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Ray Steele

April 2, 1914 - July 17, 2010
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A. Ray Steele, 96, died peacefully in his home on July 17, 2010, following a lifetime of contentment and joy. In his final days, he was surrounded by loving family and friends as he had been throughout his life. He was known for his leadership qualities, integrity, his caring for family and friends, his woodworkingContinue Reading

Karen Walters left a message on October 18, 2010:
With sympathies and regard. Mr. Steele sold us our house on Glendale Way almost behind his house in 1967. He was then our principal while we attended Long Beach School. He was a very nice man.
Patti and Joe Bagby left a message on August 1, 2010:
What a wonderful life he had; I plan to celebrate it every time I think of him. He will be missed.
Debra Walker left a message on July 31, 2010:
I attended Long Beach School in the 70's when Mr. Steele was the principal. I remember how he knew all of us by name. Mr. Steele was such a sweet man and will be missed greatly. My heartfelt sympathies to his family.
ms. roberta d. smolenski left a message on July 26, 2010:
I REMEMBER MR. STEELE FROM LONG BEACH SCHOOL WHEN HE WAS THE PRINCIPAL THERE FOR THE COUPLE OF YEARS THAT I WAS THERE!! HE WAS A WONDERFUL AND VERY CAREING AND GIVING MAN...I STILL WOULD RUN INTO HIM ONCE IN AWHILE WHEN I GOT OLDER AND HE STILL REMEMBERED ME AFTER ALL OF THOSE YEARS.. HE WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART AND SOUL... IF YOU NEED ANYTHING AT ALL PLEASE GET A HOLD OF ME.. SINCERLY, MS. ROBERTA D. SMOLENSKI....
Armin & Gail Wachsmuth left a message on July 24, 2010:
We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Steele. He is a well remembered educator from my childhood who was instumental in shaping the future of so many kids graduating from Long Beach School. He was a credit to the community.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Virginia Papunen left a message on July 24, 2010:
My sincere condolences to the family. Ray was with Long Beach Realty and the first person that we met in Long Beach and he sold us our house. As principal of Long Beach School, he showed Ellen through the school. He remained a life-long cherished friend.
Kenlyn Cadwallader left a message on July 23, 2010:
I want to extend my deepest sympathy to all of you. I have been so blessed by knowing your family & I am sadden at your loss. I am so thankful I had the honor of knowing him & being able to laugh at his funny jokes & always enjoyed listening to his stories. You have a wonderful family! Take Care! Your in my thoughts and prayers!
Stephanie A Kindig left a message on July 23, 2010:
Back when I was under Mr. Steele things were different. Kids feared, respected their teachers. If you were bad - watch out for the paddle! Thankfully I never was on the recieving end of the paddle. Mr Steele was kind, fare, and a great rol moldel to all of the students of Long Beach School. Thank you Mr. Steele for showing me how to be a parent that is fare and just. I pray for your family to feel peace knowing that Mr. Steele is with God. Stephanie Coburn Kindig
Volk sisters left a message on July 23, 2010:
We - Debbie and Allison (Volk) would like to extend deep and sincere sympathies to the Steele family. We have the distinct memory of our father, James Volk -- who served as president of the Long Beach School Board when Mr. Steele was hired in ~1955...? --speaking highly of Ray Steele. Thank you Mr. Steele...for all you did for more than 10,000 children. I, Allison, will be returning to Long Beach on July 30 for a Long Beach School reunion. The spirit that brings me back is in part due to the atmosphere created by principal Ray Steele while I was a school girl there... We were all blessed to have known him.
Jay Hartfield left a message on July 22, 2010:
Mr. Steele was the principal during my last several years at LBS and was my mothers boss for over twenty years while she taught 5th Grade there. In those days, respect for persons in authority was expected without question but Ray went far beyond that to earn the deep personal respect and affection of his students, staff, and the community at large. To Ron, Don and Debbie: my sincere condolences on your loss and thank you for sharing your father with all of us for so many years.
