Stacey Steele, 39, of Richmond, went to the ER last Friday, after not getting any better from a recent illness. She was immediately admitted and testing began to determine the cause of her illness. Ultimately it was determined that she had advanced liver cancer that had advanced so quickly that it started to shut down other vital organs. Tragically, she passed away December 21, 2018 with her family by her side including her mother, Terry, and her 10-year-old daughter Vivianna.
Stacey was born October 4, 1979 in Greencastle to Wallace E. “Wally” and Terry Cook Steele; she lived here for the last 21 years.
She was a 2002 graduate of Earlham College and received her master’s from the University of Phoenix two years ago.
She was the director of the grants and outcomes for the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County; she was the co-founder of the Richmond chapter of Brianna’s Hope, the executive director of Drug Free Wayne County; she was named the 2017 Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year and she also re-affirmed her faith at Christ United Church where she attended regularly.
Stacey was a long-time staff member of the Boys and Girls Club. She understood that changing kids’ lives began with personal relationships the Boys and Girls Club members. She was a friend, a mentor, and confidant for hundreds of kids over the last twenty years.
She started her involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs while still a student at Earlham College. Her belief in kids and their potential to be productive members of our community motivated her to become a member of the Club staff in 2001. She had a passion to support the academic needs of children and became our Director of Education. Her ability to work with our school partners, parents, and our staff was really the catalyst to take the Boys & Girls Club education programs to a level never seen before with measureable and positive outcomes. Her professionalism in this area was a major factor in the Boys & Girls Club attracting millions of dollars in support of educational enhancement for thousands of children in Wayne County. Because of her leadership the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is now the largest provider of after school academic support programming in Wayne County.
Stacey later became convinced that the scourge of youth substance abuse was a blemish on our community and a major factor in holding our children back. Through intensive training she became a certified prevention professional and became an expert on evidenced based curriculum to deal with problems associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Her leadership led to a full complement of programs offered through the Boys and Girls Club. Once again she was able to bring millions of dollars to the Boys and Girls Club, especially through her relationships with the State of Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions. She was deservedly seen as a statewide leader in prevention programming. Stacey’s heart and compassion had no boundaries as she gave of her time selflessly to better our community.
Stacey is survived by her parents, her daughter Vivianna, one brother Wesley Steele, several aunts and cousins.
She is preceded in death by both her maternal and paternal grandparents; one cousin Steve Miller.
A memorial service will be held 6:00PM Thursday December 27, 2018 at Christ United Church 3430 Backmeyer Rd, Richmond, IN 47374 with Pastor Brett Karanovich officiating. Friends may call from 3:00PM to 6:00PM Thursday at the church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, Brianna’s Hope, Relay for Life Wayne County or Drug Free Wayne County. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.stegallberheideorr.com