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Published: Sunday, 2/26/2006

Willard nursing director was vibrant, feisty, loyal

WILLARD, Ohio - Anna Belle Steely, a retired director of nursing at the former Willard Municipal Hospital, died Thursday in the Willard Health Care Center after a long illness. She was 97.

The family did not know the cause of death.

Mrs. Steely was director of nursing at the Willard hospital from 1956 until retiring in 1973 at age 65, which was mandatory at the time.

She later was director of nursing at the former Quality Care Nursing Home, now Willard Health Care Center, from about 1978 until about 1999.

"She was a person dedicated to serving others, so she continued to work for as long as she was physically able," her grandson Stephen Eldridge said.

Mrs. Steely's daughter Nancy Eldridge added: "She was strong, vibrant, feisty, warm, very compassionate, loyal, and hardworking."

A native of Connellsville, Pa., Mrs. Steely grew up in Willard. She graduated from Willard High School in 1928 and Prospect Heights Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1934.

Mrs. Steely, whose maiden name was Carney, married Henry Harrison Steely in 1941. He died in 1973.

In her free time, Mrs. Steely enjoyed knitting, crocheting, watching sports on television, playing table games, and solving crossword puzzles.

She was a member of Grace Methodist Church, Willard.

Her other memberships included the Order of the Eastern Star in Lakewood, Ohio, and a chapter of the American Red Cross in Sandusky.

Surviving are her daughters, Nancy Eldridge and Sue Jerdan; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Secor Funeral Home, Willard, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the Mercy Hospital of Willard Foundation, Willard Health Care Center Memorial Fund, or Grace Methodist Church.



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