Vincent Steele

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Vincent Thomas "Tom" Steele

Tom Steele, 66, passed away unexpectedly Monday, October 23, 2017. He was a gentle soul with a strong voice and kind heart. No one was a stranger â€" he engaged people in conversation wherever he went. Tom understood and appreciated the power of human kindness and he always had a friendly greeting and something light-hearted to say.

Tom was a jewelry designer, silversmith and salesman. He was born into a large and loving family in Valparaiso, Indiana. After attending Indiana University, he moved to Albuquerque in 1972 where he learned about turquoise and jewelry-making, and he became production manager for a large jewelry company. Among many other personal accomplishments, he earned a black belt in karate from Sensei Jim Hawkes.

Tom moved to Denver in l980 and started a wholesale and marketing business for handcrafted arts. In 1993 he relocated the business to California. After moving back to Albuquerque in 2008, he initially worked for Gertrude Zachary's, and since 2014 for Sunwest Silver. His knowledge of turquoise and passion for Native American jewelry endeared him to many customers and collectors. Tom loved all aspects of his time at Sunwest Silver and took great pride in the retail showroom. His co-workers were like family, and he felt so blessed to be a part of the company.

He was loved more than he knew, and he will be greatly missed. His family, friends, customers and neighbors will remember his kindness, enthusiasm and cheerful greetings.

A remembrance gathering to honor Tom's life will take place Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 12:00 â€" 2:00pm at 740 San Mateo N.E. Cremation is in the care of Neptune Society. Tom's cremated remains will be placed in the Rocky Mountain National Park which he dearly loved.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Nov. 3, 2017
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