J. Steele Clark, age 89, passed away in Monterey, CA, on August 17 at 9:11 p.m. after complications from his years-long battle with lymphoma. Steele was preceded in death by sister Pat, and brothers Jim and Tom. He was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio, the son of Ora Elmo Clark and Alice Madden Clark. He graduated from Purdue University in 1953 with a degree in economics. As a young man, he explored the American West, often hitchhiking with his close friend, Joe Abbott. They picked up odd jobs in potato fields, a slaughterhouse, and, his favorite, Yellowstone National Park’s general store at Old Faithful. From 1953-1955, he was stationed at the U.S. Army Europe headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany. He spent his early career working for Armco Steel in Middletown, OH, first working as a laborer in the coke ovens and blast furnace, and later as an economist analyzing steel markets. In 1965, he was married to Patricia Meyers of Hamilton, OH. Following their mutual love of the west, the two moved to California in 1968, where they settled in their home of 30 years in Los Gatos and raised two children. During Silicon Valley’s earliest days, he transitioned from economics to computers and spent the bulk of his career as a systems analyst for General Electric’s Nuclear Energy Division in San Jose, CA, where he helped lead G.E.’s transition from main frame to desk top computing. Family and friends will always remember Steele as a curious and avid learner in his many hobbies and pursuits, which included fine woodworking, computer programming, and a deep appreciation of physics, geology, and minerals. In his retirement, he took many storied road trips to camp and spend time in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, especially at Signal Mountain on Jackson Lake. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels on the Monterey peninsula for many years. Steele enjoyed tending to his vast heirloom mineral collection and, over the years, developing its companion database. He always enjoyed sharing time and stories with friends and family new and old, near and far. Most of all, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, and friend—always there to listen, share, and understand. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Pat, Monterey, CA; daughter and son-in-law Heather and Marc Dantzker, Arlington, VA; son Steele, Oregon City, OR, and his two grandchildren, Charlie and Alice Dantzker. The family would like to thank the many wonderful and caring friends and staff of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Pacific Cancer Care. Donations in Steele’s name can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
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