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James E Steele , 84, of Shirley, died on November 24, 2014 at Apple Valley Center in Ayer. He was born in Oran, Missouri on July 16, 1930, son of the late Van Buren and Marie (Scruggs) Steele. He grew up in Missouri where joined the U.S. Navy where he served for 4 years. After his discharge he worked for the railroad for several years before reenlisting in the U.S. Army where he served until his retirement in 1971. James served in various places such as Japan, China, England, Ethiopia, Ft Devens, and Vietnam.

He was married in 1953 to Peggy (Stephens) Steele have made their home in Shirley since 1955, He enjoyed fishing and hunting and was a life member of the Shirley American Legion.

Mr. Steele is survived by his wife Peggy of Shirley, a son Richard T. Steele and his wife Cathy of Shirley, 2 daughters, Kathleen Marie Blanchette and her husband Ken of Shirley and Sherrie and her husband Bruce Hanson of Shirley. A brother Richard and his wife Sue Steele of Shell Knob, Missouri, and a daughter in law Darlene Steele of Lunenburg. He is also survived by 7 Grandchildren Derek Blanchette, Jimmie Steele, Nathan Steele, Corey Hanson, Ashley Coughran, Tyler Steele, and Victoria Costa. 4 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. He was also the father of the late Michael Steele and the grandfather of the late Nicholas Steele.

A Private Graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. Please see