Irene Steele

Irene Steele of Lake Ashton in Winter Haven, FL, beloved wife, mother, aunt and grandmother passed away Monday July 1, 2019 at Good Shepard Hospice House in Auburndale, FL after protracted illness.


A long time resident of Florida (Grenelefe then Lake Ashton), she also lived in Pocono Pines, PA, Manila, Philippines, Parsippany NJ, and Staten Island NY.


A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, she shared her love of learning and exploration with her children, grandchildren, and as a teacher at the International School in Manila, Philippines.  A warm and giving person, she also hosted international children for the summers. A few years after returning to the States, she joined her husband in the entrepreneurial world when they opened a store. Over the next 21 years they grew Steele’s Hardware into the largest hardware store in Monroe County, PA employing more than 40 people.


When not in the hardware store, she reveled in the role of Grandma and engaged in a broad array of activities and adventures with her grandkids. She enjoyed swimming, golf, tennis, gardening, knitting, and socializing with friends and family. She was the unifying, loving heart and soul of three generations.


She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 67 years John (“Jack”), by her daughters - Debra Schwab (Marco Island, FL), Pamela Collishaw (Fish Kill, NY), and Ruth Steele (Boulder, CO), by eight grandchildren - Brian Schwab (NYC), Danielle Steele, (DC), Kevin Schwab (Richmond Hill, GA), Jessica Steele (West New York, NJ), Michael Schwab (Noonan, GA), David Collishaw (NYC), Elizabeth Schwab (DC), and Kelly Collishaw (NYC). She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law Robert and Ann Steele, and by her nieces and nephews – Ken Wiegand, Jon Wiegand, Carol Diggs, Beth Gottlieb, Joanne Alloco, and Robbie Steele. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Ruth Wiegand and brother-in-law Kenneth Wiegand, and by her son John Steele.


Family will receive friends for viewing at 11 AM on Tuesday, July 9 at St Matthews Catholic Church, 1991 Overlook Dr, Winter Haven, FL. A Requiem Mass will immediately follow at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial donations to the Red Cross or The American Cancer Society.