Nancy L. Steele

    Nancy Louellen Steele, 79, of Kalamazoo, went to be with the Lord, Saturday, April 13, 2019.  She was born Oct. 23, 1939, in Kalamazoo, to Coramay (Abrams) and Richard O. Wheeler.
    Nancy graduated from Mattawan High School in 1957, and attended Tracey’s Beauty Academy, and graduated as a cosmetologist. She received her Associate in Applied Science with a General Marketing Major from Kalamazoo Valley Community College, May 10, 1983.
    She married her soulmate of 61 years, the Rev. Philip P. Steele, June 20, 1957, at the Mattawan Congregational Church. They honeymooned in Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
    She was an accomplished pianist, seamstress and artist.  Her career included bedding sales associate at JC Penney,  retiring in 2005, Northwest Fabrics, Tepe’s, Oakwood United Methodist Church organist, accompanist and piano teacher for music students from Mattawan, and librarian at the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio.
     In 1971, she began working as the assistant accompanist under George N. Tucker for St. Luke’s Choristers all boys and men’s choir, Kalamazoo, and continued for many years.  She shared love, faith, hope and joy with so many through the piano strings and into our souls.  Her life was a beautifully written composition which she shared with her love and gift of music.
    She was a member of the Milwood United Methodist Church,  Kalamazoo, The American Guild of Organists, The Order of Saint Luke, The Daughters of the Nile and Past Worthy Matron and Life member of Mattawan Chapter 192 Order of the Eastern Star and  Corinthian Chapter 123, Schoolcraft.  She always supported her husband as a Methodist minister’s wife,  and at all his Masonic events.  She expressed her faith through music, charity, education and friendship.
    She loved animals and was dedicated to caring for many feral barn cats and worked with animal rescue organizations. Her greatest loves and proudest joys were her children, grandchildren and great-grandson.  She loved to travel to Florida to be with the ones that lived there.
    She will be dearly missed for her loving and kind personality. Left to celebrate her memory are her husband, the Rev. Philip Paul Steele; children, Mark Steele, Melody Steele-Martin, Genipher (Kurt) Oswalt; and grandchildren, Rhiannon (Jake) Norvell, Katelyn Hope Martin and Dario Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog, Brandyn (Kristin Rice) Steele-Aldag and Miranda Jacqueline Martin; and great-grandson, Shadow Beebe. She was preceded in death by her parents; and son-in-law,  Alfred Martin, Jr.
    The family will receive friends Tuesday, May 28, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Milwood United Methodist Church, 3919 Portage St., Kalamazoo. An Eastern Star service and memorial service will follow at 4 p.m. with the  Rev. Philip P. Steele and the Rev. Dr. James M. Morgan officiating.  A supper will follow in the fellowship hall.  Interment will be at Maple Grove Cemetery, Mattawan, at a later date.
    Share a memory, photo or sign the guestbook at:, and view her video tribute. Donations may be made to Park Place Kalamazoo, Michigan or Operation Fix It at the Kalamazoo Humane Society.


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The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
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