Obituary – Orian Steele

STEELE, Orian Elaine (nee McIntosh)
Dec 25, 1931 – Sept 25, 2022

Orian passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sept 25, 2022, at the Garden Villa, Chesterville, On. Wife of the late Ernest Eric Steele of Winchester, to whom she was married for 62 years.

Loving mother of Garth (Cathy), Shaun (Nancy), Kim (Pat), Bart (Marie), Jill, and Kyle (Cindy). Fondly remembered by all eighteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Predeceased by her six brothers: Gerald (Brockville), Jack (Ottawa), George (Winchester Springs), Raymond (Winchester), Elmore (Toronto), and younger brother Ron (Winnipeg).

She was born in Winchester Springs on Christmas day, 1931 to Cecil McIntosh and Myrtle Reveler.

Raised amongst six brothers, she was more likely to be found folding butter in the adjacent family cheese factory, or playing baseball, than tending to domestic chores. Close childhood friends included Irene Steele, Mary Shane, and Marjorie Nesbitt.

Orian attended high school in Winchester where she met Eric in grade 9; the two became an item in Grade 13. Though she had ambitions to become a journalist, she later attended one year of Normal School in Ottawa before becoming a teacher in 1952. Over the next eight years she taught at various locations: Smithville, Mariatown, Montreal, Carp, and Winchester, before trading a classroom of kids for a family of six. Keeping her options open, while living in Smithville, she enquired at the Hamilton Police station about becoming a detective. A picture of Orian with her class still hangs in the Cheshire Cat, the old one-room Carp school house.

Orian married Eric at Winchester Springs United Church in August of 1953.

Orian had a deep and abiding faith, and was very involved in Winchester United Church, first in the choir, followed by many years as a Sunday School teacher. Orian and Eric were the youngest couple in the WUC Couples Club, and maintained lifelong friendships with many of the couples: Hugh and Freda Coons, Hugh and Bea Eadie, Lorne and Carrie Isaac, Raymond and Orma Earl, and Gordon and Doris Ennis. In addition to raising six children, she maintained the herd of beef cattle on the farm while Eric worked in Ottawa.

She will be fondly remembered by the many friends, students, and neighbours, upon whose lives she had a positive impact, and will not soon be forgotten. In later years, she volunteered countless hours at the local foodbank, Meals on Wheels, and Nor Dun Center.

She was an incredible cook, known for her homemade soups, desserts and pies.

Never one much for TV, she was an avid reader. When not inside preparing for her weekly bible study, she could be found with a hoe in the garden, tending to her large plot of vegetables. She had a quick wit, a great sense of humour and was slow to anger.

She enjoyed cards and board games, and in later years she was still beating her children and grandchildren in Scrabble.

A highlight involved a family trip to Scotland in 2012, where she visited places such as Culloden and Inverness, ancestral home of the McIntosh clan.

Orian had been living at the Garden Villa, Chesterville, since suffering a stroke on Thanksgiving weekend 2016. She never complained about her health issues, choosing instead to be a beacon of God’s light in Chesterville. Many thanks to the kind and caring staff at the Garden Villa.

Family and friends may call at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Sunday, October 2nd from 2-5 p.m. A Memorial service will be held at the Winchester United Church on Monday, October 3rd at 11 a.m. Donations to the House of Lazarus would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. If you are making your donation online at hol.community or by cheque directly to the charity, please include the following note with your gift “please notify the family”. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.

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