... always loved and forever in our hearts!
  • 83 years old
  • Born on October 1, 1931 in Niederwil, Aargau, Switzerland.
  • Passed away on December 13, 2014 in Ramona, California, United States.

This memorial site is to celebrate the life and memories of our dearest mother, wife, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend Maria. She passed quietly early in the morning at home on Dec 13th, 2014.
We encourage you to share stories, memories, photos and videos in her honor. We hope this will serve as a place for us to connect, remember, share or just to say bye. She loved her family and friends and we know she is smiling with us in remembering her life. 

Maria's Funeral Mass will be on January 19th at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Ramona at 10:00am. There will be a rosary starting at 9:30am before the mass. Immediately following the mass there will be a celebration of her life in the church hall. She will be interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in San Diego at 3:00pm.

  Please stop by often as we update this site. We appreciate all of the tributes and stories family and friends have been leaving here. You can easily log in with your Facebook account if you have one.

Maria's Obituary
Early morning on December 13, 2014, a wonderful woman made her way to a better place. Maria quietly passed away at home in Ramona after enduring 12 years of Parkinson’s and later dementia. She was born at home in Niederwil, Switzerland, October 1, 1931, on a poultry farm, the youngest daughter of Robert and Marie Seiler. In 1948 she immigrated to Canada with her family where they settled on a dairy farm in Mitchell, Ontario. Wanting to live in a warmer climate, she moved to Santa Monica in 1953 and worked at her sister and brother-in-law’s pastry shop (Swiss Pastries by Marcel) on Wilshire Boulevard for three years. She was also an Au Pair in Malibu for a while. While in Santa Monica, she met and fell in love with Charles Steiner, a first generation Swiss, who was born and grew up in Santa Monica on a dairy farm.

After getting married in 1956, they moved to Ramona in 1966 with their three children after living in Fontana, California, and Lisbon, Illinois. In 1970, Maria and Charles bought an egg farm on Steffy Lane. Maria dedicated her time to her family and being the bookkeeper of their Swiss Mountain View Egg Farm business for 48 years. During this time she was very active in the IHM Catholic Church, being on the building committee for the new church, president of the Alter and Rosary Society for many years and being the driving force behind many of the annual turkey dinners at the church. Additionally, she was a board member of the San Diego Diocesan Deanery.

While her children were growing up and for a number of years after, Maria was very active in the Ramona Stars 4-H club where she was the Community Leader of the club and also the leader of the sheep, cooking, and sewing projects. Many will remember her famous brownies which she baked for each 4-H community meeting to ensure sure she got most of the club to attend the meetings. She was also on the organizing boards of the Ramona Community Fair during its key building and growth phases and the 4-H board of the Del Mar fair where she used her gentle persuasion to make sure 4-H remained the key focus of the fairs.

In 1986 Maria and her daughter, Sonja, took over the Ramona Café on Main Street. She spent the early years of the business perfecting the recipes of everything from the sausage gravy to the pies and cinnamon rolls. While Sonja ran the restaurant, Maria was the restaurant baker which later Sonja took over.

Maria had been active in the San Diego Swiss Society in Chula Vista where she was able to keep up with her Swiss language, heritage and many friends. She and Charles enjoyed singing in the San Diego Swiss Singers group for many years and travelled up the coast for many Saengerfests.

Maria was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Marie Seiler, and brother, Robert Seiler. She is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Charles Steiner; daughter, Sonja Steiner of Ramona, CA; sons, Dr. Charley Steiner, DVM, of Fallbrook, CA, and Stefan Steiner of Issaquah, WA; grandchildren, Chase, Marianna and Rebecca; sisters, Margrith Burlet and Sylvia Bruhin and brother Stephan Seiler. Additionally, Maria and Charles consider Dr. Elisabeth Brandenburg, MD, of Whitefish, MT, a daughter since Beth came to live on the farm as a young woman in the 70’s and became very close to the family. Beth has a husband Todd and two children, Geoff and Tim.

Maria will have a Funeral Mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Ramona, CA, on January 19, 2015, at 10am. Before the mass at 9:30am, there will be a Rosary. There will be a celebration of life in the church hall immediately following her funeral. After the celebration, Maria will be interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in San Diego, CA.

