James Fredrick Steinhaus died peacefully on Dec. 6, at the age of 91, from complications due to COVID-19.
He was born at home on Jan. 13, 1929, to the late Alice Rhinehart Steinhaus and Arthur Alfred Steinhaus in Max, North Dakota. Like his three older brothers, Jim helped his father and uncle operate the Steinhaus Bros. general store while growing up. He attended Minot State Teacher’s College (now Minot State University), and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with a degree in physics in 1951.
Jim was employed by California Research and Development in particle accelerator research and then by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in their controlled thermonuclear fusion program. In 1970, he joined UTI Instruments to develop, manufacture and sell quadrupole mass spectrometers in Sunnyvale, California. Jim retired in 1994 and continued to live in Livermore.
He was active in the First Presbyterian Church, serving in many capacities over the years. Choral music and music for the organ were especially important to him, and he had sung in the church choir since 1957. He loved to travel back to his home town in North Dakota to visit friends as often as he could and was active in the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association.
Above all, Jim was devoted to his family. Throughout his life, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his three daughters. He could fix anything - his daughters would regularly put him to the test, and he always met the challenge! Before his brother John’s death, they enjoyed spending untold hours talking on the phone and tinkering on their computers together. Jim and his friend, Tommy Lincicome, also enjoyed working behind the scenes at the church to fix problems with the organ or solve other mechanical mysteries.
Jim was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Edward, Ralph, and John; and his former wife, Beverly. He is survived by his daughters, Diane Steinhaus of Durham, North Carolina, Kathy French (Stephen) of Santa Ana, California, and their children, Ian and Annie, and Amy Martz (Tom) of Pleasanton, and their children, David and Daniel; his sister-in-law, Harriett Steinhaus; and many loving nieces and nephews.
The family will schedule a memorial service when it is safe for people to gather. Memorial gifts can be sent to the Memorial Fund at First Presbyterian Church, Livermore. Internment will be at the Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, California.