Mary Anne Steele, extraordinary teacher

December 18, 2013
Mary Anne Steele

Mary Anne Steele, 74, of Lewes, passed away Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. She was born in Wilmington Oct. 11, 1939, daughter of the late Henry S. and Marguerite (Valleau) Redmile.

In 1957, Ms. Steele graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in Wilmington. She continued her education by attending University of Delaware and in 1961 she received a bachelor of science degree in education. She began her teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at River Road Elementary School in the Mt. Pleasant School District. There she married her husband, Robert A. Steele, and they relocated to Camden, S.C., where they would start a family. Ms. Steele worked as a fifth grade teacher during the turbulent integration of schools in Kershaw County, S.C. She also participated in numerous local charity groups including the Camden Junior Welfare League.

Later Ms. Steele and her family relocated to Raleigh, N.C., and then onto Madison, Conn. In Madison, she continued her teaching career where she taught English as a second language to Vietnamese children. Later, Ms. Steele taught the Chapter I Program to students from low income backgrounds. The program later became Title I and as a result of her hard work and dedication she became the district manager for the federal government program. During this time, Ms. Steele taught sixth through eighth grade math, reading and English. Eventually, she moved onto Academy Elementary School where she taught fifth grade for 13 years after finally retiring in 2000.

She was an extraordinary teacher, whose new methods of teaching language arts and adult writing workshops were frequently observed by teachers from across the U.S. She was known to always pay close attention to being on time and prompt. She will be remembered as a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, a dear friend and remarkable teacher by all who loved and cared for her.

In addition to her parents, Ms. Steele was preceded in death by her daughter, Jennifer L. Steele and her sister, Carolyn Redmile. She is survived by her two sons: Douglas C. Steele of Boulder, Colo. and David A. Steele of Centreville, Va.; her three grandchildren: Madeline J. Steele, Jessica V. Steele and Michael D. Steele; her brother, Henry V. Redmile of Allen, Texas; and her two cats, Harry and Sally.

A celebration of Ms. Steele’s life will be held Saturday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes, where friends may visit beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions in Ms. Steele's memory may be made to the Sarah Foundation, 246 Goose Lane, Suite 104, Guilford, CT 06437.