Posted by Dolores Soto on 1st October 2017
I miss your sweet, kind, loving spirit
Posted by Deborah Wargnier on 21st February 2015
Hello Stefan, I am so sorry for your loss. Find comfort knowing that she is with our Lord. Prayers of healing for you and your family.
Posted by John Shableski on 25th January 2015
For Mr. Steiner, Sonja, Charley, and Stefan, your mom, and your whole family are a big part of my early memories of life in Ramona. A conversation with Mrs. Steiner was like listening to music and she was always such a kind person. I still remember a funny moment on one of my first days of working at the ranch. I think we started work at 5 am (before a school day) and there's Mrs. Steiner singing out good morning as if it were already the most beautiful day. The world, or at least our small corner of it, is a better place because she was in it.
Posted by Rene Burlet on 16th January 2015
We love you guys thru and thru , your family is beautiful and I will miss Maria , she was my favorite Aunt.
Posted by Deb Huff on 16th January 2015
The phone rang. As an nine year old, I rarely answered, but everyone was outside working that Saturday afternoon and I had come into the house for a drink of water. I answered and on the other end of the phone, a woman with a thick swiss accent whispered….”the border patrol is here!”…..and hung up. Mrs. Steiner, egg rancher, wife of Charley, mother, neighbor, faithful believer, 4-H leader. Her brownies were as famous as her Swiss Mountain View Egg Ranch, and her voice and presence was one that any 4-Her in the 80’s and 90’s in Ramona knew well. She was Maria to my mother and other adults, but to me she was always Mrs. Steiner, even as a mother to my own children visiting her ranch some years back. My own kids have heard stories of my experiences packing eggs, babysitting the Steiner kids and all important conversations laced with my own attempts to call my loved ones “schatzi". Her impressions, her influence on those around her was great. She was kind, direct, caring. She was Mrs. Steiner, and though gone from the body, her spirit is present in all whom she loved and I will never forget her. Debora (Watkins) Huff
Posted by Sally Pantovich Timarac on 14th January 2015
So sorry for your family's loss. I have great memories of a lovely family & its matriarch. Even as a young girl, I knew your mom had a wonderful spirit and way about her. Our families are connected by Ramona, 4H & the egg business.... I'm so glad my life path included knowing your mom. What a great lady. Memory eternal, Mrs Steiner.
Posted by Mary Skelton Nelsen on 12th January 2015
I am sorry for your loss. Your mom was such a kind and generous person. Prayers for your family.
Posted by RUTH MEYER-BARKER on 11th January 2015
I was so sorry to learn of Maria's passing! I have fond memories of both Charlie and Maria through the Ramona Rural Association.
Posted by Nannette M. Anderson on 9th January 2015
R.I.P. Maria! I rejoice with you and look forward to being with you in eternity. I have wonderful memories of how you prepared me for my visit to Switzerland, the home of my ancestors in September 2005. I speak not a word of German so you listed the "please and thank you phrases" that I would need.
Posted by Hilde Buchmann on 4th January 2015
I shall remember Maria as the kind and caring Lady with always a smile on her face, we used to sing together at the swiss club many years ago, may she rest in peace she was a dear Lady. Hilde Buchmann
Posted by Thomas Levin on 23rd December 2014
Just wanted to send my love to your entire family! Growing up and being with you all in 4H, School and Ramona in general I felt a kinship, I speak for all the Levin's we will miss Maria and send our love. Thomas
Posted by Larry & Konnie Amick on 17th December 2014
The loss of a loved one is heart felt but the loss of the one that gave you life is the most devastating. Maria is now free of all illness, it is the ones left behind that are suffering now. You know first hand the kind of person Maria was, the rest of us learned this fact by being around her and working with her, our experiences with Maria were being involved in the things she loved doing, 4-H, The Ramona Jr. Fair, the Auction Committee and the Turkey dinners at IHM. May she always be remembered by those who loved her.
Posted by Margie Neal on 16th December 2014
What a wonderful woman...I had the pleasure of doing Maria's nails for many years..she spoke of her children with such joy and pride. She would tell me about her homeland and her hard work here in the US.She never left her appointments without touching my cheek and giving me a kiss..she always made me feel so special..Im sorry she is gone but she will never be forgotten..Blessings to the family she loved so much.
Posted by Cathy Pritchard on 15th December 2014
