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Charles Nelson Steel, 80, of Wilmington, NC, died Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.

He was born on April 5, 1933, in Verona, NJ, the son of the late Howard Nelson Steel and Isabel Sandra Steel-McAtee.

Growing up during the depression was enough motivation for Charlie to be successful at whatever he pursued. He attended Montclair High School and in his senior year was recognized during his graduation for joining the Naval Reserves. Charlie worked throughout school and graduated from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ with an MBA. His endless energy and intense drive translated into building the largest and most successful Insurance Agency in Northern New Jersey. He was acknowledged with the appointment by the Government of NJ to Deputy Insurance Commissioner. Charlie was always an active and influential member of the Republican Party on a local and state level. Drawn to the south, Charlie moved from Sea Girt, NJ to Wilmington, NC where he fully enjoyed the beauty and southern hospitality of the community for the past 23 years. His lifetime of passions were fulfilled through his entrepreneurial spirit, politics, race horses, shore homes, fast cars, travel, skiing, pet dogs, appreciation for pranks and his commitment to his friends and family. Charlie loved playing the odds and won, "he did it his way."

Surviving is his loving and devoted wife and best friend, Gerry Brahney-Steel; a sister, Barbara; children Brian, Susan, Lauren and Chuck; daughter-in-law, Rita; grandchildren, Erica, Jordan, Madison and Marla; and his unconditional companion found always by his side- his dog, Jake.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 1:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2013, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Wilmington, NC. Interment will follow in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC.

Many thanks to the devoted staff at Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter. A heartfelt thanks to Father Bob at St. Mary Catholic Church and all of our many friends for their support and generosity.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church or Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter in Wilmington.

A Market Chapel Service

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Apr. 25 to Apr. 26, 2013
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