By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BRIDGETOWN - Donald F. Steinke refereed baseball, football, basketball, wrestling and volleyball at the junior and senior high and college levels for 50 years.
In 1997, the Ohio High School Athletic Association named Mr. Steinke to the Ohio High School Officials Hall of Fame.
Mr. Steinke, a Cincinnati firefighter for 33 years, died Sunday at his home in Bridgetown. He was 80.
"During his lifelong engagement in sports, he impacted many young sports players and officials alike with his integrity, sense of fairness and competency on the playing field," said Mike Lemon of Mariemont, Mr. Steinke's son-in-law.
He was an officer of the Queen City Umpires Association for many years and was a founding member and president of the Blue Chip Umpires Association.
He was often the umpire at Kid Glove- exhibition games that raised money for equipment for youth teams - between the Reds and the Indianapolis Indians.
He also scouted for the Reds. After he retired from the fire department, Mr. Steinke worked for Cincinnati Public Schools for 15 years, and was the Hamilton County Board of Education athletic coordinator for six years in the 1980s.
He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and an elder at Highview Christian Church.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; daughter, Sharon Lemon of Mariemont; son, Don Steinke of Milford; four stepchildren, Mary Angeline, Rick Vollhardt,Lesa Baird and Judy Harris, all of Cincinnati; two grandchildren, and five stepgrandchildren.
Services were held. Remains have been cremated and buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in St. Bernard. Memorials: E.T. Carson Masonic Lodge No. 598, 218 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati 45220.
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