Richard T. “Rick” Steenbruggen

August 8th, 2012

Richard T. Steenbruggen, “Rick”, age 51, of Wilmington, formerly of Reading, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on August 8, 2012.

Rick was born in Winchester, MA, on March 24, 1961, he was the cherished son of the late Gerrit and Lorraine (Murray) Steenbruggen.  Rick was raised in Reading and was a graduate of North East Metropolitan Regional Vocational Technical High School with the Class of 1979.

Rick married his “high school sweetheart” Martha Gale on August 30, 1985, celebrating nearly 27 years of marriage.  They raised two beautiful children and making lots of memories for generations to come.  Rick and Martha moved to Wilmington in 1988 and soon became very involved in the community.

Family was most important to Rick, he loved being a husband and was an extremely devoted father.   Rick enjoyed attending school and sporting events and was the #1 fan on the sidelines of anything that Ashley and Dana were involved in.  Rick’s most cherished memories are those spent with family; whether they were out to eat, vacationing, or heading up the kids home re-model project.  Rick supported his children with every venture- from taking Dana dirtbike racing, to coaching youth hockey, and being their #1 fan.

Rick had an un-matched work ethic, in 1988 he co-founded First Electric Motor Company in Woburn.  His mentorship and dedication to his business will allow his legacy to live on in the hearts of co-workers, family and friends forever.

Rick loved to be out on the open road, riding his Harley with the “BDB gang”.  This was his biggest passion outside of his family.

Rick faced life’s challenges with strength and courage and he will be greatly missed by all.

Rick was the beloved husband of Martha Steenbruggen, devoted father of Ashley B. (Steenbruggen) Staab and her husband Jordan of Wakefield and Dana G. Steenbruggen of Wilmington, dear brother of Nancy Thresher and her husband Clem of Tewksbury, formerly of Wilmington, Kenny Steenbruggen and his wife Nancy of Norwell, James Steenbruggen and his wife Kristin, Patricia Neary and her husband Chuck all of Reading, John Steenbruggen and his wife Carol of Wilmington, Ronald Steenbruggen and his wife Dianne of North Reading, and the late Gary Steenbruggen.  Rick was the son-in-law of Arthur and Thelma Gale of Tewksbury, brother-in-law of Brad and Mindi Gale of Andover, Kimberly and Vinny Terenzi of Tewksbury, Heather and Jeff Bowen of Cary, NC, and the late Dana Gale of Reading.  Rick was also the “much loved” uncle of many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and is also survived by countless friends.

Family and friends will gather for a Celebration of Rick’s life on Saturday, August 11th at 11:00 a.m. at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  Interment to follow in Forest Glen Cemetery, Reading.   Visiting hours will be held on Friday, August 10th from 4-8 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rick’s favorite charity: Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure, 13351 Progress Blvd., Alachua, FL  32615.


23 Entries in Guest Book for “Richard T. “Rick” Steenbruggen”

  1. Marilyn Marchiel says:

    Ashley & Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with your during these difficult days.
    Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
    Marilyn (Mimi) Marchiel

  2. Ann and Tim Gish says:

    Martha, Ashley, and Dana,
    We are so sorry….We love you guys.

    The Gish Family

  3. Joe Flaherty says:

    Ashley & Family
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you’r family. We are sorry for you’r loss Rick will be missed by all. Joe and Karen Flaherty

  4. Barb says:

    Martha, Ashley and Jordan and Dana-
    My love and prayers go out to you and all the extended family. Rick was special and we had a brief but memorable glimpse of how special during all the engagement and wedding activities. When we met you both in Charlotte, I could tell Jordan had another family just as loving and fun as our own in you and Rick… Nick also send his thoughts- loved seeing you again earlier this summer. Always- Barb ( and Nick) May – Atlanta

  5. Richard and Michele Bova says:

    Martha, Ashley and Jordan and Dana…..our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time….we are so sorry for this very profound loss in your lives….much love…Rich, Michele, Tyler and Zachary Bova

    Martha….I have such fond memories of my first year here in reading…and all those long “power” walks we went on with Karen, and Janice….my heart breaks for you for the loss of your best friend….please let me know if there is anything rich or I can do for you….michele

  6. Elaine and Rich Rappoli says:

    Martha, Dana, Ashley and Jordan;
    Rich was very special to our family as you all are. We will remember his broad smile and all the wonderful moments we were priviledged to spend with you and your family. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. We send our deepest sympathy and love. The Rappoli’s

  7. Phil Muse says:

    I would like to take a few moments to write about a great person, co worker, friend and a perfectionist in everything he did. I worked with First Electric for many years on differant frequency drive projects working mainly with John and Jim. I had the opportunity to meet Rick once our facility started to use First Electric as one of our preferred vendors. When I first met Rick I was taken back by his mannerism and how he really was attentive to our facilities need. I made my expectations very clear along with what we expected here at the medical center and without hesitation he stated not a problem and at instance I said oh boy to myself this went too easy we will see.

    I learned very quickly that Rick was a man of his word as well as a perfectionist with everything he did and that was with anything you asked of him.

    I would call Rick all hours of the night and without hesitation Ricks response would be I’ll be right there and once you heard those words you knew that whatever the issue was it would soon be resolved.

