About Jean M. (Sneeringer) Steinour '47

Induction Class of 2018

Jean M. (Sneeringer) Steinour has been a pioneer and champion for those with special needs in Adams County for decades. That was not a role she would have expected to take on when she graduated from Delone Catholic in 1947. She won the French Club Award, was a member of the glee club, participated in plays and operettas and was a staff writer for Delonian (newspaper) as a student. Following graduation, she married her classmate, Joseph Steinour '47, and raised seven children.

Mrs. Steinour volunteered in the Delone Catholic kitchen in the 1960s and 1970s and served on the St. Francis Xavier, Gettysburg, Parish Council of Catholic Women and sang in the church's choir for 50 years.

However, she made her most significant contributions in the community after her youngest son, John, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. At a time when it would have almost been expected for the family to put John in an institution, Mrs. Steinour insisted that he come home and be made a part of their family. As John grew, Mrs. Steinour was dissatisfied with the physical education and sports opportunities for special needs students in the area and eventually worked to found Special Olympics, Adams County. Through her persistence, she secured use of the facilities at Gettysburg College for programming instead of having families from Adams County travel to Chambersburg. The program grew out of her efforts, and she was the program's treasurer from its unofficial inception in the 1970s. Eventually, the program was officially recognized by Special Olympics. She was inducted into the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 2008, and she also was a member of the Notre Dame Club of Gettysburg in support of John's membership.