It is with heart-wrenching sadness that we mourn the passing of an extraordinary, accomplished and loving Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, Jacqueline Ann Steinmann. Jackie was at home in San Diego when she left us peacefully in her sleep on October 24th, 2020. Through her entire life, Jackie was always happy, maintained her fun-loving sense of humor, and cherished her family and puppy Abby.
Jackie leaves behind her children Heidi Steinmann-Sankey, Robert Sankey, Gregor and Robin Steinmann, Lance and Lili Steinmann, grandchildren Rylan, Caitlin, Becker, Tiffany, Eric, Birgen, Kaitlyn, Annalise, her great grandchildren Rhett and Krew, and numerous nieces and nephews who were loved dearly. She is also survived by her youngest brother, Gary Milburn Tobian, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.
Jackie lived an extraordinarily rich and fulfilling 93 years with many personal and professional achievements that truly made her stand out as a remarkable woman and leader, including a professional golf coaching legacy at UCLA that will not soon be forgotten.
Jackie was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, in an affluent and athletic family – her father was a professional baseball player. She was the first born to Marcus and Marion Tobian and soon had two brothers, Bruce and Gary. The Tobians owned a beautiful home in Huntington Woods where she always remembered walking her dogs and picking violets and other wildflowers in the woods. The summers were spent at her grandfather's farm learning to milk cows, gather eggs, feed pigs, pitch hay, chase chickens, and ride horses. She loved to tell the story of her grandfather squirting warm milk directly from the cow utters into her mouth. After the hard work, she ran across the field to great grandmother's house for cookies. The Tobian's other home was a lakeside cottage near Detroit where she learned to swim. When the depression hit home, it swept her father from wealth to near poverty. In the aftermath, they moved to Sarasota, Florida, and then to Santa Monica, California, where they lived in a small trailer on the beach. Soon, Jackie's hard-working and determined father started a General Contracting business and her mother worked as a nurse for many years.
Later, the family moved to Hollywood and Jackie attended Bancroft Junior High and Hollywood High School where she excelled academically. She also took ballet and acrobatics lessons and studied piano for many years. An extremely gifted person, Jackie was also a talented artist. Her brother, Gary Tobian, was an accomplished diver on the U.S. Olympic teams in 1956 and 1960, winning a Gold and two Silver Medals for the United States.
Jackie wanted to study medicine, so she began at UCLA which was close to home and started as a pre-med major, later changing majors when she learned about medical illustration. After 3 years at UCLA, she entered a graduate program in art as applied to medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. The first two years consisted of classes taken with medical students augmented by medical illustration studies. She took classes in pathology, embryology, histology, and dissected an entire human cadaver in anatomy. Throughout college, Jackie participated in many aquatic activities both at UCLA and the University of Toronto. In Toronto she was on the synchronized swim team, and at UCLA she performed comedy diving and organized Esther Williams-type aquacades with glittery costumes and lots of make-up. In her spare time, she lifeguarded at the local pool and attended USO dances. Jackie ended up with a BA in Zoology from UCLA in 1952 and a DAAM (Degree of Art as Applied to Medicine) from University of Toronto in 1951.
Jackie soon met the man who would become her husband of 23 years, a handsome Swiss man named Hans G. Steinmann, whose parents owned the Holiday Hill Ski Resort in Wrightwood, California. She learned to ski and became proficient as was her way. When Jackie got her first job as a medical illustrator for the U.S. Government at Tripler Hospital, she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where Hans and Jackie were married in 1953. They were not there too long before Jackie got another job with Children's Hospital in Hollywood. She illustrated books on urology and pediatric anesthesiology and for the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, before working freelance for doctors. Jackie once invited her brother Gary to attend a surgery where he promptly fainted, he tells us. From 1955 to 1957, Jackie modeled and served as modeling instructor for the Caroline Leonetti modeling agency. From 1957 to 1974, she taught biology, physiology, math, sewing, typing, and physical education in the Los Angeles City School District with her California Teaching Credential. From 1960 to 1963, she taught sewing in a private school and taught painting in an adult program from 1962 to 1969. From 1956 to 1976, Hans and Jackie founded, owned and operated the Holiday Hill Certified Ski School in Wrightwood, California, where she taught skiing and was Co-Director for twenty years along with raising a family in their homes in Canoga Park and Valencia. Many of her family and friends can still hear her announcing the "afternoon session of the Holiday Hill Certified Ski school" on the loudspeaker. She became a certified ski instructor and President of the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors Association) and WPSIA. Jackie was always President of some organization or another, she was an enthusiastic leader and participant in life. She did an equally amazing job raising her family at this time. Always the teacher, Mom is famous for teaching her children and grandchildren proper table manners and how to make a perfect hospital corner while making a bed.
