Virginia Pepe Steinaker

April 15, 2013

WATERTOWN, N.Y.  —  Virginia Pepe “Ginger” Steinaker, 90, of Cooper Street, passed away Saturday morning, April 13, after a fall in the basement at her home.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., 214 Sterling St., Watertown. The funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church with Rev. Jonas Tandayu, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

She was born Dec. 6, 1922, in Watertown, the daughter of Louis and Rosa Muglia Pepe. As a child she grew up among family and relatives in Watertown’s Italian -American community on the West Side. In high school she won first place in the New York State shorthand competition. She graduated from Watertown High School in 1940.

She married Werner J. Steinaker on March 25, 1944, at St. Anthony’s Church, Watertown. Her husband was on leave from his US Army Air Force assignment in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mr. Steinaker died Dec. 27, 2011.

In 1947 she moved to the Cooper Street residence where she has lived since. 

A communicant of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church , she was active in Sacred Heart Parish functions including the Altar & Rosary Society. She was instrumental in beginning the library program at Sacred Heart School . 

She was active in Home Bureau. Her hobbies included baking, knitting and gardening. She won several blue ribbons at the Jefferson County Fair for her flowers and knitted entries.

For several years, she was a volunteer at Samaritan Keep Nursing Home. She was also a volunteer for the blood drives held in Watertown .

Surviving are a son, Donald L. Steinaker, Poughkeepsie; a daughter, Susan Steinaker Green, and her husband, Raymond G. Green, Largo, Fla.; two grandchildren, Amy Bender and husband, Jason, Largo, Fla., and Kristopher Green and wife, Jennifer, San Diego, Calif.; a great-grandson, Conner Bender; and several nieces and nephews; a sister, Mary M. (Peggy) Marks, Watertown .

Besides her husband, she was predeceased by a brother, Frank J. Pepe, who was killed in the Midtown Towers fire in December 1989, and a sister, Lena Caldwell, Warren, Pa., who passed away in October 2011.

The family wishes donations in her name to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, 320 W. Lynde St., Watertown, NY 1360 .

Online condolences to the family may be made at

Information provided by Cummings Funeral Service and, Watertown