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Elizabeth Steel

Posted By Hall-Wynne On February 6, 2019 @ 9:48 am In Durham,Obituaries | 4 Comments

In Memorial

Elizabeth Deaton Steel, age 96, died Saturday, February 2, 2019. Lib was the daughter of William Ralph Deaton and Estelle King Deaton. Lib was preceded in death by her brother, Dr. William Ralph Deaton, Jr. She is survived by three sons: Charles Leighton Steel IV (Molly), Robert King Steel (Gillian) of Greenwich, CT and John Deaton Steel (Nichole) of Atlanta, GA; eight grandchildren: Michael Anderson Steel (Mary Kathryn), Katherine Deaton Steel, Alexandra Deaton Scott (James), Elizabeth MacArthur Steel, Charlotte King Steel, Edward Andrews Steel, Jack Bassett Steel and Alexandra Elizabeth Steel; two great grandchildren: Schuyler Deaton Scott and Ainsley Leighton Scott.

Lib grew up in Greensboro, attended Mary Baldwin College and graduated from Duke University. She and her husband, Charles L. Steel III, settled in Durham. Lib became active in the Durham community through Allied Arts where she built sets and acted in theater productions for elementary schools. She served as president of the Durham Junior League and president of the Durham Children’s Museum (Museum of Life and Science). She was also very active in St. Philip’s Episcopal Church serving as treasurer of the Episcopal Church Women, a member of the altar guild, the Daughters of the King and scheduling ushers for each Sunday service. While at Duke University, Lib joined Pi Beta Phi sorority and she served as the alumni advisor to the Pi Phi chapter at Duke for over thirty years.

Lib was a good neighbor who developed friendships throughout her community and for many years she participated with a special group of friends at their weekly bridge club. They were an extremely close and supportive group of friends and, on occasion, they even played bridge.

Lib worked in a laboratory at Duke University testing children recovering from cleft palate surgery. She found the work rewarding and again made many close friends. Later, Lib became a licensed real estate broker and worked as a realtor. She continued working in a stationery store (Casey and Company) well into her eighties, eventually retiring in 2004.

Lib’s memorial service will begin at 11:00 AM at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, February 9th, 2019. The family will be available to greet people attending the service at 10:00 AM in the gathering room on the second floor of the Parish Hall. Interment in the columbarium at St. Philip’s will occur immediately following the service. Gifts can be made in Lib’s memory to the rector’s discretionary fund at St. Philip’s.


Condolences for the family of “Elizabeth Steel”

Condolence from Beth Rickman on February 7th, 2019 8:33 am

Charlie & family, my sincerest condolences to you during this period of grieving & the days to come. Mrs. Steele was a lovely lady & I, always, enjoyed “popping” into her room to say: Good Morning. Also, condolences to Bea. She was so loyal & attentive to your Mother. What JOY for your Mother to be gazing into the eyes of Our Lord !!!! Numbers 6: 24-26

Beth Rickman, CNA (Retired)
Volunteer @ Hillcrest

Condolence from Marion Godfrey on February 7th, 2019 2:50 pm

Lib was such a remarkable woman in so many ways! Thanks to her family for sharing her with do many others through the years! I’m sorry I can’t be there for her funeral.

Condolence from Tom Scott on February 10th, 2019 6:05 pm

John, Bob and Charles, I’m sorry for your loss but what a long and remarkable life your mother led. I have so many wonderful memories of her and your family growing up. She was always tolerant of the incessant ball playing in the driveway, including bouncing the ball off the side wall of the house to “bring it in” when it was just John and me playing. Then we’d go inside and she’d give us a snack and talk with us, all the while making sure that John’s table manners were up to her standards. We played many a game of cards and it was nearly impossible to beat her at Hearts. I would occasionally be drafted as one of her subjects in experiments at the Duke Lab. She seemed right at home there, telling me what to do with courtesy and humor, just like she did when we were in the house. I always liked talking to her; you could count on her laugh and her warm heart. She meant a lot to so many people, myself included. Best wishes to all of your families.

Condolence from Peter Scott on February 11th, 2019 12:03 am

Bob, Charles, and John,
Like Tom, I spent many happy hours at your house, and your Mom always made me feel welcome. Her biscuits were legendary (at least equal, Bob, to Grandma Franson’s cinnamon rolls). She liked talking to us. I remember her giving me tips about driving. It was good to see her and Charles when our Mom passed away. Best wishes to you guys. Hope to see Bob at our 50th this fall.

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