Lewis McKinnie Steele Jr. ’61

Age 84, Lewis McKinnie Steele, Jr., died peacefully at home on March 21, 2024 surrounded by his loving wife and soul mate of 59 years, Ann Labounsky Steele, his eldest daughter Elizabeth Ann Steele Connolly (Michael) and his youngest daughter Claire Steele LeBeau (Herb).  Lewis always said that he was born “lucky” in 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee and is preceded in death by his father Lewis McKinnie Steele, Sr., and his mother Annie Macdonald Steele, his younger brother, Donald Macdonald Steele, and his beloved son, Alexander Lewis Steele.  Cherished Pop Pop to four grandsons, Patrick, Jack, and Ian Connolly and Logan LeBeau, and uncle to Davidson Steele, Lewis was also a loving fortress of strength for his extended family of cousins as the eldest of his generation.  With his eldest daughter, he was a devoted business partner in their accounting firm who provided trusted guidance and counsel for his legion of clients and friends.  In his beloved First Lutheran Church community, Lewis was a lector, choir director, and confirmation class teacher.  For many years with Ann, he taught a Hymnody class at Duquesne University.  As the Valedictorian of his High School and a History and Philosophy Major at Davidson College, he drew deeply from the classics to form and shape his advocacy and advice for all who needed to weight and trust the wisdom of his direction. 

Lewis was best known for his bass baritone voice which was the first siren song of love for Ann and the unmatched invitation to joy through his booming and explosive laughter for everyone and anyone in earshot.  He held a passion for maps and music (especially symphony and opera), with an encyclopedic knowledge of the first lines of songs from his era.  His natural philia was for all things Latin and when he could get it, Greek.  He was strident in his views and forthcoming with his opinions, as he often half-jokingly declared, “I once thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.”  As a friend, he offered outrage for our misfortunes, understanding and solidarity for our struggles, and wisdom for our transcendence.  Lewis will long be remembered and greatly missed as a veracious champion of social and ethical consciousness and a true optimist for our human potential and possibilities.

Memorials and tributes can be made here: https:/www.kunsakfh.com
Donations in Lewis’ name can be made to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, https:/pittsburghsymphony.org/, and to the Pittsburgh Opera,

Visitation will be Tuesday, March 26th 12:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Thomas P. Kunsak Funeral Home, Inc., 3552 California Avenue at Davis Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA   15212.

The Funeral Service will be held in person (and on livestream) Wednesday, March 27th at 10:30 am EST at First Lutheran Church, 615 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 https:/flcpittsburgh.org/   EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH.