Mary K. Steele
Nov 14, 1938 – Jan 13, 2017
Mary Katherine Steele was born on November 14, 1938 in Alliance, Nebraska. She was the daughter of John W. and Elna Sampy, and along with her brother Dale, grew up in Hemingford, Nebraska. Mary’s father had been a railroad engineer and her mother was a teacher. Her mother had eight siblings, and so extended family—including many beloved cousins, aunts and uncles—was close at hand throughout her childhood.
Mary was baptized and a member of the Hemingford Congregational Church. Summers were spent at a cabin beside the waters of Lake DeSmet in northern Wyoming. There she enjoyed riding in the boat with her father and brother, fishing, and water skiing. Mary graduated from Hemingford High School in 1956, and thereafter enrolled at Kearney State College, where she studied business education, joined a sorority (Kappa Alpha Phi), played in the marching band, and was selected for membership in business and education honoraries.
Upon graduating from Kearney State, Mary was hired as a teacher at Farwell, Nebraska. After a year there, she was offered the principalship. However, she enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln instead, to obtain her master’s degree. After earning her master’s, she served as a business teacher at North Loup-Scotia Public School, and then moved to Omaha—where she would remain for the rest of her life—to serve as a business teacher and guidance counselor at Omaha Benson High School.
In 1964, Mary met and was engaged to an OPS teacher named Jerry Steele. Jerry and Mary were married on August 15, 1965. Shortly after they were married, Jerry and Mary became members of First Christian Church. Their son Trenton was born in 1971. After leaving full-time teaching to start a family, Mary served as a substitute teacher and night school teacher for the Omaha Public Schools, as well as a night school teacher at Metro Community College. Mary returned to full-time teaching in 1996, serving at Blackburn High School, an alternative school of the Omaha Public Schools. Mary retired from teaching in 2004, and soon began to enjoy life as a grandparent with the birth of her grandchildren, Bennett and Kitt in 2005 and 2006.
Mary Steele was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and cousin. She was a dedicated and caring professional, who developed positive relationships with colleagues and students through her calm and patient temperament, as well as her humor and positivity. Above all, she was a faithful child of God, and is now joyfully in His presence.
Mary Steele was preceded in death by her parents, John and Elna Sampy. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Steele; son, Trent Steele (Karla); grandchildren, Bennett and Kitt; brother, Dale Sampy (Pat); brother-in-law, Dan Hockney; nieces and nephews: Steve Sampy (Linda), Teresa Messersmith (Jeff), Dean Hockney, Shelli Droke (Kevin), and Doug Hockney; grandnieces and grandnephews: Marcus, Brittany, Kristin, Allison, and Ricky; numerous beloved cousins.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, Jan. 18th, 5pm to 7pm at the Bel Air Chapel. SERVICES Thursday, Jan. 19th, 12noon at First Christian Church, 6630 Dodge. Private Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials are suggested to Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center or Masonic Home for Children.