Mildred Steele

Our beloved Mildred Steele passed away on March 2, 2010 at Regency Manor in Chelan, Wash. She was born in a wagon on June 17, 1924 in Vernon, B.C. to Joseph Richard Marchand and Julia Tonasket.

Mildred was an avid bingo and casino player. She loved her family and friends and enjoyed socializing, teasing and could make a friend in a heart-beat. She had a “colorful” sense of humor; she could even make the devil blush.

She was well known for singing “Amazing Grace” in her native Salish language at funerals, baptisms, weddings and special events. She loved camping, fishing and family gatherings.

She was a Native American language teacher since 1996 at the Colville Tribal Language Program. She shared her knowledge of berry picking, root digging, basket weaving, toupee mat making, pit cooking and Salish singing.

In her lifetime she lived in Vernon, B.C., Oroville, Manson, Soap Lake, Omak, Chelan and Kingshan, Ariz. .She spent time at Apple Meadows in Omak.

She married Norman Steele on Feb. 16, 1953. They were married for 57 years. Mildred had three children: Fergus Marchand, LaVern (Bobbi) Steele and DeeDee Steele.

Her siblings consisted of her bothers: Casmir Tonasket, Lenard Marchand and Raymond Marchand; and her sisters: Josephine Marchand, Pauline Marchand, Joanie Marchand, Margaret Marchand and Alice Marchand; her grandchildren are: Pernell, Dave, and Lance Marchand and Tanya Steele. She has 11 great grandchildren: Alice Thompson, Kelsie, Lauren, Kalem, Smith, Keenan and Sequoia Marchand, Amanda and Shyanne Steele and Brandon and Alexis Gomez; and three great great grandchildren: Clayton Thompson, Kolette and Taylor Merchand.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and two of her children: LaVern (Bobbi) Steele and DeeDee Steele.

A Rosary was held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, in the Omak Community Center. Following the Rosary in Omak, Mildred was taken to her hometown of Vernon B.C. and laid to rest in the St. Benedict’s Church Catholic Cemetery.

Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel is in care of the arrangements.