Chester "Chet" Lawrence Steele, 77
Chester "Chet" Lawrence Steele, 77, of Bemidji, died on Saturday, March 18, 2006, at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D. A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with military honors provided by the R...
Chester "Chet" Lawrence Steele, 77, of Bemidji, died on Saturday, March 18, 2006, at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with military honors provided by the Ralph Gracie Post No. 14 of the American Legion in Bemidji. A visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday and one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Turtle River Township South Arm Cemetery in rural Bemidji.
Pallbearers will be Dave Preston, Elmer Fadness, John Grimley, Frank Carlstrom, Ronnie Hasser and Gary Winkka.
He was born on Aug. 28, 1928, to Clarence and Mildred (Neff) Steele, in Bemidji. He attended the Birchland and Swenson Lake Schools. He served in the U.S. Army in the Aleutian Islands and mainland Alaska during the Korean Conflict. He returned home to work for the Great Northern Railroad in Kelly Lake, Minn. He married Jeannine Motley on Nov. 18, 1953, and they made their home in Bovey, Minn. During times of layoffs from his railroad job, he did construction and electrical work at the Concordia Language Camp in Bemidji during its initial construction. They moved back to Bemidji permanently in 1959 to raise their family.
They raised milk cows, had chickens and generally enjoyed a country life in rural Bemidji. Family and friends meant everything to him. He retired from the Burlington Northern in 1991. He then worked with his neighbor, Frank Carlstrom, to maintain a herd of cattle until health issues forced him to stop.
He is survived by his wife of Bemidji; sons, Duane Steele of Bemidji and Alan (Jami) Steele of Queens, N.Y.; daughters, Vicky (Eric) Esterby of Fargo, N.D., and Rose (Ray) Huckins of Bemidji; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; brother, Burton (Mabel) Steele of Bemidji; and sisters, Betty Fraase of Buffalo, N.D., and Carol Sommerfeld of Mahnomen, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.