Steinmaker was born in Brooklyn to Peter and Mildred Steinmaker. The family moved to the rural town of Maspeth at an early age, and Steinmaker attended PS 86 and Queens Vocational High School before entering the U.S. Army at Camp Kilmer and Camp Polk, La.
The Korean War was in full swing and Steinmaker joined the fray as a rifleman in Company C of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 65 Regiment.
A long line of Steinmakers have served their country proudly in the military. Steinmaker’s brother was a WWII Navy veteran and his great-grandfather, William Eckert, joined the Union efforts with the Maryland infantry during the Civil War. and wounded at the Battle of Sailor’s Run in Virginia. He survived his wounds and returned to Brooklyn to start the all-important Steinmaker Family of Outstanding Patriots.
Steinmaker has always considered himself lucky, and certainly his luck was strong when he met Adrienne Jusza in Maspeth after his Army days. Steinmaker and Adrienne were blessed with three daughters, Jane, Judith and Audrey. The family has also added seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren to the family tree.
Always a socially active fellow, Steinmaker was a member and volunteer at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, a member of the Sons of the Civil War, and an organizer of the United Veterans and Fraternal Organization of Maspeth.
His military awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
The U.S. Navy played a large role in developing Romano’s life. Born in Corona, Romano convinced his father to permit him to enlist in the Navy in January of 1945 at the age of 17.
Romano and his wife Mildred were blessed with two sons, James and Thomas, who attended St. Stanislaus School. Romano was fully involved with the parish as president of the Holy Name Society and coach of the CYO Baseball Tyro champions.
Adjusting to civilian life, Romano worked at the Post Office and then joined St. Joseph Hospital as director of Security.
St. Joseph’s Hospital merged and Romano struggled to find suitable employment. Then the memory of the salt air, steady work, job satisfaction and family stability attracted him back into the Navy. Retirement came in 1988 with a total of 26 years’ service with the rank of chief petty officer.
Always active in his community, Romano has served as grand knight of Maspeth’s Knights of Columbus Cardinal Spellman Council for many years. He is also an active member of the Catholic War Veterans, Tin Can Sailors, Disabled American Veterans, and he supports the Wounded Warrior Vets.
Romano and his wife will be married 64 years this September and have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.