Roy Wayne Steely loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather passed away on May 5, 2020 in Norman, Oklahoma at the age of 77. After a long battle with Alzheimer's Wayne, passed away with his wife by his side.
Wayne was born April 9, 1943, the second of three sons to Roy and Maxie (Stewart) Steely on a farm in the ten-mile flats, Norman, Oklahoma. The Steely farm was a place of many family gatherings with his family and friends including the Calvert Family. Wayne worked hard on the farm hauling hay and became a natural athlete since grade school playing basketball, football and baseball.
Wayne graduated from Norman High school in 1961 and attended the University of Oklahoma. Wayne worked his way up to parts and service manager at Leadbetter Buick. He entered the Army Reserves in May 1964 and was honorably discharged in December of 1969. He then joined the Norman Fire Department (NFD) in 1969, advanced to the rank of assistant chief July 1986 and retired in 1995 after 26 years of service. During his time at the NFD he owned Steely Carpet. Throughout his career and as an assistant chief Wayne Steely set the bar high as a mentor and role model to many firemen. The men on his crew often said they trusted his decision making on a fire scene so much that they would walk through fire for him. He will be remembered as a trusted leader and friend in the NFD community. While at the NFD he enjoyed playing football, volleyball, basketball and ping pong with the other firemen, but he was known as the man to try to beat in ping pong. The story that became a legend was that he beat another fireman using a chicken leg as a paddle.
Wayne played many years in Norman's Fast Pitch League at first base. His favorite challenge was to hit a ball off his cousin Neil Steely. Wayne enjoyed playing golf with his friends and achieved a hole in one on two occasions. He also participated in a bowling league for many years. Wayne enjoyed regular coffee meetings with his close friends and his brothers weekly and with the NHS alumni at Ozzie's Diner every Tuesday.
When Wayne was 17, he met Darlene Wise when she was 15 at Sooner Theater at a midnight preview. Wayne and his best friend Wayne Reed met Darlene and her twin sister Charlene that night. He didn't believe that Darlene and Charlene were twins, so he introduced himself as Dwayne Gooch. This is how he got his nickname 'Gooch". Wayne and Darlene were inseparable from that night on and married October 9, 1964. Wayne and Darlene were both University of Oklahoma sports enthusiasts. They were season ticket holders for several sports, and they spent many Wedding Anniversary weekends in Dallas at the OU - TX game, celebrating and rooting for OU to beat TX.
Wayne was a devoted father who was very proud of his three children. He was active in their lives and coached many their sports teams. Not only was he a coach, he was a father figure to many of their friends and teammates. Wayne was very close to his grandchildren who referred to him as Grandpa Fireman and they loved spending time with him.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, sisters in law: Jean Kennedy and her husband Joe and Charlene Reed and nephews; Shawn Reed and Roger Steely. He is survived by Darlene, his wife of 56 years, son Ronnie Steely, of Oklahoma City, daughters and sons- in-law; Jamie and Leon Ragland, of Norman, Oklahoma; Kristi and Craig Tull of Carrollton, Texas, grandson; Brandon Ragland, of Norman, Oklahoma, granddaughter; Brittney Ragland and partner George Miller, and great granddaughter Halen of Norman, Oklahoma, his brothers; Gene (Carolyn) Steely and Floyd (Dorothy) Steely, nephews; Mike Steely, Paul Steely, Robbie Hellams, Shane Reed, Kent Kennedy, nieces; Barbara Wheat, Sheila Zamora, Patricia Kennedy-Wright, and brother-in law and best friend Wayne Reed.
The Steely Family wished to express our deep gratitude to Arbor House Reminisce and Tender Care Hospice for their support, kindness and excellent care of Wayne. Darlene would also like to express her gratitude to their good friends and family for all their support during this journey.
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