Deborah Jane Steely
Deborah Jane Steely
  • August 28, 1950 - October 23, 2017
  • Clayton, North Carolina

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Deborah Jane Steely died on Monday, October 23, 2017 at Transitions LifeCare of Wake County. She was born on August 28, 1950 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas to John Edward Steely and Donna Brown Steely. Deborah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971 with a double major in English and Religion, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York in 1982.
During her career, she was the Executive Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of North Carolina, worked for Lutheran Family Services, was a lobbyist for the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR), worked in the alumni office at NC State, and served as a behavioral specialist at the Wake County SPCA. She was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1987, and was a long-time member of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. There she served as chair of the Deacons and assisted in teaching several adult Sunday school classes, although nothing brought her greater pleasure than teaching Bible stories to the three-year-olds in their class.
With her theological insight and spiritual wisdom, Deborah inspired generations of Pullenites of all ages to engage biblical stories with scholarly integrity and curiosity. Deborah was known by all who met her as a fierce intellect who fought passionately and eloquently for justice in every pursuit. She loved her dogs, spirited conversations with her friends, the good old Baptist hymns, and New Yorker cartoons.
She was predeceased by both her parents, and is survived by her brother John and sister-in-law Mary.
A memorial service will be held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm. The family will receive friends at a reception at Pullen following the service.
The family asks that donations be made to the Pullen Memorial Adult Theological Education Fund, Transitions LifeCare, or the non-profit organization of your choice.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.