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Sister Fannie Mae (Smith) Steele's life began humbly in Eutaw, Alabama on January 21, 1937 to Clyde Smith and Annie L Smith
She accepted the Lord at the young age of 10 and grew to be a soloist in choir at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Bessemer, Alabama. She was always a seeker of knowledge. She understood the proverb, 'Knowledge is Power” and it could be gained from many resources and she pursued them all the days of her life.
Sister Fannie drew people to her like bees to honey. She was at the birth of many godchildren and young friends who continued to visit her for as many as 50-60 years later. Not just a hi and bye visit, but an 'I want to sit down with you momma Mae to engage and learn.' She was a great story teller and shared them with wisdom that always ended with much laughter.
Her favorite Song was Amazing Grace and favorite Scripture Matthew 6:9-13 The Lord's Prayer.
Her love for others never wavered, its always,God, Family and Friends. When it came to right and wrong, she always pointed to the word of the Lord, whether family, friend or stranger.
Her relationship with her Savior was simple, "she Loved the Lord, the Lord Loved her and No one could shake her from her Belief. She shared and taught her children about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and was not unusual for her to perform before the family both gospel and R & B music.
She married the love of her life, the late Eddie L Steele raising their 5 children and grandchildren for over 60 years until his passing.
Sister Fannie was both a resilient and resourceful Black woman working her way from poverty to the American dream of the middle class. Her inner strength was unparalleled, a motivation uncompromised, and heart of Gold.
As a young adult her and two of her aspiring friends formed the Sweet Inspirations 2, spending hours of singing and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
She was an extraordinary Wife, Mom, Friend and all together an honorable human being.
She was creative, intelligent, loving, supportive, knowledgeable, hardworking and honest.
Two of her favorite sayings were, "I Love You More and You Can't do Better Until You Know Better".
Sister Fannie’s true calling was entrepreneurship, recalling those early Saturday morning appointments with sidekick Ms. Thomas to the Flea markets and then the garage resale. She was a craftsman when it came to handcrafted jewelry and started a business called “Telese Ornaments". Surmise it to say she found many odds and ends work for income while raising her children and teaching them the value of work. She especially instilled what it meant for her to come back home to see a spic and span clean home that her children completed 10 minutes before she came through the front door.
While raising her children she decided to enroll in college attaining two degrees at different periods of her life.
She received Information Technology degree from Central TX College in Killeen TX.
Her 2nd Degree resulted from an Accelerated RN program at San Antonio College, where she became a Licensed Registered Nurse.
She worked for the Baptist Hospital System for 15 years, before retiring to spend more time with her husband, children and grandchildren.
She loved and enjoyed a diverse group of family and friends, over the years.
She loved bowling, cooking, playing card games(pinochle, rummy, bid Weiss, until 5am), decorating, sewing, singing, dancing and celebrating special occasions especially holidays (and lemon meringue pie).
She is preceded in death by her parents, husbands, Roosevelt Thomas, Eddie L. Steele, son Eddie Steele Jr., and her daughter Wanda Thomas -Littles
Also preceded in death by Sisters Etta Pearl Mahone- Hawkins, Willie Mae Wren.
Sister Fannie Steele leaves to cherish her memories devoted and loving children, Louise Steele, Karen Steele, Blake Steele, Teddy Steele(Amabel Steele). and Kerry Steele.
As well as devoted loving grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces and cousins.
We are also thankful to all the many friends who touched our Mom's life presently and over the years.