Gayle Edward Steele, 69, of Neodesha, Kansas passed away peacefully at his home on September 23, 2020. His wife, Janie, was by his side until the end.
Gayle was born on January 27, 1951 in Edmond, OK. He was the son of Oscar and Virginia (Mellen) Steele. As a boy he grew up in Neodesha, attending Central School and Neodesha High School where he was a classmate in the class of 1969. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970. While in the army, he was a file clerk and a prison guard at the U.S. Penitentiary Leavenworth in Leavenworth, KS until he was honorably discharged in 1973. He then attended Coffeyville Community College and played football for a short time. A few years later he also took night classes through Independence Community College.
After attending CCC, Gayle worked at a few different places in town until he bought a local tavern somewhere in the mid-1970s. Not long after that he met his love of 42 years, Janie Cook and on October 13, 1978 the two were married. The couple ran their well-known bar, Sundowner Tavern, added two daughters to life, and in 1981 Gayle started making trophies in the back office of the tavern during the daytime hours. In 1985, Gayle and his wife sold their bar and made Sundowner Trophies their lifetime business. Gayle loved his trophy business and was proud of the work he and Janie did each day. He worked at their business up until the time of his most recent illness and death, for a total of 39 years.
Gayle was a member of the St. Ignatius Catholic Church. He was a member of the Neodesha Men’s Metro Club and a member of the Jaycees Organizations. Gayle also served on the Neodesha Recreation Commission for 30 years. For decades his passion was his softball team that he organized and played on, and was well-known in the area as a “homerun hitter” and would often be deliberately “walked” by pitchers from the opposing teams. Gayle also loved watching his girls play softball as they grew up. He loved to fish, garden, and watch Kansas City Chiefs football and KU basketball with Janie. For the past 15 years he enjoyed his grandkids, as they provided all the entertainment he could ever need.
Gayle is survived by his wife, Janie of the home; daughter Jennifer DeLong and her husband Jason, and daughter Pattie Steele, all of Neodesha; three grandchildren, Jill and Jackson DeLong and Peysen Steele, of Neodesha; a sister Rita Banta, of Neodesha. Gayle is preceded in death by his parents, and a step-son, Jason Wilson. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the VA Hospital Topeka, KS or Neodesha Public Library. Reciting of the Rosary will be held at Loran Fawcett Chapel in Neodesha on Sunday, September 27th at 5:30 pm, with visitation immediately following from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral Mass will take place at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Monday, September 28th at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery. Due to local restrictions, face covering will be required. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit, www.loranfawcettfuneralhome.com.