Steven John Overweg, 71, formerly of Flushing, Michigan, died Friday July 20, 2018 in Ocala, Florida. He is lovingly missed.
Steve was born August 30, 1946 in Borculo, Michigan to George and Mary (Styf) Overweg. He attended Zeeland High School where he played basketball, baseball, and was captain of the Zeeland Chix football team. He went on to Western Michigan University where he majored in physical education, minored in history, and also played football as a walk-on kicker, earning him the nickname “Golden Toe.” His love for the Detroit Tigers began during his teenage years when he listened avidly to Ernie Harwell on the radio. Also during that time, he perfected his imitation of Donald Duck’s voice, a Disney character with whom Steve identified since Donald always seemed to be in a little trouble. He used that voice to entertain countless school children, grandchildren, and adults through the years, never failing to prompt a smile or a giggle.
After graduation from WMU, Steve married Jeanne Bird, with whom he had two daughters, and began his career in the Westwood Heights School District as an elementary physical education teacher. He served thirty eight years in the same school district as a teacher, coach, assistant high school principal, high school principal, and superintendent, spending one year filling the roles of high school principal, superintendent , and eighth-grade football coach simultaneously. He was a Hamady Hawk through and through. His record was phenomenal, leading many teams to local championships, but his impact on his athletes was even more powerful. For all the years he remained in Michigan, he was constantly running into former players, who always greeted him simply as “Coach.” The trophies were great, but he said his biggest rewards came from coaching his own daughters, coaching with his brother and nephews, and from getting the opportunity to work with the legendary Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan’s summer football camps. From those experiences at Michigan, a dyed-in-the-wool Wolverine was born.
On July 9, 1999 Steve married Debbie Zachrich. Together, he and “Cakes,” (from Little Debbie Cakes) nurtured a loving “blended” family. They had great years of laughter and love. Having experienced conflict in his early years, he was determined to turn his own life into one of pride. He remembered the kindnesses others had shown him, and he sought to instill that spirit in his children and grandchildren. He encouraged them to always give their best, whether it was in the classroom, on the sports field, or just in how they treated others.
Steve most loved sharing stories and good jokes, including those during which he might be the target of good-natured ribbing, especially from the family. He was comfortable with himself and proud of what he had accomplished, usually reminding anyone who would listen, “Not bad for a little blueberry picker from Borculo.”
Steve is survived by his wife Debbie of Ocala, Florida; daughters Kristin (Matt) Claerhout of Canton, Michigan and Amy (Jim) Garland of Columbus, Ohio; “bonus” daughters Sarah (Sean) Jeng of Gainesville, Florida and Ann (Steve) Whetstone of Ann Arbor, Michigan; grandchildren Matthew (16), Megan (13), Julia (11), Audrey (9), Claudia (7), Zachary (2), and Mattie (5 months); brother Monte (Dianne) Overweg of Portland, Michigan; sister-in-law Wilma Overweg of North Muskegon, Michigan; sisters Rosemary (Jim) Robbins of Woodhaven, Michigan, Shann Walburn of New Buffalo, Michigan, Joni (Trent) Taylor of Holt, Michigan, and Paula (Rick) Gallas of Richmond, Illinois; stepsister Brenda (Carl) Groters of Holland, Michigan; and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, George Overweg, his mother, Mary Miedema, his stepmother, Lucretia Overweg, his stepfather, John Miedema, his brother Randy Overweg, and his brother John Miedema.
A memorial celebration for Steve will be held at Flushing Valley Golf Club, 1124 E. Main Street, Flushing Michigan 48433 on Sunday, August 5, 2018. Visitation with family will be 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 12 noon.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Carl Rinne Lewy Body Dementia Support, Education and Awareness Fund. Checks may be made to “University of Michigan” and sent to Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You may also call 734-764-6777 or visit the website victors.us/stevenjohnoverweg to make your gift.
Arrangements by Baldwin Brothers Funerals & Cremations 11250 SW 93rd Ct. Rd. Ocala, FL 352-236-7813