The Tinneny Family History Site



John W. Steele

1938 - 2022

John W. Steele, 83, a longtime resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, peacefully passed away on January 31, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife Rose and four children.

John was born on October 3.1938, in Philadelphia, PA, to parents Catharine Marie McColgan and Walter Hagenbucher. Separating and relocating to Fayetteville, AR, his mother remarried Richard D. Steele when he was 12 years old. Richard officially adopted John and his siblings, giving him his last name. At Fayetteville High School, not only was John Senior class President, quarterback, and co-captain of the football team, but he received the prestigious Randall Osborne Award, recognizing the Most Outstanding Student and Sports Leader at the school. He was a veteran of the Arkansas National Guard. He played quarterback at Coffeyville Junior College and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1961. It was here he met his wife of 39 years, Linda Rae Hathaway.

After starting their family in Arkansas, John and Linda settled in Oklahoma (1966), where they cultivated a loving and impactful community - forging lifelong friendships through the arts, numerous charities, and clubs. Their bridge group meets to this day.

Whether at the theatre, in the office, or on the golf course, John Steele
s presence never went unnoticed - mentoring hundreds of employees over a 33-year career at State Farm Insurance. John was a dedicated husband, father, grandpa, boss, actor, golfer, mentor, and friend. He never missed an opportunity to share his wisdom and support.

All the world
s a stage, and John loved every minute on it. John performed in over 80 productions in OKC. Whether he was on stage at Lyric Theatre, Jewel Box Theatre, or Poteet, he was a crowd favorite with his impeccable comedic timing. Favorite roles include Starkeeper in Carousel, Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls, Luther Billis in South Pacific, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Charlie Baker in The Foreigner, Alphie Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor with his tagline Get the Picture” in every role. A passionate supporter of the Arts, if he wasnt on the stage, he was in the audience. Every cast member knew when he was there, just from his laugh. Crowds consider him an Oklahoma theatre legend. All his fellow cast members treasured his professionalism, talent, and willingness to teach. He was a calming force in all his endeavors.

John was a scratch golfer he played for years at Kickingbird and was a member at Silverhorn and Rose Creek, where he formed many treasured friendships. John made four holes-in-one and an elusive double eagle.

John was a St. John The Baptist Catholic Church member for over 47 years. It was there he met his second wife, Rose Hoyt - two widows who never planned on remarrying. With a shared devotion for their church parish, John and Rose were committed to their weekly Adoration. John was a faithful mass coordinator for over 25 years. Learning and laughing through the years, John taught Rose how to play golf - a new passion she continues to this day. The two spent their days spoiling their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If it was sharing a meal at Johnnie
s or receiving a beautiful Hallmark card, these times will be missed.

John is survived by his devoted wife of 16 years, Rose Marino Hoyt-Steele of Edmond, daughter Cathy and husband Alan Killion of Owasso, OK, daughter Christy and husband Tod Kessler of Prosper, TX; son Steven and wife Collette Steele of Edmond, OK; and daughter Cyndi Steele-Harrod and husband Chris Harrod of New York City, NY. Grandchildren Grant and Kylie Killion, Blaine and Sami Killion, Clark Killion, Garrett Killion, Brandon and Jessica Kessler, Austin Kessler, Remington Steele, Anna Steele, Linda Steele, Dalton Harrod, Kellan Harrod, and Ronn Burton. Great-Grandchildren Benjamin, Campbell, Caroline, Lucas, and Nicolas Killion. Special friend Doug Cunningham, whom he considered his second son. Siblings Joyce Roff, Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele USMC (Ret.), Bonnie Strode, and a host of nieces and nephews.

A wake and Rosary service will be held Monday, February 7, 2022 at 6pm at Smith & Kernke N. May Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11am Tuesday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 9th & Boulevard in Edmond followed by burial at 3pm at Rose Hill Burial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to Mercy Health Foundation (Cancer Care), St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT; or Chickenshed NYC Theatre Company.

Published by Smith & Kernke Funeral Homes & Crematory February 4, 2022. 

John was the son of Walter and Catharine McColgan Hagenbucher of Philadelphia; grandson of John and Mary Jane Tinneny McColgan of Greenock, Scotland and Pennsauken, New Jersey and the great-grandson of Patrick Yankee Pat” Tinneny of Goladuff, Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, Greenock, Scotland and Philaadelphia, and his wife Margaret Malloy.




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Updated April 18, 2023
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