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Obituary for Owen Newton Steele
Owen Newton Steele, 97, of Brookings, Ore., passed away on Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 4:35 PM in the Good Samaritan Nursing Facility in Brookings. Owen was born on September 21, 1917 in Prescott, Arkansas to Andrew Newton Steele and Florence Margret Steele. He was raised in Prescott, Arkansas and married Jessie Gladys Mc Craven on December 1, 1937 and fathered three sons: James A. Steele, Charles T. Steele, and Robert G. Steele. Following a divorce from Jessie Gladys Steele, Owen married Norma Catherine Hill and fathered his 4th son: Thomas Owen Steele. Owen & Norma were divorced and Owen married Rebecca Mari Nordyke on June 23, 1973. She passed away in 1999. Owen joined the Army Air Corps toward the end of WWII and was stationed in Okinawa from 1944 to 1946. After an honorable discharge he became an iron worker, which became his life-long career. He worked as a Craftsman, Foreman, and Superintendent on multiple construction sites in the western United States, as well as the Wells Fargo Bank, Rapid Transit Buildings in San Francisco until he retired. Following his retirement in 1985, he and his wife, Rebecca, moved to Brookings, Oregon. While in Brookings, he became skilled in the art of quilting, and woodworking producing many beautiful quilts, bowls and other items that were sold or given to family members and friends. He did all of these things after losing the use of one hand due to an accident while raising a rake angle that touched a power line charging him with 12000 volts of electricity throwing him off the building landing on his head. The doctors believe the fall restarted his heart saving his life. Owen is survived by his sons James Steele, of Coarsegold, CA; Robert Steele of Redding CA; Thomas Steele of Harbor OR; stepsons, John Steele (FKA) John Hill of Fremont CA; Michael F Steele (FKA) Michael F Hill of Manteca CA; 11 Grandchildren, 14 Great Grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Owen was preceded in death by a son, Charles Steele in 2014. Private interment will be held at Eagle Point National Cemetery. Thanks to Burrill Catanach who was his friend and care giver for the last few years.