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Robert F. Steele

September 30, 1927 November 16, 2019
Robert F. Steele
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Obituary for Robert F. Steele

Robert F. Steele, 92, of Utica, passed away peacefully in his home Nov. 16, 2019, surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Shields Funeral Chapel, Oglesby, with the Rev. Gregory Jarzombek, O.S.B. officiating. Burial will be in St. Vincent's Cemetery, La Salle, with full military honors.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of services Saturday in the funeral chapel.

Bob was born Sept. 30, 1927, in Oglesby to Robert H. and Mary (Murtaugh) Steele. He married Shirley Anderson on May 16, 1953, at Holy Family Church in Oglesby, officiated by Father Mayes.

Bob grew up in Oglesby, graduated from La Salle-Peru Township High School and then joined the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Gearing DD-710 destroyer stationed from Norfolk, Va.

He was a Korean War veteran. He later worked for Bakelite Ottawa plastics and retired in 1986 after 32 years.

Bob was an avid gardener and loved mushroom hunting and raising animals on his 23 acres of family land. He was lifelong Cubs fan who was thrilled to finally cheer them along to the World Series win. Bob was an active bowler until he was 90; he also played cards with old friends and family. He was a fabulous cook and baker, which is a skill he learned in the Navy. After raising his own family, Bob, along with his wife Shirley, also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and attending all of their various sporting events and activities throughout the years.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years; three children, Dale (Penny) Steele of La Salle, Connie Steele-Tunget (Ken Henry) of Oglesby, Rodney (Dena) Steele of Utica; grandchildren, Amanda (Kody) Neurohr, Kati Tunget, Joshua Steele, Kalli Steele, Dillan (Allison) Pakenham, and Kailee Pakenham; four great-grandchildren, Tessa, Lola, Eastyn and Colton; one sister, Geraldine Eickelkraut; and a sister-in-law, Dee Steele .

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Leonard (Peanuts) and Douglas (Butch) Steele; brother-in-law, William Eickelkraut; a granddaughter, Taryn Pakenham; and one nephew, Larry Steele.

Memorials may be directed in Bob's honor to St. Margaret's Hospice.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Pallbearers will be Bob Eickelkraut, Ron Eickelkraut, Kody Neurohr, Joshua Steele, Mark Steele and Terry Tunget. Honorary pallbearers will be Sue (Steele) Konieczny, Amanda Neurohr, Kalli Steele and Kati Tunget.

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