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In Memoriam

Viscountess Fiona von Steinhaus, ORL, OLM


Per pale Or and azure,
two pegasi combattant
between in pale a crescent
pendant and a compass star,
all within a bordure
counterchanged.

Diana Edler passed away today (March 18, 2015).

Fiona von Steinhaus was Princess of Cynagua with her lord Eric von Steinhaus twice. She was loved by many, and will be missed.


The following was posted on SCA-West today (3/18/2015):

It is in deep sorrow that I report the passing this morning of Vicountess Fiona von Steinhaus, of natural causes. She was surrounded by family and close friends, and passed peacefully and without pain.

Yours in grief,

Aeruin as Sruth Waleis


Some Reminisces:
Our children were little together and grew up together at SCA events.

 She had a wry sense of humor and was never afraid to speak her mind but was never deliberately rude to people.  Always ready to help in any way she could.

I always felt like, even if it had been a very long time since I last saw her, that we were picking up right where we left off.

She will be missed.

Siobhan ni Seaghdha


"A friend is gone. I wish I could say something wise about it. I’m not one who can speak off the cuff. Fiona was that kind, not me, and these days have been strange and difficult and complex, so I had little time to set down words. So at her funeral I stood and stammered through something hacked out at the last moment, these chips of memory glued together with spit and tears and panic. She would have laughed at that. She was good at poking me out of my shell if only for a moment. In fact, as I said, I would not have been surprised if it was all a plot to get me in front of people. As if Fiona would pop up at any moment, and say, “Gotcha.” And I would say, “Dammit, you did.”

Children should not die before a parent, wives should not leave their husbands so soon, young friends should not leave old, and mothers should not abandon children yet to grow strong wings – it breaks a law of nature. She didn’t plan it that way, of course. I always thought she would outlive me. But it is like that verse from the Sondheim play, “Sometimes someone leaves you when you’re part way through the woods.” If you haven’t seen Into the Woods, you should. Please not the Disney version.

And Fiona liked to break rules anyway. So here we are.

She had a wicked sense of humor. She was smart and lively and outgoing. She was a teaser. I first met her at an Golden Rivers mini-tourney – it had to be the early 1980’s, a strange, fractured time, so the exact year escapes me. She seemed so cute, I could barely look at her. “Stop staring at your feet,” she kept saying, until I did. “Stand up straight,” she said. Then it was, “Eyes up here,” but that was something else completely.

We had a cultural divide.  But it did not damage the friendship. She slapped me down when I was cocky, picked up my spirits when I felt overwhelmed and beaten, talked me through heartbreaks, coaxed me through a career change, and teased me for being melodramatic and angsty. She had social wisdom, more than many. She fought for what she saw as right. In fact she challenged me as much as anyone to become what I should. She instantly befriended Ruth, the woman I would wed. When I dragged my feet about getting married, she reminded me that the years were piling up on me, which was true.

Speaking of that, she conspired with my friends and parents to plan a strange surprise party for me on my 40th birthday, complete with a custom coffin just my size, and someone in a death mask and sickle to stand over me while she recited a eulogy. The ironic is obvious.

I will miss Fiona, I will miss her sarcasm, I will miss her voice. The world seems smaller and emptier – a paradox, like the way loss makes us weak and strong. This isn’t right, and I have no answer to that, except to say that I remember my friend. It is the one thing the departed can say to any of us, “Remember me.”" -- Edward of South-Haven


For Viscountess Fiona von Steinhaus’ loving husband, Viscount Sir Eric and her loving family,

First, my deepest sympathy. There is shock when we learn someone like Fiona has met her demise. For me it was ‘no, it cannot be, she is at least ten years younger than me’ (and I was correct).

Fiona always had spunk, great wit and smiles with a recognizable voice! I enjoyed the numerous times when we interacted while I lived in the West Kingdom.

I last visited with Fiona at an Estrella War (1997) when I lived in Atenveldt proper. From the shadows of a shade pavilion, I heard Fiona’s voice asking if I was, indeed, Dierdriana. Yes! Once in the shade, I could see Fiona, Eric and his mother, Roena. It was good to visit – if only for a short time.

When Viscount Sir Edward of South Haven sent me the memory card from Fiona’s funeral…..it made it real – yet another of our younger generation who joined SCA in the early 1980 era has left our Earth.

I recall when Fiona and Eric joined the SCA, as had Eric’s parents, Hans and Roena and they brought skills, delight and uproarious, great senses of humor! Fiona and I had many laughs at SCA events and mundanely, since I had continued to go to events in Golden Rivers and our paths crossed many times.

I will always remember Fiona, as she was happy, smiled a great deal and showed the joy of life to others. She was lively and never, ever held back a worthy comment or words to lift others’ spirits.

Godspeed, Viscountess Fiona…..let the Stars Inspire your Soul.

As ever, Countess Dierdriana of the Misty Isles


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Photos:
Coronet Tournament -- Principality of Cynagua (May 28-29, 1983, AS XVIII)
Investiture -- Principality of Cynagua (July 16-17, 1983, AS XVIII)
Investiture -- Principality of Cynagua (July 16-17, 1983, AS XVIII)
October Crown Tournament (October 1-2, 1983, AS XVIII)
March Crown Tournament (March 24, 1984, AS XVIII)


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