Laurence G. Steele, of Williamsville, a retired business owner who sat on a number of boards in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area, died July 14, 2016 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital after battling cancer. He was 80.
Mr. Steele was a native of Niagara Falls, graduating from DeVeaux School in 1953. He subsequently attended Bucknell University, earning a BA in history and classics in 1957. His post-graduate studies included coursework at Columbia University in New York before entering the Army Reserves. Mr. Steele joined the family business, Steele Electric Equipment, Inc. based in Niagara Falls, in 1960 and accepted increasingly responsible positions before becoming president in 1977. Mr. Steele sold the business after a successful 30 year career in electrical wholesaling industry.
In addition to being an avid stamp collector and model train enthusiast, Mr. Steele took great pride in giving back to members of the Greater Niagara County Community before and after retiring from the business world. His transformational leadership roles included past president of the Niagara Falls Rotary club, 41 year board member of the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, Director with the Niagara County Savings Bank, senior member of the Chamber of Commerce and creator and manager of the Niagara County Library gift shop. Most recently, in his role as Administrator, he helped to restore the rich history of Oakwood Cemetery, culminating in Oakwoods induction into the National Register of Historic Places. Accordingly, he was recognized in 2013 by receiving the Key to the City from the Mayor of Niagara Falls.
Mr. Steele is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mrs. Carol J. Steele, three children, Pamela (Bill) Steele-Unger of Jupiter, FL, Nanci (Mike) Massey of Boca Raton, FL and Doug (Becky) Steele of Washington, DC, as well as seven grandchildren.
He was known for effectively balancing business acumen and thought leadership. As a respected member of the community, his grace and wit will have a lasting impact on those he touched throughout his life.
A memorial service will be held for Mr. Steele for family and friends to be announced at a later date.
Published on July 16, 2016