Mr. John “Jack” Shelton Steele, Jr. age 80 of Wilkesboro passed away Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Novant Health Medical Center Huntersville Campus.
Jack was born October 2, 1942, in Richmond, VA to John Shelton Steele, Sr and Isabelle Moore Steele. He graduated from Augusta Military Academy in 1961. He continued his education at Ferrum College and University of Richmond receiving undergraduate degrees from both, and then a postgraduate degree from Presbyterian School for Christian Education. Jack was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, having served his country in the Vietnam war, 1968-1970. After his military service Jack returned to school to earn another postgraduate degree from Campbell University. For most of his career Jack was a guidance counselor and retired from Mountain View Elementary School in 2006.
Volunteering and community outreach were particularly important to Jack, especially in retirement. He was a long-time member of North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder. For many years he served Wilkes Communities in Schools, Wilkes Heritage Museum, and Real Men Read. Often Jack could be heard humming or singing a song quietly to himself. He loved music and shared his voice with the Seniors on Stage performers.
Jack adored his wife Kathryn, to whom he was married for 36 years. His children and grandchildren were a great source of pride. Whether traveling with them or spending time with them in his home, he was happiest surrounded by the people he held most dear.
Gregarious and always cheerful, Jack never met a stranger. He loved to be in the middle of the conversation, and to brighten anyone’s day with a well-timed corny or irreverent joke. He never met a dog he didn’t like and would go out of his way to pet a dog when out and about. His own dogs knew that he could not resist their “puppy dog eyes” and he routinely shared half of whatever he was eating with the furry family members at his feet.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Mary Steele Felton.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Pilcher Steele of Wilkesboro; a daughter, Emily Lievens and husband, Han of Portland, OR; three sons, Chris Steele of Baltimore, MD, Michael Steele and wife Claudette, of London, Ontario Canada and Andy Steele and wife Joanna of Purlear; one sister, Emily Moore of High Point; and eight grandchildren, Wesley Steele, Graham Steele, Layla Steele, Hudson Steele, Forrest Steele, River Steele, Daniel Lievens and Eleanor Lievens.
Memorial Services will be held 11:00 AM Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church with Rev. R.C. Griffin and Rev. Steve Snipes officiating. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall following the service.
Memorials may be made to Wilkesboro Presbyterian Chapel, 205 East Main Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697 or Wilkes Heritage Museum Inc., PO Box 935, Wilkesboro, NC 28697. The family requests no food or flowers.
Online condolences may be made to www.reinssturdivant.com.
Wilkes Heritage Museum
PO Box 935, Wilkesboro NC 28697
Wilkesboro Presbyterian Chapel
205 East Main Street, Wilkesboro NC 28697