Thomas Steele obit photo

Thomas G. Steele

La Grande


Thomas Glenn Steele, 78, of La Grande, died Oct. 16 at his home. A family memorial gathering will be held in the spring/summer of 2020.

Known as Tom, he was born Sept. 4, 1941, in Alma, Missouri. Tom attended Riverside Elementary School in Elwell, Michigan, and graduated in 1959 from Alma High School in Alma, Michigan.

Tom met his future wife, Pauline “Ann” Gillikin, through friends. He and Ann were married on May 19, 1961, and together they had four children: Billy, David, Connie and Patti.

Tom served in the U.S. Navy from 1959 to 1963. He then went to work for Sears, Roebuck and Company in service repair and did so for 20-plus years. He also worked for Chuck Colvin Ford as an auto mechanic, and in Alaska he did repairs for John Deere and numerous others.

Tom was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed repairing tractors, hunting, fishing and woodworking. Tom’s philosophy of life was: “stay busy.” He believed that taking care of his family was the top priority, as was always treating others right. Memorable times include his marriage, the births of his children, fishing on the Snake River and hunting up in the woods. 

Surviving relatives include his wife, Ann; daughters, Connie Carter of Arnegard, North Dakota, and Patti Steele of Portland; sons, Billy Steele of Haines and David Steele of Kenai, Alaska; brother, Ronald Steele of Elwell, Michigan; and eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Violet; sister, Joyce; and grandsons, Adrian and Austin.

Memorial donations may be made to the La Grande American Legion or VFW in care of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services, P.O. Box 543, Halfway 97834.

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