Unfortunately, Hans and Jackie were divorced in 1976 and she always missed her Wrightwood family, and nieces and nephews desperately. She had been learning the game of golf which she started 9 years earlier at the age of 40, when Hans took up the game as well. By the time of her divorce, she had won club tournaments and some local amateur events. When she met Jenny Davis in Valencia, California, she learned Jenny had just secured a partial scholarship in golf at UCLA and that they were just starting a fully funded golf program and in the market for a golf coach. Jackie knew nothing of coaching, though she was always the teacher, so thinking she had nothing to lose, she applied.
Jackie Steinmann was hired in 1977 as the first Women's Head Golf Coach in UCLA history. It took just two years for her to lead the Bruins to a conference (WCAA) title and achieve a ranking for UCLA of 9th in the country. She also won back-to-back WCAA Championships in 1982 and 1983 and consecutive Pac-10 Championships in 1990 and 1991. Coach Steinmann won 43 tournament titles, five of those wins came during the 1990-1991 campaign, which culminated in an NCAA Championship title. The Bruins overcame a six-shot deficit on the final two holes to force a sudden death playoff, which UCLA won against San Jose State. She was never happier! The Bruins finished in the Top 10 at the NCAA Championship 10 times while she was coach. Coach Steinmann was named the NGCA National Coach of the Year in 1996 and was back-to-back, Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1991. A total of 15 Bruins earned 21 All-American awards when the NGCA first started handing out the honor in 1985, and 31 of her players went on to become LPGA professionals like Christy Erb, Kay Cockerill, Loretta Alderette, Lisa Kiggens, Kristal Parker-Gregory, LaRee Pearl Sugg and Jean Zedlitz. She was a mentor and friend to many in the college golf community and her legacy will live on. Although her accomplishments were special to her, she always said the people and friends were the most rewarding. A pioneer of women's collegiate golf, Jackie's honors include:
Jackie retired from UCLA on June 30, 1999 at the age of 72 and wasn't quite ready to slow down so she proceeded to write a book about her 22 years of golf coaching experiences, The Wonderful World of Coaching Golf, with a forward by the incredible John Wooden of UCLA Basketball fame. She left her impeccably decorated family home in the Hollywood Hills in 2003 at the age of 76 and bought a home in Rancho Bernardo, California, where she once again created a showcase home with French country flair and plenty of antiques. She always had such a flare for decorating and entertaining with elaborately set tables and exquisite gourmet meals topped off with her famous cheesecake, banana bread, and apple pies. She loved to entertain her neighbors and friends and did so frequently. She sold her house to move next door to her daughter in 2016.
In retirement, Jackie also participated in a couple of art associations in Rancho Bernardo, California, where she displayed her art in art shows and won several awards. Jackie was famous for her still life paintings of fruits and vegetables and was affectionately called "The Fruit Lady". Of course, she became President of the North County Art Association. She also participated in golf clubs at Oaks North and Rancho Bernardo Country Club and traveled frequently with her daughter and son-in-law. Jackie loved going out to breakfast with her family and always wanted to take her whole family on an extravagant cruise.
We will miss her bright beaming smile, her fun-loving spirit and zest for life, her optimism and never-ending energy and determination, her many talents and her always welcoming warm and caring kindness. Yippee Skippy Jackie, you are in our Hall of Fame of life. You will be sorely missed but we will keep sharing memories of you and you will always be in our hearts, Mom.
Memorial services for Jacqueline Ann Steinmann will be held on November 18, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, located at 6300 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles, CA, 90068. Services will be held outside, consider bringing comfortable shoes, an umbrella and/or fold away chair. A map will be provided for you at the information kiosk at the main gate. Masks are required at Forest Lawn.
To plant a tree in memory of Jacqueline Ann Tobian-Steinmann, please visit our tribute store.