Cover photo for Mark Peter Steinberg's Obituary
Mark Peter Steinberg Profile Photo
1952 Mark 2022

Mark Peter Steinberg

February 6, 1952 — July 1, 2022

Marc was born in New York City February 6th, 1952, the eldest of four children to Alexander
Steinberg and Jane Nickerson Steinberg, both progressive, hard working individuals. His father
patented the first yogurt processing device in the US in 1946 and his mother was the first food
editor for the New York Times. In 1956, the family relocated to Lakeland, Florida, across the
street from the Skillman family. Alexander started his yogurt plant, eventually selling his patent
and recipe to Dannon, and Jane was the food editor for the Florida Sun for nearly 40 years and
author of “Jane Nickerson’s Florida Cookbook.” Marc spoke fondly of childhood memories
working with horses and playing in wild Florida with neighborhood friends and his siblings. He
later married his neighbor, Debra (Deb) Skillman Steinberg, in 1976.

Marc attended Georgetown University. During a long drive home from college, DC to Florida,
he had an unquenchable thirst, stopped nearly constantly to urinate and was then diagnosed
with Type 1 Diabetes. This lifelong, 24-7 autoimmune disease sparked his interest in the
medical field. His professional journey as a physician and pediatrician included developmental
pediatrics and emergency medicine in North Carolina. Upon moving to Montana in 1993, he
worked for the Indian Health Service in Lame Deer, MT, then practiced rural family medicine in
White Sulphur Springs, MT until 2008. Marc's career path serving low-income and rural
communities was driven by his belief that health care was a fundamental human right. Patients
praised his personable bedside manner and clinical accuracy, however his most proud
professional achievement came later from his work as an innovator and trainer in motivational
interviewing for healthcare providers through Johnson and Johnson’s Diabetes Institute (JJDI)
and his private consulting practice. The culmination of this work was in the publishing of his (and
Bill Miller’s) book in 2016, “Motivational Interviewing In Diabetes Care.”

Marc and Deb had a life full of interesting endeavors: born from Marc’s adventurous visions,
achieved through plenty of hard work and with Deb’s unending patience and eye for
organization and productivity. They enjoyed having an English mastiff (or 2) over the past 25
years, their cabin in Sula where Marc proudly wired electricity to a beautiful new work shed, and
trying their legs at skiing even after their grandkids left them in a trail of cold smoke. Family
adventures included canoeing the Nantahala River and Falls in North Carolina (yes, the canoe
flipped), winter camping with the wild horses at Grayson Highlands State Park, many horseback
rides in Montana, and running the Sky Lodge Bed and Breakfast in WSS. Marc had memorable
trips biking and kayaking in North Carolina, hiking and camping on Mount Edith, and long
distance running with Don Babcock and Keith Alltucker in White Sulphur Springs. He remained
an avid runner well into his 60s.

Marc became “Poppop” when his first grandchild Mattie Jane was born in 2000, then joined by
her siblings and cousins. He was doctor Poppop at times, a phone call away day or night with
reassuring expert advice when a grandchild was sick or needed a quick fix up with a stitch or
wound glue. Above all, he loved to make his grandchildren smile with silly jokes, a signature line
(with moss on his head), “Has anyone seen my hair?” Over the years, he and Deb enjoyed
many birthday parties, hikes, and family get-togethers. They traveled with their grandchildren to
the desert in Utah, NYC, San Francisco, Florida, the Oregon Coast, and Seattle.

Marc was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020. Although devastating, his
diagnosis paved the way in new expressions through art. With the creative guidance of his wife
and life partner, Deb, he spent many hours painting and creating art which brought him a new
sense of adventure and joy. His good friend Beth Ammons worked with him in creating poetry,
his artist statement, his involvement in Memory Cafe at the Missoula Public Library, and his
library art tour. He loved visiting his art on display and with old friends in White Sulphur Springs
in March 2022. Marc greatly enjoyed sharing writings at a living memorial October 14th, 2020,
an intimate family gathering. Activities he enjoyed until the end of his life included therapeutic
horses, guitar lessons with Chris Woodman, singing, listening to music, watching favorite
concerts on dvd (volume up high!) with his good friend Steve Zellmer, and visits with friends,
loved ones and dogs.

Marc is survived by his loving, artistic wife of 46 years, Deb; son Peter; daughter Claire (Ben
Tuholske); grandchildren Mattie, Shelby, Jackson Joshua, Eli, and Efraim; sister Alexandra
Kaghan (Ted Macaluso), nephew Mark; brother Rick (Pam), niece Jamie; brother Josiah; half
siblings Gerald (Kathy) and Evelyne Steinberg; and his beloved dogs Titan “Big Man” and
Piglet.

The family wishes to thank Missoula Aging Services for guidance and resources in navigating
the dementia journey and Hestia Home Advantage for their support and exceptional presence
during palliative and end of life care. Thank you to the friends and family who sent their love
from afar and those that helped us locally during Marc’s final weeks and days.

Donations in Marc’s honor can be made to Missoula Aging Services, Memory Cafe at the Missoula Public
Library, Montana Youth Diabetes Alliance, Trotting Horse Therapeutic Riding, or Montana
Alzheimer’s Association.

Marc’s paintings will be on public display at the Livingston Public Library July 7th-August 7th.

Arrangements were coordinated by Garden City Funeral Home.

Condolences can be shared among family and friends at https://www.gardencityfh.com/obituary-
listing
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mark Peter Steinberg, please visit our flower store.

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