The Mennens left a message on July 22, 2010:
Our condolences on the loss of a wonderful man! We are three women 58, 47, and 40, all with very happy memories of Mr. Steele as the leader of Long Beach School. Over that time, our mother spent much time as a room mother and in the PTA, and she was always thrilled to be working with Mr. Steele! I can still remember all of us students singing "Gone Fishin'" at his retirement, and feeling especially happy that my mom got to bake a rum cake for his retirement party. Someone else referred to him as a gentle giant, and I couldn't agree more. With just his silent raising of the "peace sign" (fingers in a "vee"), he could command the attention of the entire cafegymatorium! I think one of the reasons I became an elementary teacher myself was to help recreate the sort of joyful school environment in which I was raised, and Mr. Steele to this day remains the high water mark in my mind for creating a kind, fun, and respectful community climate. We all feel truly blessed to have been touched by this great man. Sincerely, Rosemary, Debbie, Beckie and Michelle Mennen
Kristi (Kris) Cook left a message on July 22, 2010:
We extend our warmest condolences to Ray's family and friends. We all agree that our childhood experience and education was blessed by Ray and LBS! We fondly remember Mrs. Miller (naps on our rugs); Miss Ann; Mrs. Hartfield; Mr. Williams - teacher and Basketball Coach; Mr. Senate - and on. We remember the "tape" on the floor separating the 7th and 8th grade hall and classrooms from the Lobby and the K-6 classrooms. If you trespassed, Mr. Steele would let you know in a kind way! The dedication of the teachers, both to students and LBS, was stellar. ALL of this was due to Ray's leadership and ability to create the perfect LBS for everyone. We think of him as a gift to us and the many, many children and teachers who had the honor to work with him. He gave greatly to others - his legacy is priceless - Thank you Mr. Steele. With Warmest Regard, The Cook Family Between Stop 20 and Stop 21 Jim ('55), Dave ('56), Kris ('61) and Tom ('64 - - Deceased 2001)
Cathy Bohmer left a message on July 22, 2010:
Mr. Steele was so kind to me and my sister when our family was relocated to Michigan City from Baltimore with the "steel mill" influx. He made us feel welcome and safe. What I most remember about him was his patience and grace - to me he is the perfect example of what an elementary principal should be. I believe his eternity will be filled with joy. May God grant you peace in knowing that your mother and father are together once again. Cathy Bohmer Long Beach Elementary 1966-1970
Jan Trella left a message on July 22, 2010:
Debbie--So sorry on the loss of your father. He was a very special person who placed others first. Sorry I won't be able to come to the funeral but we are in New York.
Kirk Zylstra left a message on July 22, 2010:
I benefited from the wonderful experience of growing up in school environment under Ray's leadership. Our appreciation has only increased with time, as we now fully realize how much of an impact he had. We will always cherish our memories of Mr. Steele and our entire while experience under his care and guidance.
Kathy Kingsley Stout left a message on July 21, 2010:
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of my old grade school principal, Ray Steele(class of 1964). I have such fond memories of my days at LBS and of him. I last saw him just 2 or 3 years ago at a class reunion. He joined us for drinks. He looked great then and he remembered us all fondly. He will be missed.
Scott Plummer left a message on July 21, 2010:
Please accept our sincerest condolences for a great man that will always be in our hearts and minds as a hero and mentor.
Chip Werstein left a message on July 21, 2010:
I was one of Ray Steele's 10,000 students.........in fact I think I was in 1st grade when he came to LB School. Even as a kid, Mr. Steele struck me as a gentle, caring man who took a personal interest in every child. The basketball program and ballroom dancing classes bring back great memories. Those of us who spent our grade school years at LB should be thankful we had such a terrific role model. My condolences to the Steele family. Chip Werstein Long Beach School Class of 1959
Pamela Zylstra left a message on July 21, 2010:
Mr. Steele was a kind and loving sherpherd during my years from kindergarden through sixth grade. Though I was NEVER called into his office (but my siblings, Kirk, Julie and John were ALWAYS in trouble!) he was a gentle presence in the halls. As I look back with the benefit of hindsight, I appreciate the courageous and wise decisions he made as our principal. He hired amazing teachers and created an atmosphere where learning was fun and being "smart" was cool. Thank you Mr. Steele for all your patience and love and attention. Thank you to the Steele family for sharing your beloved with us. May you find comfort in all the loving memories and tributes to one great man, Mr. Ray Steele. Fondly, Pamela Zylstra
Bob Gilmore left a message on July 20, 2010:
My deepest sympathies to the entire Steele Family. I just lost my Dad 2 months ago and no matter how long they made it, it is a sad day. When I heard of Mr. Steele's death my first two thoughts were Saturday basketball and ballroom dancing....and that brought a huge smile to my face. Your father/grandfather was once of the nicest and most honorable people I have known in my life. He will always be remembered fondly. Bob
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Donna Sweney Schindler left a message on July 20, 2010:
No doubt each of us who went to LBS have a story to share and a special fond memory about Mr. Steele. He was indeed a pillar in the community, and leadership like this is indeed a rare quality to find.
Kristi Ewy left a message on July 20, 2010:
To Mr. Steele's children and family: I heard of his passing on Saturday as I was celebrating my 30th High School reunion in MC. I was sitting with a group of my 6th grade classmates (all from Mr. Neary's class) and we were laughing about all the fun at LBS. I was telling a story of a time I got in trouble and got caught. My choices were a paddling by Mr. Steele or a 1000 word essay. I chose the essay because there was no history to draw from on how hard the paddling would be. Perhaps that in and of itself speaks to the respect we held for your dad and grandpa. He was a quiet giant, and probably never even had to paddle anyone. God Bless all of you and thank you for sharing this wonderful man with all of us. May he rest in peace......... Kristi Ewy Stop 23 LBS '70-'74
Ted Gowin left a message on July 19, 2010:
"If a job is once begun, never leave it 'til it's done. Be it large or be it small, do it well or not at all." I heard first from you and that says it all. Thanks, Ray. You did well!
Dirk Ewy left a message on July 19, 2010:
I usually saw Mr. Steele when I was in trouble or when I was faking sick so I could go home. After school one day, Mr. Steele showed me how to dig for worms so I could go fishing. He showed me that learning could be fun. I doubt many 40 year olds have such fond memories of their elementary school principals. Long Beach School was a special place, and it all started with Mr. Steele.
Geisen Funeral Home left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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