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James Fulton Steele was born in Morven, NC on Sept. 3, 1925, to parents Siffus and Mary (Liles) Steele.  He peacefully departed this life on January 4, 2017. 

James, affectionately known as “Butler” to close family and friends, was educated in the Anson County School System.

Upon graduating High School he joined the United States Navy and served in WWII as a Gunners Mate. James was very proud of this position because during that time African Americans were not given those assignments. 

After an Honorable discharge from the Navy, James went on to graduate from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, NC, with a degree in Business.  While at JCSU he joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He later became a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated’s Kappa Epsilon Lambda (KEL) chapter in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  

James briefly taught in the Anson County School System.  Later moving to Washington, DC and working for the United States Information Agency as a Personnel Supervisor.  He retired in 1988 from the United States Secret Service after 27 years of distinguished service as an Accountant. Even after retirement James continued to work various jobs. Which included serving as Town Administrator for Capitol Heights in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Sales Associate for Orkin and a freelance Real Estate agent.  

James was married to Evelent Patricia Bennett on December 18, 1954. To this union was born Jacqueline Denise and Byron Ellis. James loved to entertain, opening up his home to family and friends and lending a helping hand to anyone in need. James was very opinionated and did not shy away from letting everyone know what was on his mind.  

He was an advocate for community service. Serving in various roles including business manager of the Morven Veterans Club, Cub Scout Master, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the Pepper Mill Civic Association, Financial Advisor of the KEL chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, an active member of the JCSU Alumni Association and a member of the James A. Mingo Consistory.

James’ Christian education began at Harris Chapel AME Zion Church in Morven, NC, where his grandparents were founding members. Later in life he served on the Men’s Ministry at Tabor Presbyterian and Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. 

He leaves to carry on his legacy his wife Evelent (Bennett) Steele, daughter Jacqueline D. Steele –McCall (Landen), son Byron E. Steele, granddaughters Shauntinique P. Steele, Charmaine L. Steele and Chantelle E. McRae. Grandson Ameer S. McCall (Jana), great-grandson Isaiah J. Steele and great-granddaughter Maya L. McCall.  

He leaves to cherish his memory sisters Anne Steele, Peggy Maye (Wortha – deceased), Yvonne Steele and Edith Boiling (Rick – deceased). Brother-in-laws Jasper Bennett (Majorie), Nelson Bennet (Winnie), Clarence Bennett (Anne) and Sister-in-law Synetha Pratt (Donnie). Special nephew Lorenzo Steele (Barbara) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and associates.  
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Theodore Steele (Elizabeth – deceased), Herman Steele (Louise – deceased), Haywood and Louis.  Sisters Julia McNeil (James- deceased), Bernell Gray (Charles - deceased), Doris Johnson (Leo) and Grace Johnson (Thomas).   

The Memorial Service honoring the Legacy and Celebrating the Life of Mr. James Fulton Steele will be on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 12 o'clock noon, Smith's Memorial Chapel, 604 Salisbury Street, Wadesboro, North Carolina. Interment will be private.  Immediately following the service, the family will fellowship at the Anson Sportsman's Club, Diggs Road, Morven, North Carolina.

The Viewing and Family Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 from 11:00am-12:00pm at Smith's Memorial Chapel. 

In lieu of flowers, the Family is requesting that donations be made in honor of Mr. James Steele to the Johnson C. Smith University Institutional Fund, 100 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28219. 


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  • Thursday, January 05, 2017
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Smith's FH
  • Saturday, January 07, 2017
    Thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort
    ~ Ressie Berry   Houston, TX
  • Saturday, January 07, 2017
    My Deepest Synpathy Love Yall!!
    ~ Rhonda Liles   Morven, NC
  • Sunday, January 08, 2017
    Condolences to the family in the loss of your beloved James. Our prayers are with you.
    ~ Marie McRae   Raleigh, NC
  • Sunday, January 08, 2017
    k4With Deepest Sympathy to You, and Your Family ...the God of love and peace shall be with you.
    ~ Joel & Gloria Tyson   Baltimore, MD
  • Sunday, January 08, 2017
    In Sympathy, Hoping it helps to know that others care and share your loss.
    ~ Gladys Tyson & Family   Baltimore, MD
  • Tuesday, January 10, 2017
    Rest in peace.
    ~ Bill & Barbara Cheeks   Powder Springs, GA
  • Thursday, January 12, 2017
    My Dearest Family...I am so very sorry to know that your heart is heavy with such devastating pain...James touched so many as he traveled on his journey of life....he will be missed while embracing everyone's heart with their special memories of him...May the Prince of Peace reign over the family along with God's mercy and grace...
    ~ Wilburn & Bridgette Foxworth   Baltimore, MD