Kurt Steinbach arrived in Port Townsend in the spring of 1989, having left a settled and successful life in Philadelphia to find his dream of land and water. He found his refuge on Marrowstone Island, purchasing 10 acres on which to build, by his own hand, his home, shop and orchard. Over the years he designed and crafted many one-of-a-kind additions to island homes, as well as unique furniture and sculptures such as the giant turtle that adorned the roof of “Turtle Bluff” on Flagler Road for many years. Kurt died suddenly and unexpectedly on Oct. 2, 2021 near the end of a picture-perfect day with his wife Lisa.
The chasm he leaves family and close friends is immense. But the Marrowstone Island community has lost a good soul as well. He was devoted to helping others: 20 years as a volunteer firefighter with East Jefferson Fire Rescue, five years as volunteer lead fire investigator for Jefferson County, campaigner for the Jefferson Land Trust and the creation of the Marrowstone Island Chai-yahk-wh Preserve, co-founder of the Marrowstone Island emergency radio system in partnership with WSU and the National Association of Amateur Radio, volunteer diver for REEF Fish Survey Project, mentor to many a fruit-tree propagator or natural world observer, and always someone who would lend a hand or offer a shoulder to a neighbor or friend.
There is no way to capture in words the life of any individual, especially one so multifaceted and talented. And clever, he could always make you laugh with his dry and understated humor. His love of the land, of adventure and travel, and his commitment to living a simple, kind life will be an inspiration to his family and friends as they grieve his passing.
Kurt is survived by his wife, Lisa Van Horn; his sisters Heather Toland and Robin Springer; and his beloved dog Frida. He was preceded in death by his parents Karl Steinbach and Dorothy Bayzand Steinbach.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Jefferson Land Trust, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, or Friends of the Jefferson County Library.