Cover photo for Donald R. Steele's Obituary
1928 Donald 2021

Donald R. Steele

May 30, 1928 — October 22, 2021


Donald R. Steele, 93, of Hopewell, died October 22, 2021, at his home after a long and well- lived life.

He was born May 30, 1928, in Woodvale, PA, the son of Samuel and Rosetta (Mellott) Steele.  He graduated from Robert P. Smith High School in  1946 and married Sara Jane Steele on November 12, 1949.  They celebrated 71 years together.  She preceded him in death on May 8, 2021.

Shortly after graduation, he began working in the sawmill/logging trade.  He experienced the days when trees were felled with crosscut saws and logs were skidded with mules.  He soon started working with his father, Samuel Steele, in the pulpwood/lumber business.  Later he became a 40 year partner with his brother, Jim, in Steele’s Lumber Company and Hopewell Hardwood Flooring. He retired in 1998 after over 50 years in the lumber business.  He loved working in the woods and operating his bulldozer.

Don enjoyed a wide variety of interests and hobbies.  He raced in the early years of South Penn Speedway in Everett, along with his cousins, Bob and Junior Steele.  He won multiple features there, including a 100 lap July 4th race in 1957.  He was a lifelong racer at heart.  He was an avid bowler and participated in three competitive bowling leagues.  He also enjoyed shooting pool, playing cards, dancing, hunting, and camping with several different clubs.  He was a past President of the Cove Lions Club and received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 2000-2001.  He and his wife enjoyed traveling internationally with other club members.  He assisted with meals at the Southern Cove Fire Company and the Woodbury Senior Center.  He was a master at the invention of practical problem solvers that often worked!

He loved to tell jokes and had a fearless zest for life.  After the age of 80, he parasailed in Cozumel, ziplined in Costa Rica, and snorkeled in St. Croix.  He was a devoted and supportive father, grandfather, and great grandfather.  He enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his family and frequently mentioned that family was the highlight of his life.

He was preceded in death by his wife, his much loved brother, Eugene, and his young sister, Betty Lou, as well as many lifelong friends.

He is survived by sons Richard Steele (Darla), of Saxton, Denny Steele and partner, Sharon, of Everett; daughters Karen Steele (Nancy), of Altoona, and Teresa Steele (Norman Sollenberger), of New Enterprise.  He is also survived by grandchildren Ryan Steele (Rita), Kevin Steele (Elizabeth), and Morgan Barber (Matt), as well as great grandchildren Hayden, Sophie, Bennett, Emeline, Harrison, and Lena. He is also survived by his brother, James K. Steele.

Friends will be received on Thursday, October 28, 2021 from 5-7PM and Friday, October 29, 2021 from 10-11AM at Jack H. Geisel Funeral Home Inc., Everett.

A Funeral Service will be held at Jack H. Geisel Funeral Home Inc., Everett on Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:00AM with Rev. Robert Robertson officiating.

Interment at St. Paul United Church Cemetery, Hopewell.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Bedford County Museum of Speed - 261 Shangri Lane, Bedford, PA 15522.   Special thanks to Dr. Mohammed Alkayem of Hillman Cancer Center and the staff at Grane Hospice.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements entrusted to Jack H. Geisel Funeral Home Inc., Everett.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald R. Steele, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 29, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Geisel-Styer Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc.

330 East Pitt Street, Bedford, PA 15522

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, October 29, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Geisel-Styer Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc.

330 East Pitt Street, Bedford, PA 15522

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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