Willard “Bill” Louis Steele
WILMINGTON- Willard “Bill” Louis Steele, 71, died on Tuesday, December 1, from complications caused by multiple myeloma.
He became a New Yorker on August 12,1949. In many ways, Mr. Steele was like a great cup of coffee. Coffee has long symbolized intellect, creativity, and a touch of revolution. Since he was, without a doubt, all of these things one could not be in his company without having an “oh shit” moment. His confident stance, the way he never backed down, and his sheer authority will not be forgotten.
Mr. Steele worked hard as a master electrician for 47 years. He takes with him an undefinable amount of knowledge and a work ethic that can’t be quantified. His work boots, strong hands, and mind literally lit up the Deerfield Valley – a place he called home for 33 years and was the world headquarters of Steele Electric. He remembered every one of the jobs he completed in Wilmington and surrounding areas. Going forth, should anyone want to reach Steele Electric, gaze upon the lights at Hayford Field.
Mr. Steele would want everyone to know the numbers that were important to him, starting with his six children: Patrick, Andrea, John, Elizabeth, Laura, and Christine. His children loved being seen by his bright blue eyes, which shone when he talked about each of their accomplishments with their careers and families. He’d also want all to know with pleasure that he was a grandfather to nine grandchildren: Magnus, Teagan, Lars, Erik, Aiden, Victoria, George, William, and Olea.
For 11 years he fought multiple myeloma; 11 years longer than his health care providers Dr. Lowrey, Diane Stearns, and all the nurses and staff at Dartmouth-Hitchcock ever thought.
The number three signifies the beginning, middle, and the end. Therefore, everyone must know of his three close friends, Terry, Jenner, and Tony. He’d want you to know of his one great love, Deb, whom he married on September 26, 2020 after 16 adventurous years of partnership. He couldn’t have done any of it without her. Her care for him was a love song which they will continue to dance to beneath shining stars.
Mr. Steele never collected objects, instead he collected memories with his family and friends both near and far. One way he would do this is by pausing (even halfway through) his favorite “flicks” or movies and later by simply riding his BMW Beamer motorcycle to destinations as nearby as the local fruit orchard or a spontaneous trip to “Wally World.” Throughout his life he sought adventure and was always up for a drive. He enjoyed sitting on the steps of the CVS on the corner of Duval and Front streets in Key West; strolling Kew Gardens in London; taking in the beautiful terrains of Mallorca, Iceland, and Kefalonia; and atop Cannon Mountain, where he will forever look out upon us all. Like coffee, his sense of humor was comforting, bold, and could warm people from the inside out. He was always telling stories that began with, “Well, you know ...” Countless memories have been recalled of the way he would tell somebody something just believable enough that they’d go with it, only to hear his whistling laugh when they later figured out he was messing with them. For 30 years he maintained that his wedding song was “Purple People Eater,” though it recently clicked for his children that maybe he was joking?
His childhood included many dogs as his parents Ivan “Jack” Glouster Wadsworth Steele and Mary Anne Steele raised and showed dachshunds and Great Danes. He was the person his most recent dogs, Smokey and Ozzy, thought he was: sensitive, playful, caring, observant, and really great at littering the yard with treats to hunt down.
He never liked expiration dates and so he went long before his time. To honor his life, sit and savor a cup of coffee (he took his with a splash of 2% milk) and have a long conversation, “so to say,” with all of those who mean the most to you. To make a contribution in his honor well-wishers are encouraged to give to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
To view an online tribute, send condolences to the family or for more information visit www.csnh.com.