On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, R. Wayne Steele, loving husband, father, and grandfather, moved to join his Savior, Jesus, in heaven at the age of 67.
Wayne was born to Orval and Janet Steele and raised in Texas. A few years after graduating, Wayne married his wife, Kathy. Seven years later they welcomed their first child, Ryan, and two years after that, Derek joined the family. In high school, Wayne began studying computer science which became his career field of choice. Quite a few years later, Wayne and his family moved to Tucson where they raised their sons and saw the birth of their grandchildren.
Time spent at his grandparents’ cabin and family reunions gave Wayne a lifelong love of the mountains. He also had a lifelong love of his grandfather’s pickup, oo-ing and ah-ing every time he saw one like it, reminding him of tagging along with his grandfather during those happy childhood days.
Wayne loved music and playing the guitar after receiving his first one from his parents when he was 16. He spent many happy hours working with and on computers. Wayne was strong in analyzing and logical math – skills and talents he passed along to his sons. He loved building his own computers and working on guitars, even building a few of those too. His guitar of choice was the Stratocaster although, through the years, he owned many different types.
From early on, Wayne’s greatest joy was his Savior. His morning quiet times were spent in Bible devotions and study. He loved singing and worshiping with his church family. Wayne was thrilled when his sons took an interest in music, both using their talents in their schools and churches.
He enjoyed collecting useful doodads and fun objects like Coca-Cola trinkets, especially anything that looked like the polar bear. His favorite color was black. His favorite meal was a simple sandwich. He liked his coffee and tea without sugar. In his later years, he took photography classes, studying black and white film techniques and developing. His preferred photography subjects were his guitars.
Wayne was a quiet man, appearing distant until you got to know him. Only then, could one see how joyful and silly he could be. With great joy, he looked forward to seeing and playing with his grandchildren, laying on the floor to play with them when they were babies and, later, chasing them around the backyard while their happy yells and teasing filled the air. Wayne cherished time with his sons and frequently reminisced about the things he had done with them in their childhood, regretting there hadn’t been more. He loved his wife with a quiet, but obvious passion. He was Kathy’s greatest friend, encourager, and wise and godly counselor.
Wayne was preceded in death by his father, Orval, his mother, Janet, and his sister, Laura. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, his two sons, Ryan and Derek, his twelve grandchildren, Caleb, Kynslie, Kolsen, Audrey, Kaybriella, Jocelyn, Korelise, Kyrie, Sydney, Kaila, Kierlyn, Kalahan, his brother Don Allen, and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Wayne’s unexpected death occurred during the covid pandemic and the family was unable to host a celebration of life for him. Kathy requests friends and family members use the comment section of this obituary to leave memories and anecdotes of Wayne’s life for his sons and grandchildren to read.