James Frederick Steele
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James Frederick Steele
  • August 9, 1950 - May 31, 2016
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana

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LCDR James F. Steele of Fort Wayne passed quietly in his home on the morning of Tuesday, May 31, 2016. James was born in Chamblee, Georgia, to Norman and Mary Steele. He graduated from Snider High School in 1968 and married the love of his life Vicki L. Steele (Dommer) of New Haven in 1971. He went on to earn his bachelors degree in Biology at Purdue University before joining the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Pensacola Florida in 1973.
His Naval career spanned 20 years as a helicopter pilot performing search & rescue, medivac, and anti-submarine missions in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres during which time he earned multiple awards and decorations including two Naval Air Medals, the highest honor bestowed upon Naval Aviators during times of peace.

James retired from the Navy in 1993 and took a job teaching Math & Science at Geyer Middle School and later Elmhurst High School in Fort Wayne. In 2004 he left teaching to return to the sky as a pilot for Lutheran Air. Finally in 2011 he worked as a government contract pilot for Presidential Airways supporting U.S. troops overseas until he retired in 2015.

Jim brought to this world a kindness and a smile that was infectious. His gentle spirit and warm personality made him beloved by everyone he met. He found joy in every moment and took time out of each day to enjoy life.

James is survived by his wife Vicki, his sons Aaron (Carin) & Benjamin (Gretchen); His five grand children (Elijah, Henry, Ruby, Ellis & August); his brother Norman (Mimi) and his sister Elizabeth.

Services will be 11 am Saturday June 4, 2016 at Trinity English Lutheran Church 450 W. Washington Blvd with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also be 2-4 and 6-8 at Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home 420 W. Wayne St. Friday June 3, 2016.

Entombment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Trinity English Lutheran Youth Group, 450 W. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46902 or Saint John the Baptist School (Science Dept), 4525 Arlington Ave, Fort Wayne IN 46807.