Ralph was born on March 14, 1942 to Ralph Luther and Laurene Mae Steele. He was the third child of six children. Katherine (Kitty) Maslen, Louise Ball Duncan preceded him in death. Sister Stella Traweek, Benjamin Steele and Carolyn Nadeau are the remaining siblings.
Ralph met his wife Kathleen (Kay) in 1956 when he was a freshman and she was a sophomore. They married on June 15, 1963.
Ralph graduated from Milwaukie High school in 1960 and entered the U SNavy. He was stationed in California and made his first cruise on the USS Ranger. He was sent to Whidbey Island, Washington then San Diego, California where he was stationed on the USS Oriskany where he made his second and third cruise to Vietnam. He was then stationed in Adak, Alaska where he was discharged from the Navy after ten years.
Ralph and Kay have four children: Sandi Kay Steele, Danielle Renee Billmyre (Shane), Ralph David Steele, Jr, and Michelle Leanne Richards (Steve) They have eight grandchildren and seven great-grand children.
Ralph worked as an automotive transmission mechanic for over 22 years when he retired with a disability. He managed Kay's fishing and tackle business, Lure Me until it closed in 2009.
Ralph was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved to be in the outdoors.
Ralph suffered from the effects of Agent Orange which caused him to have two heart attacks, two, possible three strokes, metastatic prostate cancer, Type II diabetes, nueropathy, COPD, and numerous skin lesions.
Ralph and Kay have been married fifty-six years and they renewed their vows last year in Carson City, Nevada.
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