Donald J. Steele

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Donald J. Steele, 75, a longtime resident of the area, died of lung cancer on Sunday, Nov. 26, at his sister's home in Wauzeka.


He was born Oct. 29, 1942, in Scott township in Crawford county, the son of the late Ernest Steele and Kathryn (Welch) Steele. He attended Petersburg grade school and high school in Neilsville. His higher education was received from the facts of life. He was married to Beth Olmstead from the Boscobel/Woodman area.


He was a longtime painter; starting with the family business, Seven Sons Painting. Later working for the Livesey Painting Co., a union company, painting in the Madison area for 14 years. He also had his own painting business, Skyline Painting.


He was a coast to coast semi driver teaching his “Bethy” along the way to be a great driver traveling most states. They lived in the Boaz area for many years. Don and Beth joined the Lions club where he served as club president for several years.


Selling their home and business they retired to Arizona. With the loss of his wife to cancer he returned to Wisconsin, where he lived in Woodman caring for a sick brother and people with special needs. He enjoyed getting together with friends to play his lifelong passion the harmonica which his talent got him the roll of Mark Twain in the musical “Huckleberry Finn” at the Coppertop Theater and Boscobel Hotel.


Besides his love for harmonica playing, he also loved working in the garden enjoying the Mexican daisies and always having his dog beside him.


In 2012, he moved back to the country near Blue River where he resided until this past summer. He made some amazing memories which included a fishing trip to Alaska to see friends and go fishing. He had a two-day living Irish wake in July which was attended by many friends and family. In October, he had an Irish square dance. He was able to get out and hunt for opening day of deer season. He was a firm believer of living one day at a time and making everyday count, which he did right up to the end.


He leaves behind a daughter Jerusha (Brad) Oesterle, West Salem; sister Janet Lund, Wauzeka; brother Ed, Tennessee; many nieces and nephews; cousins; special friend Jeff Beige; and many very good friends.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Beth; five brothers, Robert “Bob,” Jack, Tom, Larry, and Gerald “Chick;” three sisters, Kathryn, Delores Chamberlain, and Joan Steele.


Don was honored to have a green funeral and arrangements made by the family, with a memorial service to be held at a later date. A huge thank you from family and friends for all the thoughts and prayers. 


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