A graveside service was held for Wilbur George Steeley, 93, at 1:00 P.M. Friday, August 21, 2020 at the Douglas Park Cemetery in Douglas, Wyoming with Pastor Darren Pflughoeft of Zion Lutheran Church in Douglas, Wyoming officiating. Military honors were accorded by Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 and Wyoming Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors.
Wilbur Steeley passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2020 at his home in Douglas of natural causes.
Wilbur was born in Fort Collins, Colorado on Monday, February 7, 1927, the son of Henry and Mary (Mitchell) Steeley.
Henry moved his family to Wheatland Wyoming in 1940, where Wilbur worked on the family’s farm prior to entering World War II.
Wilbur served in the United States Army from June 15, 1945 ~ December 19, 1946. He served with the 877th Transportation Corps Stevedore Company at Shemya Island, Fort Richardson, and Whittier, Alaska for 11 months where he operated both steam and electric winches. Wilbur was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and WW II Victory medal.
After returning home from the service he met and married Helen Lucille Dietz on November 28, 1948 in Wheatland. They resided in the Wheatland area and started their own farming operation. During this time, they also started a family which eventually grew to include four children.
A drought in the Wheatland area prompted him to move his family to Douglas in 1956, providing an opportunity to continuing his farming operation on his own land. The first land that he worked was along the West bank of the North Platte River, an area now known as the Riverbend Addition. Eventually he purchased property north of Fort Fetterman raising sugar beets, pinto beans, and alfalfa.
The well-being of his family was top priority as everything he did was for the betterment and benefit of the family. Always mindful to instill in his children good work ethics during the time they worked alongside him. One of Wilbur’s philosophy was “No matter how hard the times could get, make the best of what you get from one year’s work, and hope for a better next year.”
Wilbur was a longtime member of the Zion Lutheran Church, and a founding father of the church in Douglas.
He was survived by children Larry Steeley of Douglas, Gerald Steeley of Casper Wyoming, Susan (Blake) Hollon of Douglas, and Anna and David of Fort Worth Texas and sister, Mary Ann Wilhelm of Wheatland.
Wilbur was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, on September 9, 2017; sisters, Edna Knaus on July 3, 1994 Irene Nickel on May 29, 2002, and Elsie Nickel on May 18, 2002; and brothers, Harold Steeley on March 25, 2011, LeRoy Steeley on February 11, 1997, Dwaine Steeley on November 23, 2000, Donnie Steeley on October 19, 2019,and two infant brothers, on July 21, 1921 and November 28, 1938.
A memorial to the American Heart Association – Wyoming Chapter, P.O. Box 841125, Dallas, Texas 75284-1125 or a charity of the donor’s choice would be appreciated by the family.
Serving as pallbearers were Sheldon Albertson, Ronald Nickel, Tommy Kern, Roy Kern, Roger McFadden, and Larry Philbrick.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming was in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com