Steele Sr., John Raymond passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at the age of 90. John was a devoted and loving husband of 65 years, father, father-in-law, and grandfather. He was a steadfast man with a gentle spirit who will be remembered for his great intellect, quick wit, and the twinkle in his eye. John was born and raised in Fairfax, Missouri and served as a naval officer during WWII. In his 39-year career as an engineer and head of thermodynamics at McDonnell Douglas, he was a pioneer in space from the ground. He worked in aeronautics to develop and test the F4 and later jets, and in astronautics spanning generations of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs, and other special projects. He loved his work and felt fortunate his career coincided with man's exploration of space. John is survived by three of his children, John R. Steele, Jr., James M. Steele, and Patricia Ellen Steele (and her husband, David J. Mallof), and grandsons, Samuel and Benjamin Steele (sons of John R. Steele, Jr.), his sister, Martha Evans, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children. His wife, S. Ellen Steele, passed away in 2011. His beloved second son, Joseph E., passed away in 2007. Services: Visitation: Thursday, April 12, 3-7 p.m., LORD Funeral Home, 2900 Telegraph Rd., St. Louis, 63125. Funeral service: Friday, April 13, 2 p.m., Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1570 Chambers Rd., Dellwood, 63136. He will be interred Monday, April 16 at the English Grove Cemetery in Fairfax, Missouri.
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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Apr. 11, 2012