Dorothy Ann Steelman

July 6, 1923 - January 28, 2009
Dorothy Ann Steelman

Dorothy Ann Bell Steelman, 85, died Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at Mariner Health of Wilmington. She had been a longtime resident of Oakdale Heights of Wilmington.

She was born July 6, 1923, in Gastonia, N.C., the daughter of Dennis Fleet Bell and Mary Emma Loftin Bell. The first member of her family to graduate from college, she worked at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis to help pay her way through Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), where she graduated in 1945.

Mrs. Steelman worked for a number of years as a social worker with the Red Cross in North Wilkesboro, Greensboro and Raleigh. Later, she taught kindergarten at Franklin Academy in Louisburg, N.C.

She wed Hoke Hayes Steelman on Dec. 24, 1949, and their marriage lasted until his death on Nov. 16, 1983.

A longtime Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Steelman was a loyal member of Louisburg United Methodist Church.

Surviving are one son, Bennett Loften Steelman of Wilmington, and two sisters, Eloise Dellinger of Gastonia and Frances Rebecca Chewning of Kannapolis.

A memorial service is planned for 1:00 PM, Monday, February 2, 2009 at First United Methodist Church in Gastonia. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Belmont, N.C.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 401 Grace St., Wilmington, NC, 28401 or The Library Foundation Of New Hanover County, Inc. 201 Chestnut St., Wilmington, NC 28401.

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • January 30, 2009
    Brenda Cahill says:
    Ben and Beth, I am very sorry about the loss of your Mother. Just remember, we will see her again. Brenda Cahill

  • January 31, 2009
    Beverly Brannon Pickett says:
    We would like to express our deepest sympathy for your loss. It wasn't long ago that we went through the same difficult time, so we know the sadness you must feel. Carry the memories and love she left you for years to come and know that better days are ahead. Our best, Beverly & James Pickett

  • February 02, 2009
    Nancy Buckingham says:
    Ben and Beth, Ken and I extend our deepest sympathy for the loss of Ben's mom. You've both been so engaged in the comfort of her final years, and she was so fortunate for that. We have fond memories of being with "Ms. Steelman," and witnessing her great sense of humor. It was an honor to have known her. She loved her coffee and her son Bennett.

  • January 30, 2009
    Burl C "Cal" Howell says:
    Ben: My deepest sympathy to you and your family for your loss. Cal

  • January 30, 2009
    Greg & Donna Adams says:
    Ben, So sorry about your mom. Greg and Donna Adams