Obituary & Services: Irene Steele

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Irene Steele, 102, passed away peacefully in her home with her daughters present on Saturday, September 2, 2023.

Ruth Irene Steele was born in Unionville, Missouri, on November 26, 1920, the daughter of Orval and Sylvia (Fullerton) Carter. She attended Blackbird Country School and accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at the First Baptist Church in Unionville on September 30, 1934. She was an active member of the church, belonged to the Fern Harrington Circle, and served as a Sunday school and Bible school teacher. On November 4, 2012, Irene joined Omaha Baptist Church, where she was an active member and belonged to Women on Mission.

Irene graduated from Unionville High School in 1939, where she met Marvin, her high school sweetheart. She worked as a clerk in Ben Franklin, at the G & E Variety Store, and also as a telephone operator after graduating from high school. On May 17, 1942, Irene married Marvin Steele in a double wedding ceremony with Max Cleaver and Ruth McKinley in Princeton, Missouri. She worked in a defense plant in Rockford, Illinois, while Marvin was overseas serving in World War II. They settled in Lemons, Missouri, when Marvin was discharged from the army. The couple had two daughters, Vicki and Jolene. Irene was a member of the Silver Circle Club and joined the American Legion Auxiliary in 1946, serving the auxiliary at Lemons and Unionville for 77 years.

After moving to Unionville in 1956, Irene became a member of the OAO Extension Club. She enjoyed making quilts for her family and friends and clerked auctions for Willard Arnaman and Gary Knight. Irene loved raising roses, which she shared with family and friends. Marvin and Irene enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 state capitals. They also wintered in Florida for several years and were honored to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1992.

Those left to cherish and honor her memory include her two daughters, Vicki Stewart of Unionville, Missouri, and Jolene (Bruce) Oviatt of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Her four grandchildren are Natalie (Joe) Bayer, Sharla (Clayton) Huseman, Mike McKinley, and Morgan (Amanda) Oviatt. Irene’s eight great-grandchildren are Alec, Landon, Tucker, Paxton, Hadley, Mickie (Zack), Sidney, and Jaylin. Her great-great-granddaughter is Lark Loraine. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, who died on April 21, 2000; infant grandson Jerren McKinley; son-in-law Jack Stewart; brothers Hobert (Dorothy) Carter and Robert (Bernice) Carter; and sisters Leota (Noel) Neighbor, Leona (Norman) Butrick, Alberta (Jay) Barber, and Lee Howard.

Irene was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt who will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

Funeral services for Irene will be held at Playle and Collins Family Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Unionville Cemetery.

Memorials may be made payable to Omaha Baptist Church and entrusted with Playle and Collins Family Funeral Home, 709 S. 27th St., Unionville, MO 63565.

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