Gordon Ray Steele
May 5, 2017
Gordon Ray Steele passed away from Black Lung at the age of 83in Yuma, AZ on April 24, 2017. He was born in Oak Creek, CO on April 9, 1934, and married his wife, Betty Perkins Steele, in 1955. They had recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary. Gordon was raised in Oak Creek and operated the Apex coal mine on Trout Creek with his brother Duane and his father Carl Steele for many years. He was active in Lions Club and the Methodist church in Oak Creek, and he also served as a volunteer E.M.T. for the community. He and Betty were foster parents to sixteen children. In 1976, the Steele Family sold the Apex mine and Gordon and his wife, Betty later moved to Craig, CO, where he finished his working life as a shop foreman at Empire Energy. Gordon and Betty re¬modeled the Hamilton schoolhouse near Craig and transformed it to a beautiful home where they lived for six years. After Gordon retired, he and Betty moved to Grand Junction CO where they grew and sold peaches, and later to Anaconda Montana in order to be close to their granddaughter. When Gordon's health began to decline, they moved to Grand Junction, CO. and later to Yuma, AZ, after his doctor recommended that he leave the high elevations and live at sea level. He loved fly-fishing, hiking and backpacking and held out hope that he would recover enough to return to the mountains. One can imagine his spirit fishing the mountains lakes now.
Gordon went to South Africa twice on construction missions with the Anaconda Methodist Church. He also went to Mississippi with the Methodist Church to help rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina. In Anaconda, he taught the AARP Safe Driving class. He lived a life of selfless service to others.
Gordon was preceded in death by his son, Morgan Wells Steele, infant son Jeffry Brian Steele, parents Ethel and Carl Steele, brother and sister¬ in-law Reginald and Ginni Steele, brother Duane Steele, grandmother Mabel Myers, numerous precious aunts and uncles, and his best friend Pidge Sullivan. He is survived by his wife Betty Steele, now of Colorado; his daughter Marcia (Hank) Slosson of Montana; daughter Angie (Steve) Butterworth and son Toby Steele of Colorado; granddaughter Leah Landes of Durango, CO; nephews Russ (Renee) Steele of Utah and their family; Evan (Marga) Steele and their family of Australia, Chad (Sharon) Steele of Colorado and their family, niece Spring (Monte) Phillips of Texas; and numerous cousins and great nephews and nieces and their families.
There will be a celebration of Gordy's life in Oak Creek CO on July 29, 2017 at noon at Decker Park. Memorial donations may be made online to Lions Club International Foundation and/or Trinity United Methodist Church, Outreach Mission Team, 3030 S. 8th Avenue, Yuma AZ 85365 to help build houses in Mexico.
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