Robert J. (Bob) Steele, 85, of Cherokee Village, died Jan. 3, 2002, at Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System in Cherokee Village.
Born Dec. 26, 1916, on the family farm in LeMars, Iowa, he was the son of Lee R. and Hattie Laux Steele. He attended his first seven years of school at the country school in LeMars, then LeMars Junior High School and graduated from LeMars Central High School in 1934. He had no degree but received credits in accounting and business management from Western Union College in LeMars, Ohio State University and Louisiana State University.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from November 1942 until December 1945. He spent 19 months in the Pacific Campaign, including D-Day landing in Leyte in the Philippine Liberation Cam-paign. In addition to U.S. Campaign Medals, he received from the Republic of the Philippines a Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star and one Bronze Arrowhead, a Philippine Independence Medal and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Badge. He was a first sergeant at the time of discharge.
He married Kathryn "Kay" Dunaway in Lima, Ohio, June 13, 1946, and the couple then moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he was employed by Sioux Honey Association. He retired Jan. 1, 1982, after 42 years with the firm. At the time of his retirement he was the president and CEO of the company.
In August of 1982 they moved to their retirement home in Cherokee Village. He was active in local, state, and national organizations. He was a honey industry advisor to every secretary of agriculture from the Eisenhower Administration to the Reagan Administraiton. On the national level he served as a director of the American Honey Institute, the National Council of Farmers Cooperatives, director and vice president of the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Omaha Farm Credit District for his contributions to American Agriculture.
Locally he served as a director of the First National Bank, the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, the Sioux City Better Business Bureau and was a member of the Tax Research Conference. He was a member and director of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and member of the local American Legion Post. He was also an NRA-certified firearms instructor and a charter member of the Hawkeye Rifle and Pistol Club. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and the American Legion Post in Cherokee Village.
He was a member of the LeMars, Iowa, Presbyterian Church and an associate member of Spring River Presbyterian Church in Hardy.
He has no immediate survivors.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Kay.
A memorial service will be held at a later day.
Arrangements are under the direction of Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel of Highland.