Steffi, our friend and fellow square dancer, passed away on Sunday. April 17, 2005. A celebration of Steffi's life was held on Friday, April 29, 2005.
Born in Breslau Germany, Steffi Bond began life as she lived it, bringing joy to those around her. Life was not easy in the early years, as the Nazi rein of Germany was just taking place. She was born the only child of a Lutheran mother and a Jewish father, Anna Richter and George Rosenthal. Anna and George met as Anna was a pattern cutter at George's men's suit shop.
The Nazi's had come to their home for George, yet he was able to avoid them. And as it was too dangerous to travel together George boarded a train bound for Italy alone, and at that time avoided capture when the train was stopped to be searched for Jews, by exiting the train and having coffee with a group of SS officers. Anna and Steffi soon followed, and together they boarded a ship for Panama, where they lived for 6 years.
They took an apartment in Panama and began a small dry goods shop. Steffi went to temple in the Canal Zone and was actually appointed Purim Queen for that year. Steffi continued school in a Catholic Kindergarten and then to Panama School until 3rd grade.
Steffi & family left Panama in October 1945 at the end of WWII and flew to Miami. From there, proceeded by train all the way to San Francisco, where some of George's family resided. They shared a family home and opened a Candy Store. Steffi started there in third grade at nine years old. She spoke no English at the time, and immediately refused to speak any more Spanish as she desperately wanted to learn English so that she would never be held back. German was spoken in the family home.
Steffi made many friends and her favorite pastime was to go to the movies for 5 cents? As they lived near numerous trolley and bus routes, her and her friends were able to travel to the beach and everywhere they wanted to go, without ever needing a car.
Steffi graduated from George Washington High School and continued on to City College of San Francisco where she met the love of her life Max, James Maxwell Bond Jr. They met at a college frat party in April and Steffi became engaged on her birthday that same year, October 1956. They were married in April 1957, and honeymooned in Tahoe.
Steffi & Max later followed some friends on their life's journey to Long Beach California. Eight months later purchased their first real home together in Lakewood. Soon she gave birth to sons Randy and Darren and discovered her life's calling - motherhood. In 1967 the Bond family moved to the place Steffi called home, the city of La Mirada.
She spent her days at school with her kids, at PTA meetings, volunteering, and checking with teachers. Next came bicycles, skateboards, minibikes, woodcraft rangers, karate classes, boating, motorcycles, camping and church group. She continued to completely involve herself in all of the kids never ending sports activities. Her life seemed full!
Steffi found a change of faith during her time of involvement with the Sunset Christian Church. Steffi converted from the religion of her upbringing, Judaism, and was baptized into the Christian faith.
The kids quickly grew up and had kids, and now Steffi was a Grandma! Eldest son Randy and his wife Diane, who live in Oregon, had daughter Danielle Rose and son Evan James Bond. Between her involvements with square dancing, meals on wheels, PTA, volunteering, her travel with friends, etc., etc., etc., Steffi's life revolved around her favorite pass time, Steffi's thoughts of her grandchildren.
In 2003, Steffi was diagnosed with cancer, yet put up the good fight for quite a long time. Her only real complaint was that it removed her from her friends and the activities she loved doing most.
Our beloved mother Steffi saw everyone she met as a potential new friend. She had a special gift for seeing the good in people, for making people feel comfortable, for making everyone around her feel special, and for sharing her love freely.
She let all of us know that we were loved and continue to be loved. Her warmth lives on in each of us.
Page updated: 2005-05-31