FARLINGTON - Betty J. Steele, 84, of rural Farlington, Kan., died at 1:55 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at Via Christi Village in Pittsburg, Kan.
Mrs. Steele was born March 31, 1929, at Loveland, Colo., the daughter of George and Mabel Loveland Roller. She grew up in Sparta, Mo., and later received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Southwest Missouri State University in 1949 and a Master of Music degree from Pittsburg State University in 1969. Betty taught music in many Southeast Kansas Schools: Neodesha, Walnut, Hepler, Hiattville, Girard, and Pittsburg. She touched the lives of hundreds of students and communicated to them her love of music and her belief that all could sing and that all could make music an important part of their lives. Outside the classroom, she enjoyed traveling, cooking, entertaining friends, going to musical performances and reading "round robin" letters from music majors from college days. She was also supportive of the Cato and Farlington historical preservation groups. She married Richard "Dick" Steele on March 17, 1950, in Lockwood, Mo. Mr. Steele preceded her in death Oct. 2, 2010. Her professional memberships included the Kansas Music Educators Association, where she served as secretary for several terms. She was active in the Church of Christ of Pittsburg, holding singing classes for the children at the church and preparing them for various competitions. Survivors include three sons, Gary (Cheri) Steele of Greenbrier, Ark., Bob (Dee) Steele, of Conway, Ark., and Bill (Becky) Steele of Sherman, Texas; a daughter, Jan Steele, of Farlington, Kan.; a special friend, Joanna Freeman of Pittsburg; nine grandchildren; and 17 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and a brother, Bob Roller.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at the Pittsburg Church of Christ in Pittsburg with Jerry Kendall and Tony Lalli officiating. Burial will be at the Farlington Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. Thursday at the Bedene Funeral Home at Arma. The family suggests memorials be sent to the Pittsburg Church of Christ. Donations may be sent to or left at the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS 66712.