Lois “Reta” Steele, 78, of Keokuk, IA died Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at River Hills Village in Keokuk.
Reta was born on October 12, 1941 in rural Clark County MO, the daughter of James E. and Lois Pauline Long Egley. She was united in marriage to Charles S. Steele on January 18, 1964 in Reno, NV. He preceded her in death on July 1, 2000.
In August 1959 she entered St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Quincy, IL. During her senior year of training she joined the Army Nurses Corps. In March of 1963 she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and stationed at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, CA for a total of three years of service.
She had been employed at Keokuk Area Hospital for thirty-five years until her retirement in 2001.
Reta attended the Carlson College of Massage Therapy in Anamosa, IA and became a licensed massage therapist.
She loved to square dance and was a member of a square dance club in each of the tri state areas. Reta was a skilled seamstress and made her square dance costumes and also made lap robes for disabled veterans.
She is survived by two sons, James Steele (Denise) of Alexandria, MO and Joseph Steele of Boone, IA two daughters, Bertha Yarbrough (Eric) of LaGrange, MO and Leona Kepler of Bradenton, FL, one step-son, Leland Steele of Keokuk, six grandchildren, Levi Mason, Michael Mason, Mary Beth Kepler, Jamie Lee Steele C.J. Steele and Noah Yarbrough, six step-grandchildren, Tim Yarbrough, Chris Steele, Valerie Steele, Sierra Cockrell, Kourtni Cockrell, Kenadi Cockrell, two step-great-grandchildren, Chase and Alyssa Steele, two sisters-in-law, Sandra Briggs (Robert) and Mildred Wagner all of Keokuk and family friend, Linda Clarke of St. Peters, MO and several nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Besides her husband she was also preceded in death by her parents, one granddaughter, Alexandria Powell, step-granddaughter, Tish Yarbrough, two sisters, Dorothy Roberts and Linda Roberts and sisters-in-law, Esther Thorn, Elizabeth Stedman, Lois Taylor, brothers-in-law, Richard Steele and Russell Steele, Jr.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk, IA with Reverend David Brownfield, Ph.D. officiating. Burial with military rites will be in the Oakhill Cemetery in St. Francisville, MO.
Visitation will be held after 1 p.m., Thursday at the funeral home with family meeting with friends from 6-8 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the English River Outfitters in Washington, IA, 2564 305th Street, Washington, IA, 52353.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.vigenmemorialhome.com