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Sydney Sue Steele, 90

July 8, 2013

Sydney Sue Steele, 90, died Saturday, July 6, 2013, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born in Butler, Pa., on Nov. 24, 1922, a daughter of Florella Ruth Oesterling and John Lee Shields.

Sydney graduated from Brookville High School in 1940 and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in reading education at Pennsylvania State University and Clarion State College.

During World War II, she served in the U.S. Navy in Philadelphia as a radio operator, earning the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

After developing the reading program at the Jefferson County-DuBois
Area Vocational Technical School in Reynoldsville, she continued her career as the reading coordinator, administering the Federal Title 1 Reading program for the Brookville Area School District.

Sydney traveled with her family on numerous trips around the U.S. (including an exciting and unusual cross-Canada and U.S. motor car trip with her grandmother in the 1930s!), and later made several foreign excursions with family and friends to locations including Scotland, England and continental Europe.

She was an avid bridge player and reader. Sydney was active in many professional organizations, including the Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary Educators’ Society for Women, the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees and the Martha V. Conrad Study Club, and she served in numerous leadership positions.

As a member of the Brookville Presbyterian Church congregation for more than 50 years, she served as a deacon and a trustee.

Sydney was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Roland Howell Steele, owner of the former Steele Electric Company; her mother, Florella Ruth Oesterling; her father, John Lee Shields; and a brother, David Lee Shields.

She is survived by her three children, Jennifer Brooks and husband Bruce of Austin, Texas, John Steele and wife Margaret of Rochester, N.Y., and Andrew Steele and wife Claudia of Hickory, N.C.; a granddaughter, Michelle Maxfield of Austin, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation hours are from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday July 10, 2013, and the funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 11 at the McKinney Funeral Home, 345 Main St., Brookville, PA, with interment to follow at St. John’s Cemetery, Windy Hill, Rose Twp., Jefferson

Memorial gifts can be made to the Rebecca M. Arthurs Library, 223 Valley St., Brookville, PA 15825.

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