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AMerican Veteran 13

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William (Bill) Joseph Steele

April 12, 2019

William “Bill” Joseph Steele, age 89, of Ashland, Kansas, passed away on Friday, April 12, 2019.  He was a member of the First Christian Church in Ashland, Kansas. Bill was the only child to his parents Elwyn Joseph and Lillian Mamie Steele.  Bill was born on July 17, 1929 in Prince Crossing, Illinois. 

Bill is preceded in death by his two parents and his loving wife of 52 years, Mildred (Millie) Elaine Steele (Rainey).  Bill is survived by his seven children. Three girls from his first marriage: Virginia Koetter, Peggy and Debra Steele and four children with the love of his life MillIe: Mary Steele (Ashland, KS), Bryan Steele (Eugene, MO), Beverly Sndyer (WaKeeney, KS) and James Steele (Huntsville, AL) and eight grand-children and seven great grandchildren.  

Bill grew up in Wheaton, Illinois and graduated from Wheaton High School and joined the United States Air Force. He served his Country honorably from April 1948 – August 1968 earning numerous awards and decorations. During Bill’s 20 years of military service, he served in numerous assignments overseas and stateside.  Amongst his proudest missions was supporting the Berlin Airlift where he earned the Air Force’s “Humane Action” medal for his support and participation.

In 1964 Bill and Millie were united in marriage in Wheaton, Illinois.  The two started their family of four children and in 1975 the family moved to Ashland, Kansas where Millie was raised.  Bill worked as carpenter for a couple of years and then joined the Clark County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff in 1977. Bill retired at the age of 66 after working proudly and serving the people of Clark County for 18 years.   Bill enjoyed working another 12 years as a carpenter in Ashland and finally retired for good at the age of 78. Bill enjoyed working with his hands, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends.  Bill was a Christian, a proud American, a proud military Veteran, a 33rd degree Mason, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, and a firm believer in the right to bear and keep arms.  Bill’s children thank the fine folks of Ashland and Clark County for the 44 years Bill and Millie lived in Ashland where they called “home”.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to honor Bill to the USD 220 SHOW (Students Honoring Our Warriors) Program, the Ashland Health Care Center-Long Term, or during offering this Sunday at your Church.  Arrangements were provided by Wilkinson Funeral Service. 

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