Cover photo for James Donnell Steele's Obituary
James Donnell Steele Profile Photo
1929 James 2014

James Donnell Steele

July 20, 1929 — June 26, 2014


Mr. Don Steele, age 84, passed away Thursday, June 26, 2014 in Shoal River Rehab Center. He was born July 20, 1929 in Laurel Hill, Florida, the son of James Trammell Steele and Willie Mae Harrison Steele. Don and his wife Mary were married while they were still in high school at age 17. Don was a member of the Paxton High Championship Team of 1946. He landed a job with Kroger Food Stores and they moved to Tennessee. They returned to DeFuniak Springs were Don worked at Eglin Air Force Base, civil service, and helped build the Climatic Hanger. After working at Eglin, and after months and months of the daily commute, he became employed with Liberty National Life Insurance Company, a position he held over thirty years until his retirement.
He and his wife, having a special needs child, were instrumental in forming Arc of Walton County in the late 60’s and Don served many years as President of the Board.
Donnell loved hunting and fishing and being outdoors. After he and Mary build their home on the lake, Don bought a boat and every single weekend that was not below freezing he and his kids and multitudes of their friends and neighborhood kids would gather at the Steeles’home on the lake and Don would pull all of them water skiing, from Friday afternoon until late in the evening on Sunday with grilled chicken and burgers and all the fixins to be enjoyed by all. Don’s greatest love was his family and he cherished his moments with them. Don was Baptist by faith. He is predeceased by his wife Mary, his son-in-law, John Saltsman and his half brother Mark Ogle.


Among survivors are his son Tim Steele and wife Barbara. His daughter Becky Saltsman and his son Ricky Steele. His grandchildren, Angela, Patrick, Josh and wife Victoria, Jeremy and wife Laura, Jason and wife Amanda and Tara and husband Michael. His sister-in-law, JoAnn Cotton and husband Donald and ten great grandchildren also survive.

Memorials may be made in Don Steele’s memory to Arc, Post Office Box 813, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435-0813, or First Baptist Church or the church of your choice. An afternoon visitation will be Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 4 until 6 P.M. in Jerry Evans Chapel. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 30, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. at the funeral home with Dr. Bobby Tucker officiating. Private graveside services for immediate family members will follow.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Donnell Steele, please visit our flower store.

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