Steele, Joan Frances,(nee Pavlik) passed away peacefully, Friday, January 15, 2021. Devoted wife of 51 years to James L Steele. Beloved mother of Stephen (Sandra Rendon) Steele and Laura (Jon) Begley. Grandma of Samuel, Gabriel and Benjamin Begley and Max and Mason Steele. Sister of Margie (Denny) Krupinski, Joe Pavlik, the late Mary Ellen Swift, the late James Pavlik and the late Richard Pavlik. Sister-in-law of Sandra Pavlik, Brenda Pavlik, Dick Steele and Deborah (Bill) Green and the late Bill Swift. Lifelong friend of Nancy Schnell, dear aunt, great aunt, cousin, adopted grandma, friend and teacher to many.
Born and Raised in South St. Louis City to the late Joseph and Helen (Kranda) Pavlik she attended Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School then Notre Dame High School. She met the love of her life Jim while earning her BS degree in Elementary Education from Southwest Missouri State. She taught for a couple years until she chose to stay home with her two young children. Once both of her children were school aged, she went back to teaching first at St. Vincent DePaul in Cape Girardeau, MO then Queen of All Saints in St. Louis where she taught 1st grade for many years. While teaching she went back to college (UMSL) where she earned her master’s degree and became a reading specialist graduating with honors. She ended her teaching career as a Title 1 teacher in various schools helping those in most need with reading and math. She retired from teaching to spend time taking care of her mother in her final years and her incredibly loved 5 grandchildren.
Joan was a devout Catholic who believed her calling to teach in Catholic Schools was a vocation not just a job. She spent time with her husband taking cruises, country line dancing with Midwest Dance Club, bowling and attending every single sporting and school activity that her grandson’s participated in. She was a night owl who could be found awake at 2am either scrapbooking, reading, doing cross stitch, watching HGTV or Bull Riding on television. Before Dementia struck her in her late 60’s Joan could spend hours talking on the phone to friends and family. She was often found in her garden or the garden at her parish planting new bulbs or weeding garden beds. She enjoyed her grandsons and was the grandma willing to get on the floor, play baseball in the house and spend endless hours entertaining them.
Dementia took so much from Joan but it did not take away her smile, grace and love of dancing where ever there was music. She will be greatly missed and unable to be forgotten. A private burial at Jefferson Barracks will be followed in the late spring/early summer with a Celebration of Life Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or a Rosary can be prayed in honor of all those suffering from Dementia.
Service: Roadside Services will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on Thursday, February 4, at 11:15 am.