Obituary: Sue Steele

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Sue Steele
Aug. 18, 1932~Sept. 17, 2010

Savannah Janette (Sue) Steele 78, passed away at 6 a.m. Sept. 17, 2010, at the Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Grand Junction. Sue was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 1999. Over the last 11 years, as it metastasized and spread throughout her body, Sue fought pain and illness and tried every way she could find to rid her body of this cruel disease. Those who loved her deeply appreciate the years and memories that her valiant effort bought for us.
Sue was born on Aug. 18, 1932, to Earl and Zoe Mueller in Pope County, Ark. She is survived by her husband, James D.; two sons, Anthony (Bud) Badeaux of Grand Junction and Bryan Steele of Mack; and four daughters, Rita Sanders of Parker, Camille Call of Sierra Vista, Ariz., Peggy Aplanalp of Meeker, and Rose Branson of Henderson, Nev.; one brother, John Mueller of Jensen, Utah; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Being raised on the family farm through the depression Sue certainly knew what hard work was. She picked cotton as a child to help earn money needed for basic survival. She was a great homemaker and mother using her many talents learned as a child to care for the family she loved as a mother and wife.
Sue was always a strong woman. In spite of her short stature she was a varsity starter for her high school basketball team and was dubbed “Little Miss Dynamite” by one of her teachers for her feisty strength and determination. After graduation from high school, Sue moved to Fort Smith, Ark., and was working at a diner waiting tables when she met her first husband Joseph Badeaux, better known as JT. Sue and JT were married for nine years and while married to JT, Sue gave birth to her first five children Rita, Anthony (Bud), Camille, Peggy, and Bryan. Sue was living in Dinosaur to be close to her parents and younger brother John Mueller when she met and married Jim Steele. Sue gave birth to her two youngest children Rose and Mike during her early years of marriage to Jim.
Sue and Jim were Wed on Oct. 15, 1962, and shared 47 years together raising children, cattle and gardens. Sue managed their money well. They canned Palisade peaches, harvested venison, and made wild berry jellies together to keep their children fed. They cut wood and bought coal to keep them warm. Over the years at their Foundation Creek Ranch they experienced many changes including hand-pumped rain water caught from the roof and stored in the cistern to a well with running water and gas heat.
Sue enjoyed western music, dancing at the Elks Club and playing cards with friends. She was well read and enjoyed engaging in deep conversations. In fact, she could talk to anyone, at anywhere, about almost any subject. Sue loved to cook and made sure that any visitors to the ranch never left hungry. She served as president of the Elkettes, sponsoring the Rangely Easter egg hunt, Santa Claus visiting Rangely and giving bags of candy to the young children, the rodeo parade in May as well as dances to raise money for charitable causes. She was an avid Denver Broncos fan. Sue was passionate about supporting the Rangely wrestling team. She enjoyed many years of watching her sons and grandsons wrestle. After losing her son Mike in July 1983, however difficult it may have been at the time, she continued to support the Rangely wrestlers traveling all over Colorado to watch them compete. Sue was thrilled when she watched her grandson Shane Aplanalp become a Colorado state champion in 1994 and was deeply touched when he dedicated his win to his uncle Mike.
Sue was laid to rest next to her youngest child Mike in the family cemetery at the ranch by the hands of her children and grandchildren who loved her dearly. May she forever rest in the peace that she has so heartily earned!
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090-B No. 12th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506.