William F. Steele Jr. of Westtown Township

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William
F. Steele Jr., 81, of Westtown Township, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 21.

He was
the beloved husband of Ellen Michener Steele, with whom he shared 53 years of
marriage.

Born
in 1929, he was the son of the late William F. and Frances Sharpless Steele.

Bill
started his career working at Steele's Chevrolet in Clifton Heights. During
this period he completed a two-year course in the Dealership Program at General
Motors Institute (now Kettering University). Upon the death of his uncle he
became part owner in the dealership, later selling his shares after discharge
from the service.

During
the Korean Conflict he served as an officer in the artillery.

He was
a 1947 graduate of West Chester High School, and received his bachelor's and
master's degrees from West Chester State Teachers College and West Chester
University.

Bill
began his career in education teaching mathematics at Springfield, Delaware
County, Junior-Senior High School. He later taught at Brandywine High School in
Delaware, where he started the Ski Club and for 21 years took the students on
ski trips.

He was
instrumental in starting the racing program at Chadds Peak and for many years
coached the Brandywine ski team. The first race was between West Chester and
Brandywine. This was the start of the Penn-Del Slalom League that grew to
include 17 high schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Continuing
to be an avid skier after retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively to
find the world's best ski areas. To celebrate becoming an octogenarian, he
skied 80 days, one day for each year.

Gardening
was another source of pride and enjoyment. He and his wife owned and operated a
specialty nursery for azaleas for many years. They both enjoyed memberships in
numerous horticultural societies. Bill was awarded the Bronze Medal by the
Valley Forge Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and the Frederick P.
Lee Commendation from the Brookside Gardens Chapter of the Azalea Society of
America. For a short period of time he served as national chairman of the
Azalea Committee of The American Rhododendron Society.

He was
a longtime member, manager and board member of the Quarry Swimming Association.
His love of the quarry sparked his interest in serpentine stone, and he became
an accomplished sculptor.

In
addition to his wife, Bill is survived by two children, William F. Steele III
and his wife, Mary, of California, and James A. Steele of Coatesville; four
grandchildren, Jennifer and husband, Matthew, Katherine and Philip of
California, and Katelyn of Morgantown; and one brother, Smith S. Steele of
Oxford.

A
memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, at Birmingham
Friends Meeting, 1245 Birmingham Road, Birmingham.

Memorial
contributions may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 795 E. Marshall St., Suite
204, West Chester, PA 19380; Jenkins Arboretum, 631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon,
PA 19333; or Chester County Hematology/Oncology Services, 440 E. Marshall St.,
West Chester, PA 19380.

 

Arrangements
are being handled by the Founds Funeral Home Inc., West Chester, 610-696-0134.
Online condolences may be made at www.foundsfuneralhome.com.

 

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