    I cannot imagine what his family must be dealing with and my heart goes out to all of them. I need to say that on a professional side he cannot be replaced. Rick is a great person and I know that anyone who took the time to talk to him if only in passing would agree that a great man has left our lives and we will all lose a little something in our lives for this.

    Rest in peace my friend and someday we may meet again.

    Your friend,
    Phil Muse

  8. The DeMango's says:

    Martha, Ashley and Dana,

    We are so so sorry for the pain you are going through. Rick was an amazing husband and dad. He touched so many lives in ways he probably never knew. Here is a poem you have probably read, but I think it says it all.

    An Irish Prayer
    Death is nothing at all. It does not count. Everything remains the same. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no sorrow in your tone. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again. Love, The DeMango’s

  9. Duane and Marie Gavel says:

    To Martha, her children and the entire Steenbruggen Family,

    Thinking of you and sharing your sorrow. We were so sad to learn of Rick’s passing. As he rests in peace, please remember that Rick will always take joy and comfort for having such a good and loving family.

    With sympathy and love, Duane and Marie Gavel

  10. Emily and Gary Naylor says:

    Dear Martha Lynn,Arthur,Thelma and Families
    Emily and I were saddened to hear the news of Rick,s death. We are thinking of you and the children at this time. Emily and Gary

  11. Chuck Tolley says:

    To Dana and all the Steenbruggen family,
    I wanted to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. I had the pleasure of working with Rick over the past few years and he was one of those people I will always remember. He was quick with a smile and as others have mentioned a true professional. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered. With sympathy, Chuck Tolley

  12. Sandra Hamilton says:

    Martha Lynn and family,
    We are so sorry for the pain and sorrow you are expieriencing at this time. Fondly with prayers, Brenda, Matt, Dawn, Todd, Diane and Mrs. H.

  13. Ed and Julie Turner says:

    Our thoughts and prayers for Martha and family. I went to high school with Rick he was truly a good friend. He will be missed. Sincerely, Ed Turner

  14. Mario and Terry Ciulla says:

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
    Just remember all the good times you shared with your father and all the love he gave you throughout the years. He is not gone. He will live in your heart forever.
    Our sincere condolences to you and your family.
    Mario and Terry

  15. Karen and Bill Gregory says:

    Martha Dana and Ashley and all the Steenbrugens, We are so sad at Rick’s passing. He was a true perfectionist and professional in all that he did. He an dJohn and Jim built up the business and worked so hard togeter to make it a siccess.
    Bill said that RIck would be at work at all hours and that you guys were the loves of his life! We remember how he had Dan and Ashley’s pictures up from when they were little at his desk, and how he built the weinie wagon for Ashley’s business. We are praying for you.

  16. mark and chrissy souza says:

    Our hearts go out to ricks family…..although we hadnt keptin touch…just the mention of ricks name brought back great memories….mark went to the school with rick and i went to school eith martha and knew them before they were high school sweethearts….wondrful people great loss haas been had….hugs to all.

  17. Dorothy Abruzzese says:

    My sympathy to your entire family. It is very sad when we lose someone we love.
    Take comfort in the beautiful memeories you have of Rick. Death cannot rob us of these wonderful memories.
    May they give you strength, support and love in the difficult days ahead.
    with loving admiration

  18. Rick and Patty Spry says:

    Martha, Dana and Ashley,
    Our hearts go out to you all. We have such fond memories of Rick watching Ashley proudly from the sidelines of all her athletic events! It was clear what family meant to him. Our prayers are with you all.

  19. Donna Zanni Washburn says:

    My heart aches to hear this news. Martha, I can’t imagine how you are feeling. I will always remember how your face would light up when he walked in the room and the smile on his face when he saw you. I’m sending prayers that you find peace at such a hard time. It has been a long time, but I often think of you both. If you need to get away to the beach, please let me know! Love, Donna

  20. Sharon (Dellascio) Wyatt says:

    Martha, Ashley & Dana –
    I was out of town when I heard the news and I just want you to know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers continuously. May the wonderful memories of Rick keep you smiling and at peace in the days ahead. I am right around the corner from Ashley in Wakefield if you should need anything. I will continue to say prayers for you and your family.
    Sharon (Dellascio) Wyatt

  21. Monica kaestner says:

    Martha, Ashley, and Dana I am beyond sorry for your loss!! I can’t imagine the pain you guys are feeling in your hearts. You are all in my thoughts and prayers! I remember when we were little kids and I used to sleep over, and Ricky would come home from work sweaty and stinky with black all over his hands and he would roar in a loud voice and chase after us, and I would run away as fast as I could so scared, but then he would catch me and I would just laugh so hard because he was just like a huge teddy bear, and I felt so safe in his presence!!! He was an amazing man, and this is a great loss! I love u all, XoXoXo

  22. Summer Busto & Jason Cook says:

    Jason and I are sending our deepest sympathies to Ricky’s family and loved ones. You are in our thoughts during this incredibly difficult time. May his memory live on in your hearts keeping his joy with you wherever you go! With Love, Summer & Jason

  23. The Cirone Family says:

    We’re so sorry to hear of Rick’s passing. What a nice guy he is, and will always be. Prayers for Martha, Ashley, Dana, the Steenbruggen and Gale families.

    Mary, Frank & Gregg Cirone

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