CHERRYVILLE, N.C. - Betty Conklin Steele, formerly Lincolnton, on August 30, 2020, has arrived at that glorious day when her Jesus she has seen. She has thought and sung about this day for many years, as the day that she can finally “look upon His face, the one who saved her by His grace.”
She was a member of First Baptist Church, Cherryville since moving back there in 2013, after living in Lincolnton for about 50 years. During her five decades in Lincolnton she worked in the textile industries, restaurant and grocery businesses, then finally in child care, where she found her calling.
“Miss Betty” owned and operated Kiddie Kollege Day Care from 1984 to 2010, which was the fulfillment and great ministry of her life for 26 years. Since then Miss Betty had another 10 years of fond memories of the children she loved and cared for, plus many visits or chance encounters with her graduates and their families. It was always a joy for her to hear “Miss Betty!” called out by a former student who saw her out and about. Then they would invariably hug her and have a nice chat about old and new times.
On November 27, 1934 Betty Jean was born to the late Alton Murray Conklin Sr. and Irene Secrest Conklin in Burlington. She was the fourth of six children, and is survived by her loving younger sister, Sandra Conklin Porterfield, of Burlington, and three generations of wonderful nieces and nephews too numerous to list.
Betty married the late Donald Howard (D.H.) Steele Jr. in 1950, with whom five children were born and raised. To her great comfort and delight, they all survive her in this mortal life, have stayed out of prison so far and have made her very proud of them in their lives, families and endeavors.
Her dearly beloved children and their incredibly long-suffering spouses are: Donna and husband Kenneth (Hammer) Michael of Iron Station, Karen Steele of Morganton, Skip and wife Shasta Beam Steele of Vale, Fred and wife Holly Lawing Steele of Vale, Stephen and wife Luann Hallman Steele of Sherrills Ford.
Betty’s (Meemaw’s) nine outstanding and gifted grandchildren and their spouses are Dee Dee Michael Low (John), Casey Michael, Shane Steele (Candi), Justin Steele (Carla), Kelly Steele (John), Eric Steele (Sarah), Keane Steele (Laura), Shelby Steele Cherry (Carson) and Nicholas Steele (Danielle).
Her 12 precious and amazing great-grandchildren are Kennedy and Morgan Low, Gage Michael, Chance and Dawson Steele, Brock and Lucas Steele, Aliette and Logan Steele, and their soon born brother, Lincoln Steele and Everett Cherry.
Betty loved and prayed regularly for her entire extended family. Although some relationships became strained or estranged for one reason or another over the years, Betty never stopped loving and praying for God’s grace and eternal blessings to be with us all. Her grandson, Keane Steele, recently mentioned that he had observed this truth over his lifetime of knowing his Meemaw.
Throughout her entire adult life, since being saved by Jesus as a young mother of one, Betty held an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and a love for His Word (the Bible), which she shared with virtually anyone who came nearby. Back in her check writing days, she was even quite renown for writing in the note space, “Need a Blessing? Read Romans 8:28” or some other comforting verse that came to her mind.
Betty knew that she was a sinner saved by God’s grace alone, who was “sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, sometimes living with malice and envy and hatred. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God her Savior appeared, He saved her, not because of righteous things she had done, but because of His mercy. God has saved Betty through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on her generously through Jesus Christ her Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, she has become God’s heir, having the hope [and assurance] of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 personalized for Betty, but applicable to any who will believe these biblical truths [John 3:16], [Romans 10:9-11])
Although Alzheimer’s disease took a gradual but inexorable toll on Betty’s memory over this past decade, her love for Jesus Christ never waned. The joy of the Lord was increasingly with her, and her favorite statement of late was “God has been so good to us.” She was right! May we all know as much.
“And we ain’t seen nothing yet” was her favorite follow-up phrase. Praise God, Betty has now seen “the One who saved her by His grace, when He took her by her hand and led her to the Promised Land, what a day, Glorious day that has been!”
There will be a graveside service for the family at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Lincolnton on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 with Dr. Vince Hefner and Rev. Scott Deneen officiating.
A Memorial Service will be held at Harvest Church, 710 Lithia Inn Rd., Lincolnton, NC on Sunday, September 13 at 3 p.m. If anyone would care to share a fond memory of Betty, just send an e-mail note with your thoughts to Rev. Ivan Davis, at IvanRDavis@gmail.com. He will weave them together into a beautiful tribute to Betty’s life and memory in his eulogy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Harvest Church Missions Fund,710 Lithia Inn Rd., Lincolnton, NC 28092 or visit their website at https://harvestpca.net/give/, as Betty was a strong supporter of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20),
A guest register is available at www.stameycherryvillefuneralhome.com.
Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Cherryville, N.C. is serving the Steele family.