Elizabeth Steele


3:00 pm
Saturday, October 12, 2024
Cedar Hill Extension Cemetery
Manawagonish Road
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Obituary of Elizabeth Jean Steele

The family of Elizabeth Jean Currie Steele of Fredericton, NB, is saddened to announce that Beth died on April 7th, 2024 at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital of complications arising from pneumonia and RSV, three months short of her 99th birthday. She was born in Millbank NB, the daughter of Agnes Coltart Johstone Currie and Hugh O’Donnell Currie. Mom spent her early years living in northern NB and the eastern United States, but most of her life was lived in Saint John, NB where she attended elementary school and graduated at 17 from Saint John High School. Beth was a good student, particularly enjoying English literature and was proficient at languages, especially Latin and French. She won the History prize upon graduation from SJHS. As money was tight in the early 1940’s and there were no scholarships for women to attend university, Mom studied secretarial science at Modern Business College and began her first job with Stephenson and Co. at Market Slip where she met her lifelong friend Marjorie Anthony.

Mom was a “looker”. Our father could tell you right down to the saddle shoes everything she was wearing when he first saw her. She had a string of beaus. As her brother Richard says “They were lined up to marry her”. Not only was she good looking, she was full of charm and personality. Mom made friends wherever she went. During the war years, while she was waiting for our Dad, Frank Russel (Bud) Steele to return from his RCAF duties, she and her friends, under the supervision of Dr. Ramsay of St. Andrew and St. David’s United Church put on many song and supper evenings for visiting servicemen in Saint John. They also got up concerts and revues for the entertainment of the troops.

Mom and Dad married in 1947, a true love match, and had three children together over the next 10 years. Mom was a wonderful homemaker. We were well fed, well dressed and lived in a scrupulously clean home. One of our precious memories is coming home from school to the smell of freshly baked squares or cookies and freshly ironed clothes. She insisted we be outdoors as much as weather would permit and we were all extraordinarily healthy, rarely, if ever, missing a day of school. During the at home years, Mom had a close circle of girlfriends, some of whom had been friends from high school days. They called themselves the Knit, Stitch and Bitch Club and got together regularly for mutual support and hilarity.

In the late 1960’s Dad lost his job as the company he managed was sold to a large US corporation. Both parents were too proud to accept unemployment insurance. Mom simply went back to work, initially as personal secretary to Colonel Oland of Oland’s Brewery in Saint John. She had an eclectic and stimulating working career from that point being variously Executive Assistant to Professor Smith of the Saint John River Basin Board, a personnel officer at UNB in Fredericton and she had just been given the position of Executive Assistant to the President of UNB when Dad was transferred to Moncton. There she became EA to the Warden of Dorchester Penitentiary. Mom was a wonderful role model for us as a woman of intelligence, integrity, organizational skills, personal warmth and grit.

Mom and Dad retired to Fredericton, a place they both had enjoyed during their working lives. They had almost 25 years of fun together travelling to Florida in the winter, visiting children and grandchildren spread around the country, working on the Executive of their condo association, being part of the Silver Dolphins Swim Club at UNB and being very involved in the local lawn bowling association where Dad was a referee as well as a top player. Mom lived the last 13 years of her life without Dad with grace and dignity. Her personality was always sunny and it was a joy to talk to her. She was truly our biggest fan. She was able to live on her own until the age of 96 when mobility and vision issues found her moving to Windsor Court in the summer of 2021. The family has nothing but good things to say about how well Mom was treated by all of the staff at Windsor Court. Almost every time we were there to visit a staff member would tell us how much they loved our Mom. Mom was truly interested in everyone and folks were drawn to her.

Mom is survived by her brother, Richard J. Currie (Beth) Toronto Ontario; her three children, Peter Steele, Truro NS, Ellen Steele Siekierski (Bill) of Ottawa, Ontario and Elizabeth Steele Meier (Paul) of Rothesay, NB; grandchildren, Taylor Steele, Kerri Smith, Greg Smith, Michael Meier and Natasha Meier; mom had 11 great grandchildren, William Steele, JJ and Eliana Gallant, Vanessa and Olivia Smith, Rhys, Brooks and Maddox Meier, and Barrett, Toren and Colwyn Meier Coppaway.

The end of life arrangements are under the care of McAdams Funeral Home in Fredericton, NB. There will be cremation followed by an interment service October 12th, 2024 at 3:00 pm in Cedar Hill Extension Cemetery on Manawagonish Road in Saint John for all family members who are able to gather.

Donations in Mom’s memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice or to the Saint John High School Alumni Fund.

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