Obituary of Nina L. Steg
On Sunday night, December 12, 2021, Nina Lowy Steg, M.D., age 90, a resident of Largo, Florida died from the aftereffects of a stroke suffered in August. She is survived by her children: Dr. James Steg (Betsy Schlegel), Frances Steg, and Maureen Buzdygon (Kevin); five grandchildren: Danielle and Andrew Steg; Lauren, David, and Aaron Buzdygon; a sister Melitta Lowy Garbuny; and six nieces. She was predeceased by her devoted husband of 58 years, Dr. Joseph Steg; her brother George Löwy; a niece Leslie Steg, and her parents.
Nina was born in 1931 in Vienna, Austria to Dr. Moriz Löwy and Dr. Franja Berlin Löwy. The family fled their home in 1938, after Austria became part of Nazi Germany. They came to the United States as a penniless refugee family. A social worker placed Nina in an orphanage for half a year while her parents searched for work. With all the tumult in her life, and faced with a new language, Nina stopped speaking.
Nina learned how to speak English within a few months but was unable to read until a caring teacher helped her overcome dyslexia. Nina then became a strong student in the New York City Public Schools. She finished high school when she was barely 17, graduated from Indiana University in three years, and was admitted to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis at a time when few women could gain admission to medical school. She graduated in 1955 with her M.D. and decided to be a pediatrician like her father.
Nina was known as a brilliant diagnostician and for her expertise in pediatric nephrology. In 1957 as a freshly minted doctor, she wrote a paper that addressed the problem of narcotic withdrawal in newborns. In 1973, she became the first senior woman doctor to join the staff of Alfred I. duPont Institute in Wilmington, DE. She later became the hospital’s first director of the Department of Pediatrics. Her last position there before retirement in 1991 was the Associate Chief of the Division of Rehabilitation. She worked primarily with children suffering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy.
In her medical office, Nina had a large, framed poster of the serenity prayer to guide her medical decisions: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Nina trained many doctors throughout her career. Before she Joined A.I. DuPont, she had taught at Philadephia General Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania.
After Nina and her husband Joe (a psychiatrist) had completed their medical training, they initially made their home in Wayne, Pennsylvania near Valley Forge and were later longtime residents of Kennett Square, PA. They retired to Indian Rocks Beach Florida in 1991. Nina and Joe were avid travelers and visited all seven continents. They also shared a passion for sailing and had anchored a boat in Chesapeake Bay. They later sailed it to Florida. One of their favorite hobbies was touring lighthouses.
Nina loved spending time with her children and grandchildren at her summer home at Lake Owassa, NJ. She was an avid water skier and enjoyed it into her early 70s. She was so enthusiastic about the sport that she taught it to two generations of her family and their friends.
In lieu of flowers charitable donations can be sent to Suncoast Hospice
Graveside service at Curlew Hills, Palm Harbor, FL at Friday, December 17 at 1pm. Guestbook at davidcgross.com David C. Gross Funeral Home, 6366 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33707, 727-201-5095.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Nina Steg, please visit our Tree Store