AVIS DE DÉCÈS

Robert "Don" Steele

2 juillet 19388 janvier 2021
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Robert “Don” Steele was born on July 2, 1938 in Griffin, GA to the late Hebert Leroy Steele and Cora Wilkerson Steele. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Mary Lou Goodrum Steele; daughter, Donna Lou Steele Sumner (Donald Sumner); son, Richard “Rick” Donald Steele (Cheryl Edwards Steele); granddaughters Ashlee Sumner, Aubreigh Sumner, and Hillary Sumner Judnarine, MD (Nickolas Judnarine, MD); grandsons Richard “Dylan” Steele (Savannah Jackson Steele) and Griffin Lee Steele; a niece, Andrea Nolan Griffin and many, many cousins.

Don grew up the only child of Leroy and Cora Steele, on a large cotton farm in Central Georgia. Together with siblings, cousins, and hired workers who lived on the farm, they raised chickens and sold eggs weekly, and raised cattle and pigs. During the summer months of WWII, German soldiers came to pick peaches from their orchard to sell. The family also ran a saw mill for local timber. When asked once if he ever picked cotton, he said “Yes, but rarely. The girls all picked cotton, and I being the only boy cousin, had to pull the mule wagon back and forth all day from the fields to the barns to store the cotton…. and everything else.”

Don was a good athlete and was offered scholarships to play football at a few universities. He chose instead to serve his country and enlisted in the US Navy, and left for basic training the day after graduation in June 1956. During those golden years he saw many changes in the world: He saw lavish Havana Cuba prior to Castro’s revolution; he saw Baghdad and the Middle East when it was rich and modern and women wore western clothing and jewelry, prior to the takeover by radical Muslims and the Ayatollah; and aboard the USS Bainbridge, he was part of the very first World Cruise to circumnavigate the globe solely by nuclear power.

Serving three tours in Vietnam, he saw the worst of humanity. He was a PBR River Boat Captain, and a member of the Brown Water Navy, patrolling the rivers of Vietnam. It was here he was injured more than once, but declined the Purple Heart, saying others were more deserving than he. He was awarded the Bronze Star, The Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation. He served his country proudly for 30 years and 30 days, at over 20 duty stations around the world, moving his family in and out of 19 homes.

In the 1980s Don and Mary knew they would retired in the Charleston area, and bought water front property in Bonneau Beach, and finally built their dream home there in 1989. Eventually they both retired to enjoy lake life, entertaining every weekend with wonderful couple friends. They are charter members of the Bonneau Beach Red Neck Yacht Club on Lake Moultrie. It was here that Don taught their five grandchildren to swim, dive off the top of his pontoon boat, water ski, and the finer skills of being a deckhand and boat captain. He had season tickets to Goose Creek High School Football games for more than a decade, and enjoyed watching his grandsons play during Friday Night Lights in The Swamp. On Saturdays he cheered for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Don loved music and he and Mary enjoyed dancing on Friday nights with friends at The Navy Chief’s Club, and other local places. Southern Gospel, classic Country and Western music were favorites, and Don watched the Grand Ole Opry each Saturday night on TV.

During the twilight years, Don and Mary cruised many seas with close friends, and spent four winters in Fort Myers, FL where they made many new friends. Don had many friends at the local Fleet Reserve Association Branch #269, and the VFW American Legion Post 166. He loved his country that he had fought for, and enjoyed being with others who had the same love and similar stories. If you were Don’s friend, you were in good company. The USA, friends, family, and Mary Lou were his life’s work.

Visitation will be held Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 at 1:00 PM. A Life Well Celebrated Service will begin at 2:00 PM at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Donations can be made to The Goose Creek High School Football Booster Club in lieu of flowers to: Goose Creek High School 1137 Redbank Road Goose Creek, SC 29445 Checks can be made out to Coach Angus Chingman, Athletic Director with "Football Boosters" in the memo line.

Services

services précédents:

  • Visitation at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home

    samedi, 23 janvier , 2021

  • Celebration of Life Service At Carolina Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

    samedi, 23 janvier , 2021

    services précédents

AUTRES SERVICES:

  • Interment at Arlington National Cemetery

Souvenirs

Robert "Don" Steele

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Celebrating his 80th Birthday

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Celebrating his 80th Birthday

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