We met when the Steiner's bought our pony "Midget". I remember one time when I was around 10, Mrs. Steiner was babysitting me and Sonia & I wanted to play in the water. I had no extra cloths, so she made me a top/short set to wear. Prayers for you Sonia and all your family.
Posted by Brian Marcoux on 15th December 2014
Oh Mrs Steiner, the many childhood memories that you bring to mind. And the one word that I think of when I think of you...Schatzi! That's what I would hear you call Stefan and Charlie. To all of the family, I pray you find peace in knowing that your wife/mom touched so many lives. Thank you for being a part of mine.
Posted by Lori Foss on 15th December 2014
I'm so sorry for your loss. I remember 4-H meetings at your house with your sweet Mom, the best brownies I have ever had. God bless you all. Lori Alcaraz Foss
Posted by Elisabeth Hawthorne on 15th December 2014
I will miss my wonderful loving sister-in-law Maria. Usually at Christmas time while baking cookies, often I would call her to help me through a Swiss recipe. For the knowledge I gained from her I am forever grateful. We have many wonderful memories. Love to all the family and especially to my brother Charley.
Posted by Jamie Mclean on 15th December 2014
RIP tante Maria,our thoughts and prayers go out to you all;cousins Sonja,Stefan,Charlie.....und my uncle Charley. LOVE to you all ..Jamie McLean and Galye Sweigert
Posted by Dalia Nogueda on 14th December 2014
Mrs. Maria (what I used to call her) was a wonderful human being. She would talk to everybody making them feel special. One time she gave me a Rosary and an audio tape to learn how to pray it, since I didn't know how. A week later she told me that we will start praying together to help me and my family. On that time, that was all I needed and she was there for me. In another occasion, my mother came from Mexico to visit me. When Maria found out, she invited us for dinner. The doors of her home where open and a fresh made dinner and a pie were served on her table. We became family and we loved to be part of it. She had this illness for a while and I have missed her hugs and inspirational words. I'm happy to know. she is with God now. Even though, she is not physically here, I know she is in the hearts and minds of many people that share a special moment with her. RIP Sra. Maria
Posted by Margaret Chambers on 14th December 2014
Hi Stefan! I'm sorry you lost your mom, I know how difficult it is to lose your parent, both parents on my side. :( Your mom was so sassy and lovely! :) I suppose the best memory, besides going to swim at your house..was the sheep shear we all shared! HA! I loved it!! Your mom was in total control ...that is what I remember about her ...oh, and her awesome accent! :D
Posted by Rene Burlet on 14th December 2014
To Charlie , Stefan , and Sonja we are heart broken. Karen and I loved your family , you are the best cousins, We love your family with all our hearts
Posted by Sheri Ingram on 14th December 2014
Sonja, So Sorry for Your Loss. Your mom was an amazing person. She will be missed by all.
Posted by Linda Waples on 14th December 2014
RIP Maria, such a wonderful giving person, will always remember her. Love to Stefan, Charlie and Sonja and Family!
Posted by Rhonda Place on 14th December 2014
Maria was one precious lady and many fond memories of her will be held close to the heart. May she rest in Jesus till he comes, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4: 16, 17).
Posted by Dolores Soto on 14th December 2014
Maria was a woman with a beautiful, kind, sweet spirit. She always had a kind word for everyone she came in contact with. I'm so very thankful for having known her and I will miss her greatly. Our prayers are with all of you
Posted by Sylvia Bruhin on 14th December 2014
Meine ersten Erinnerungen an Tante Maria reichen zurück ins Jahr 1964. Unsere Familie war zu Besuch in Chicago. With love to the family, Sylvia
Posted by Tina Waples Moreno on 14th December 2014
Maria was just a wonderful loving lady. My days spent in 4-H and with your family at the fairs are great memories to be cherished. Maria touched so many lives as well as the whole family. Prayers to you all.
Posted by Becky Kent-Dobias on 13th December 2014
Praying for your family, Stefan! Your mom was cherished and loved and is now with her shepherd!
Posted by Jennifer Johnson on 13th December 2014
Maria touched so many lives. I have tons of childhood memories with her and the family. May she rest in peace and God hold her family in this difficult time. RIP Maria
Posted by Diane Garcia on 13th December 2014
Charlie, Sonjia & family, We we're so saddened by the loss of Maria. We loved seeing her & Charlie in the restaurant when we were home. Love to the family, Jose & Diane Garcia

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