Born in Harrisonburg, Va. Sept. 30, 1950, Larry Steele was an adoring husband to his wife, Joanne, a caring father, a doting grandfather, and a fiercely loyal friend.
Larry was hard working and driven. He was the first in his family to graduate college in 1972, finishing at Eastern Mennonite College with a BS in Business Administration. After college he pursued a career in sales and marketing, rising to become Vice President, Admissions for National College of Business and Technology. During his time with National College, he spent considerable time traveling to campuses in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. Among many other professional accolades, for his hard work and tremendous contribution to Education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Larry was awarded the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth, The Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonel.
Always an avid outdoorsman, Larry was most at home in “his mountains.” He spent his youth in the Shenandoah Valley hunting with his father, brother, uncles, and cousins. As an adult he continued his love of the outdoors in the Blue Ridge Mountains in and around Roanoke. Larry took his role as an uncle very seriously and loved nothing more than to be in the mountains hunting with his nephews, passing down his family heritage. Larry made sure to teach his nephews and daughters to have utmost respect for all God’s creatures and believed that one shouldn’t take from nature more than he needs. For many years he donated to Hunters for the Hungry, a nonprofit organization. He shared his love of nature and the outdoors with his wife and daughters through summer evening mountain rides, weekend hikes, snowy treks in his Jeep, and visits to “the cabin.” Even when weakened by cancer, it renewed his spirit when his beloved nephew, Curtis, and lifelong best friends could take him for a weekend or even just a day in the woods.
Larry had a great sense of humor. You would know you were in his inner circle if you found yourself as the aim of one of his practical jokes. As was his way with everything else in life, Larry approached his cancer diagnosis head on with a sense of humor and great determination. He fought Multiple Myeloma courageously and with dignity for almost nine years. With every setback, he took a quiet moment to gather his tremendous strength, then charged ahead with the most aggressive treatment options his team of doctors could give him. He fought the good fight as a warrior. On Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, Larry allowed God’s angels to carry him home to the Lord where he can rest in the peace he so deserved.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Liskey Steele and Nellie Frazier Steele, and his brother, Ralph Liskey Steele (Rick). He is survived by his loving wife, Joanne Langdon Steele; his daughters, Meghan Steele White and Lauren Steele Onyett; sons-in-law, Kevin White and Erik Onyett; and granddaughters, Elizabeth, Mary-Ellerson, Charlotte, Lillian, and Caelen. Larry is also survived by his two sisters, Susan Steele Garber and Barbara Kathryn Steele, as well as sisters- and brothers-in-law and a host of nieces and nephews.
The family expresses their gratitude to the doctors and nurses of Lewis Gale Hospital in Salem, the doctors and nurses of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of the VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond and the nurses of Bon Secours Hospice, Richmond, Va.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of the VCU Massey Cancer Center: https://www.support.vcu.edu/give/Massey.