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Marlene Ann Steele

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“Kathy, Your mom was much liked and treasured at Willard Library. I'm so sorry for your losses this year. Sue Steeby ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Sue Steeby - Battle Creek, MI

“Beautiful service Aunt Molly, May you be helping Uncle Dick and Dick get the dock out and launch the boat at the "heavenly cabin" before the Devil...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Gerald Storey - SACRAMENTO, CA

“Marlene was such a treasure! We worked together at Willard Library where shewas a fountain of information and resources for local history and...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Jeanie Stewart - Lake, MI

“I work with here at north wester jr. hiy school in jr. humansity she was a nice person ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: reece adkins - battle creek, MI

“Marlene was my boss at my very first job, working in the Local History Room at Willard while I was in high school. I could not have asked for a...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Katie Bell Moore - Madison, AL

“I knew Marlene through her job (and vocation) as the person in charge of the Local History Room at Willard Library and in charge of the library's...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Kurt Thornton - Battle Creek, MI

“I have many pleasant memories of Marlene while working on the Sesquicentennial Book. Our planning meetings were held at Willard Library and Marlene...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Barbara Comai - Ann arbor, MI


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Marlene Ann Steele, age 84, of Battle Creek passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday evening, April 28, 2020. She was born in Battle Creek on August 31, 1935, the daughter of Eldon and Martha (Nash) Bell and graduated from Battle Creek Central High School with the Class of 1953. Marlene retired from Willard Library in 1997 after more than 16 years as a Local Historian and Genealogist. She had also worked for the Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek Public Schools and the Battle Creek Recreation Department teaching swimming lessons at the Youth Building.

During her Senior year at Battle Creek Central, Marlene was introduced to Richard "Dick" Steele, Sr. by one of his friends. Marlene & Dick enjoyed going to the Rox and Bijou Theaters. Marlene and Dick were married at the Maple United Methodist Church in Battle Creek on September 16, 1956; he sadly preceded her in death on May 17, 2019. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy A. (Krista Miller) Steele of Lansing; a daughter-in-law, Tracee Steele of Pickerington, OH; her grandchildren, Sarah (Scott Wallake) Steele of Columbus, OH, and Mason Steele of Pickerington, OH; a great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Marie "Ellie" Wallake; her sister-in-law, Georgina Storey; three nephews; two nieces; three great-nephews; and her beloved cat, "Taffy2". She was also preceded in death by her son, Richard H. Steele, Jr. on November 8, 2019; her parents; and two brothers, Kenneth and Bureal "Butch" Bell.

Marlene was a member of the Maple United Methodist Church in Battle Creek for more than 80 years, and was also a member of the Michigan Genealogical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Lake Community Bible Church in Baldwin. For many years, Marlene taught and participated in Synchronized Swimming at the Youth Building. Marlene and Dick thoroughly enjoyed spending summers together at the cottage with the cats & the dog and going Morel mushroom hunting at Pigeon River. She also enjoyed genealogy, antiques, and flower gardening at the cottage with her good friend, Cathy Adams and the other neighbors. Family was everything to Marlene and she truly adored her granddaughters, Sarah and Mason, and her great-granddaughter, Ellie.

Due to recent government regulations mandating funerals of 10 attendees or less, a private family service (by invitation only) will be held 1:30 p.m., Monday, May 4th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Those wishing to still be a part of the celebration of Marlene's life may visit https://vimeo.com/414831925 where the service will be Live-Streamed. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will have a public celebration of Marlene's life later in the year when it is safe to gather again. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the New Hope Pet Rescue, 815 N. Sheldon St., Charlotte, MI 48813. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.