Joan Steinbrenner, the wife of the late Yankees Principal Owner George M. Steinbrenner III, passed away on Friday morning at her home in Tampa, Fla. surrounded by her family. She was 83.
“Joan was a compassionate and caring matriarch whose profound love for her family and those in the community always inspired us,” the Steinbrenner family said in a statement. “Her elegance and grace touched everyone around her, and we know her spirit will live on through her legacy of good works. We are grateful to have had her in our lives, and she will be deeply missed.”
Born on August 25, 1935, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Mrs. Steinbrenner (whose first name is pronounced Jo-Ann) was married to George from May 12, 1956, until his passing on July 13, 2010.
Mrs. Steinbrenner, who served as Yankees Vice Chairperson until her passing, participated in many community projects and supported numerous philanthropic organizations over the years. In her native Ohio, she worked with the Cleveland Orchestra and was deeply involved with the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, where she performed and taught puppetry to local children.
Among her many community roles after relocating to Florida, she was named State Chairperson for the Florida Special Olympics in 1981 and 1982, and for two years was on the Board of Directors of the National Society to Prevent Blindness. She was also a charter member of Town and Gown, which was established in 1977 in an effort to form a bond between community supporters in the downtown Tampa area and the University of South Florida.
Additionally, Mrs. Steinbrenner was a longtime board member for Children’s Home, Inc., and was one of the original members of the H.B. Plant Museum Society. From 1991 to 2000, she served on the Development Council of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board. She was also a member of the Junior League of Tampa and The Chiselers, and sat on the Board of Directors of the Florida Orchestra.
A graduate of Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio, and Ohio State University, Mrs. Steinbrenner earned a degree in dental hygiene. She is survived by four children (Hank, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal), 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A private family service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation (www.give2stjoeskids.org; 2700 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 310, Tampa, FL 33607, 813-872-0979) or to a charity of one’s choosing.