Wilbert R. "Bill" Steinhauser

Wilbert (Bill) R. Steinhauser Jr., AKA Bill Lee, age 81 passed away on August 12, 2018 at Masonicare in Wallingford, CT. He was the beloved husband of 32 years to Jane P. Steinhauser. He was born in NJ on January 13, 1937 to the late Wilbert and Evelyn (Wolf) Steinhauser, their only child.


Bill was a 'Renaissance Man' in the abilities he acquired and how he used them. His musical career began with learning to play the cello as a youngster. When he wanted to learn the guitar, his father also a talented person, made one for him. Basically self-taught, Bill went on to teach himself the banjo as well and held a New Jersey musicians’ card at age 17 and later became a New York City studio musician. Also in his early years his interest in recording music led him become a recording engineer as well and in both capacities he worked with Frank Sinatra, George Sheering, Mel Torme, Jack Teagarden, Stan Kenton, and many, many others. His father and grandfather both worked for the railroad and felt Bill needed more than music to give him a steady income and got him a job with the New York Central railroad. There too he worked through the ranks and eventually became the General Manager of New York Central's Grand Central Station. Also a master clock repair person, Bill serviced all the clocks in Grand Central Station. At one point in semi-retirement he and Jane moved from New York to Riverside, CT and there he became the house banjo and guitarist for the Paul King Orchestra, The Fairfield Counts Big Band, The Easton Banjo Society, The Golden Angels and many area small groups as well. For the past seven years, living in Wallingford, CT and fully retired, he was the banjo, guitarist, recording engineer and musical director for the Survivors Swing Band.


In 1977 he married Jane Patanasinth, had a wonderful marriage and became the step-father to Jane's grown children: Puntip Suwannarojn, Narong Patanasinth and his daughter Patti, and Kanit Patanasinth and his wife Annee. The second love of his life was Amy Jane Patanasinth, Kanit and Annee's daughter, his granddaughter. Jane passed away in 2009.


Bill was loved by all who knew him. He was even tempered, so very talented and humble about the gifts that he was given and shared them freely with anyone with an ear to hear. When Bill wasn't performing or rehearsing, writing, arranging or transposing music, he was the source for quality repair work on all the wooden, stringed instruments ... not to mention servicing and modifying the electronics in sound systems, recording equipment, amplifiers and microphones or recreating mechanical parts for many types of clocks. All this from a boy who left school at age 16 and built his wonderful life for himself and enhanced the lives of all he came into contact with. He was a true Renaissance man!


There was no wake or calling hours as so many of Bill's friends had left this world before him. Burial is at the convenience of his family. If you wish to send a condolence, a comment or a memory to the family, send it to: ajpatan@gmail.com.