Curt Steffen, 87

In the end, we all become stories, and Curt Steffen leaves us with stories more colorful and numerous than most. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1933, immigrated through Ellis Island with his parents when he was very young, and grew up in the Chicago area. He joined the Marines to serve his adopted country in the Korean War. His division was captured, and he spent 14 brutal months in a POW camp, of which he was one of only a few survivors. After returning to Chicago, he earned a PhD, passed the Bar Exam, and was recruited as an attorney for Jimmy Hoffa, and later as VP of World Airways. In his latter association, Curt was proud to participate in Operation Babylift, the 1975 evacuation of thousands of orphans from Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon - he later learned one of these orphans had been adopted by a Lake Ozark neighbor. Curt settled in California, legally representing Peralta Community Colleges in Oakland.

Curt married the love of his life, Diane, in 1988, and adopted Diane’s daughter Karla. They spent several happy summers on the California Delta, in a River Queen houseboat once belonging to Perry Mason author Erle Stanley Gardner. They also lived in Corpus Christi and Austin before moving to Lake Ozark in 1998. Curt’s great passion was cars - he owned about 200 different cars in his lifetime and could recall the details and a story for each one. Curt was mischievous, playful, fiercely loyal to his family, and had the heart and courage of a warrior. Hoorah. He will be remembered for his quick wit and razor-sharp sense of humor. He is survived and already greatly missed by loving wife Diane, his stepdaughter Karla and son-in-law Doug, and his little dog Jake, who spent every moment by his side and loved him like no other.

Due to the pandemic, memorial services will not be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the American Cancer Society or the Salvation Army through Hedges-Scott Funeral Home in Osage Beach, Missouri.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared online at

Arrangements have been placed under the care of Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Osage Beach, Missouri.

Published on March 01, 2021