Reimar Karl Steffen passed away at home on Monday, May 13, 2019 following a long illness. He was 81 years old. He was cared for with great love and devotion by Judy Martin Steffen, his wife of 50 years, and was attended to in his last hours by many loving family members.
Reimar was preceded in death by his beloved son, Erik, and in addition to his wife, Judy, is survived by three children, Elissa Mount (Jeremy), Nathalie Santos (Frederico), and Martin Steffen (Kasey), daughter-in-law, Kelly Lindell, and eleven grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by a sister, Siegrid Steffen, who resides in Denmark.
Reimar was born in Braunschweig, Germany on February 19, 1938 to Else and Reimar Gustav Steffen and followed his father into the hotel and hospitality business. Reimar was trained in Paris and had a successful career in resorts in the Caribbean before coming to the Waynesville Country Club in 1975 as General Manager. Under his leadership, the Waynesville Country Club & Inn expanded into a well known and highly regarded regional resort and golf course.
In addition to his successful professional life, Reimar was a generous and beloved leader of the Haywood County community. His contributions were astonishing and wide ranging. He was the Director of Meals on Wheels Annual Tennis Tournament Fundraiser for twelve years and could also be found delivering meals to senior citizens at their homes. He was Director of the Annual Pancake and BBQ Day at Haywood Technical College. He was a Director of the Maggie Valley Moonlight Race for nine years and was an avid runner himself, having run four marathons including the Boston Marathon. He was Chairman of the Western North Carolina Golf Club Association. His board memberships included: The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, and the Haywood Technical College Foundation, and Board Member of First Union National Bank. He was honored with the North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer of the Year Award, Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year award, and Rotarian Citizen of the Year award. Reimar conceived and launched the Trout Festival here in Haywood County. He was a tireless supporter of Folkmoot, hosting delegations from many countries at his home, as well as being present with a German food booth every year at International Festival Day on Main Street Waynesville.
He was a member of Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Clyde, North Carolina.
His friends and family remember with deep affection the joie de vivre Reimar exemplified through his many celebrations, parties, and projects. He personified the field of hospitality in his daily life.
The family plans a public celebration of Reimar’s life in early June with time and location to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Reimar’s memory can be made to the Haywood Community College’s Scholarship Fund, 185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde, NC 28721.
The care of Reimar has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com