The widow of DPD Captain Kenneth Steil speaks about staying brave for their two young sons

Captain Steil continues to save lives
Posted at 11:30 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 23:31:00-04

A row of flags down the block where the late Detroit Police Captain Kenneth Steil and his wife Joanne called home is a show of unity and support for the man who gave his life to save others.

Joanne Steil says, "It takes a special person to be a police officer, and I married someone who was brave enough to go out there every single night and get shot at."

You never know when the call may come to say they will not be coming home.

Joanne Steil says, "The biggest fear I have ever had was getting the phone call, someone coming to the home."

After nine years of marriage Joanne got that dreaded phone call when the 46-year-old was shot in the line of duty on September 12th.

Joanne says, "I naturally lost it and he said 'he's okay, he's okay I wouldn't be calling you if he wasn't okay'."

Never did she imagine the man colleagues nicknamed Shark would die from that blast to his chest from a sawed off shotgun.

He made it to the hospital, but a blood clot would ultimately take his life.

Joanne Steil says, "I am just grateful that God gave me that week with him and it was the most beautiful week of my life."

They talked about the future and taking the boys to Disney World. Joanne's sister made a heart wrenching video to remember the incredible life they shared.

Captain Steil was laid to rest last week and now comes the difficult part of moving forward without her beloved protector.

Joanne Steil says, "I'm just trying to adjust to my new norm, this broke my heart."

Her little boys William and Alexander only  5 and 3 were both at the funeral, too young to comprehend their dad's sacrifice, but not too young to understand dad is now gone.

Joanne donated her husband's organs so he will continue saving lives in death as he did in life.

Their message to 21-year-old Marquise Cromer who took his life?

Joanne Steil says, "I forgive you, we all make bad mistakes,  you can now head yourself in the right direction."

And with so much controversy around police officers Joanne wants healing and the nation to unite.

Most importantly for Joanne, to thank the Detroit Police Department, Chief James Craig and Mayor Mike Duggan for the love and support at the hospital and at home, because she says they've never left her side.

Finally, thanks to Joanne Steil donating her husband's organs at least 50 lives will be changed for the better and, while he won't be here physically, his heroic spirit will live on in others.