob Weidenhammer, of town.

Patriot, 6/5/1941.

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