On November 21, 2019, Barry Lawson Steele, 76, passed away at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington, DE. Born December 5, 1942, he was the son of the late Earl M. Steele and Mildred C. (Lawson) Steele of Georgetown DE. In spite of physical limitations due to cerebral palsy, his parents assured he was active in boating, traveling, amateur radio, bowling, Special Olympics and family events. As a young adult, Barry spent a short time at Governor Bacon and Stockley Center. Following his father’s untimely death in 1974, Barry’s mother had the foresight to explore options for Barry’s future care at the event of her passing. Mary Campbell Center was an option for residential care and Barry became a resident in 1979. The many years following were filled with superb care, fun opportunities and cherished relationships with staff and residents. One of his many tasks was to look for and report burned out light bulbs within the facility. Many staff members remember him as a prankster, playing jokes on them ending in fun laughter. He especially valued the friendship he shared with Dorothy Hoilman and her family who included him in outings and family activities. Barry attended services at Bethel Baptist Church as well as Wednesday Bible studies. He was routinely visited by his mother and her sister, Barry’s Aunt Marie Greene who brought him many homemade meals he anxiously devoured. Upon Mildred’s death in 1995, Barry’s cousin, Catherine King, lovingly managed his affairs. Catherine made sure Barry was kept appraised of family happenings and arranged Christmas visits at her home in Sussex County every year- giving other family and friends a chance to visit. Other than routine visits, Barry and Catherine spoke every Friday at 2pm always affectionately ending the conversation with, ‘I love you, Mrs. King’ and ‘I love you, Mr. Steele’. They maintained a very close relationship until Catherine’s death in 2015. Catherine’s family has continued to maintain close contact with Barry and to oversee his care.
Barry was also preceded in death by his special aunt, Marie Greene as well as his mother’s sisters, Mollie Johnson and Ethel Davis. He is survived by three cousins, Louise Dorey, Jane Lynn Wilkins and Joan Justice and several great cousins.
A graveside service will be held at Millsboro Cemetery Sunday November 24th at 2pm. Celebration of Life will take place at The Mary Campbell Center 4641 Weldin Road Wilmington, DE on Thursday, December 12th at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Mary Campbell Center (www.marycampbellcenter.org) at the above address.
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The Mary Campbell Center
4641 Weldin Rd, Wilmington DE 19803