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.

Paul Douglas “Doug” Heidt ’64

Paul Douglas (Doug) Heidt, 82, died Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at Angels Touch Care Home in St. Albans, West Virginia.

Doug was born in Gadsden, Alabama, on February 1, 1942, to Dorothy Morrison Heidt and Edward Heidt, Jr. Growing up in Clearwater, Florida, Doug was active in his church, school, and community activities. He graduated from Clearwater High School, where he was Drum Major for the school band. During that time, he was also elected Governor of the Florida Key Club. He graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, where he was in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and the president and tenor soloist for the Davidson Male Chorus. He went on to graduate from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where he received his Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Ministry. During that time, he also spent a year at the Ecole de Theologie in Montpellier, France.

In 1969, he married Sharon McGloshen, whom he met at seminary, when she was a student at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. That year, he embarked on a long and enriching ministry, beginning at both the First Presbyterian Church and the Pee Dee Presbyterian Church in Mount Giliad, North Carolina. Next, he was the Associate Minister at the First Presbyterian Church in Roanoke Virginia. He then served the Grace Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. His final move was to the First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, West Virginia, as Associate Pastor in Care and Outreach. During his 23 years in that position, he mentored seminary interns from Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, was on the board that developed Edgewood Summit Retirement Community, designed and facilitated the church’s Rebuilding Group, a support program for people experiencing divorce, started the Stephen Ministry, a lay ministry for congregational care, created And Death Shall be no More, a comprehensive guide to end of life planning, and he published “The Love That Will Not Let You Go,” a book describing Christianity as simply Love — the all-encompassing, unending, universal, relentless Love of God — put into practice.

Doug loved fishing as much as he could, rocking on his front porch with a gin and tonic, reading, writing, teaching, and cooking (perfecting and handing down to his grandchildren the art of assessing pasta readiness by throwing it against the wall). After his retirement, to everyone’s delight, he often credited many of his best meals to his favorite cookbook, “The Busy Woman’s Cookbook.” He especially loved spending time with his family, swimming in the backyard pool he always wanted, which mostly was arguably too warm, but perfect for his taste.

Doug is survived by his wife, Sharon; his daughter, Kathryn Ellis (Reuben); son, Daniel (Diane); grandchildren, Felicia, Emma, Jayden, Cooper, and Dehlia; brother, Alan (Alice), and brother, Sid (Melinda), along with a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins whom he loved fiercely.

A Celebration of his Life will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2024, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, Charleston, West Virginia. Continuing in his selfless character, Doug has been taken to the WVU Donor program in Morgantown, West Virginia, to assist in the education of our future’s medical professionals.

Visitation will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the sanctuary at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made, as per Doug’s instructions (unsurprisingly), in the form of taking a child fishing. Donations may also be made to The FPC Hope Center, a nonprofit whose mission is to assist young adults in successfully transitioning out of foster care.

William Tyree “Ty” Finch ’61

William Tyree (“Ty”) Finch died peacefully on February 20th at the age of 84. He was the son of the late Lucy Bedinger Finch and William Carrington Finch.

Ty had the big heart and cowboy spirit of a Texan, but was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. When he was a toddler, his parents relocated to Georgetown, Texas, and he spent many happy years in this small town, often playing on the campus of Southwestern, the university where his father served as president. Ty attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where he played as a lineman on the football team, and he went on to receive his medical degree from Tulane University. He then enlisted in the Navy, and during that time, he served for a year as a young physician in Vietnam during the war. Following his naval service, he completed his residencies in both general surgery and cardiac surgery at Vanderbilt University, and married his first wife Lois McAndrews in 1973. Together they traveled to Paris, where Ty completed a fellowship training year with a top kidney transplant specialist and learned to speak French with a slight Texas drawl. Returning to the states, he and Lois moved to Springfield, Illinois and started a family. All four of Ty’s children were born in Springfield, where Ty worked as a transplant surgeon and taught in the school of medicine at Southern Illinois University.

In 1984, Ty and his family moved back to Nashville to be closer to family. He went into practice as a vascular-thoracic surgeon at Baptist Hospital, eventually opening a practice with Dr. Pat Meacham and serving as Chief of Surgery. In his years as a surgeon, Ty worked tirelessly to build genuine connections with his patients. He believed in making sure they knew his care for them extended well beyond the operating room. The homemade gifts from his patients that adorned his office were a testament to their deep appreciation for his dedicated care.

Ty retired from medicine in 1998, but that really was just the start of his second career. As a devout lover of all things football, Ty dreamed of becoming a football coach. To pursue this goal, he went back to school to obtain his teaching certificate from Tennessee State University, and he began teaching at Hillsboro High School. He taught high school biology and served on the coaching staff for Hillsboro’s football team. The team went on to win the Tennessee State Championship in 2003, and Ty wore that championship ring with great pride. More importantly, he formed friendships with the Hillsboro coaches and players that would last a lifetime.

Ty always appreciated the beauty and wonder of the natural world. His children and grandchildren were extraordinarily lucky to be included on his amazing adventures, which included hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, summiting Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, and Kings Peak, hiking through the Scottish Highlands, and white water rafting down the Salmon and Snake rivers. Ty even hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro at age 65!

In his retirement, Ty discovered a passion for painting. He was a long-time student and friend of the artist Charles Brindley, and he met his second wife Anita Woodcock Schmid in an adult art class at USN. Anita shared Ty’s interest in art, his passion for travel, his deep love for nature, and a genuine warmth of spirit that makes others feel immediately at ease. Ty and Anita married in 2014 and spent a remarkable decade together traveling, including trips to Italy, France, The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier and Badlands National Parks. Their days were filled with painting, birdwatching, gardening, sporting events, walking at Radnor Lake, and spending time with family and friends.

Ty is survived by his wife Anita Schmid, his brother Richard Finch and wife Janie, and his children and stepchildren, Julia Finch McCaffrey (A.J.), Susan Elizabeth Finch (Nathan Keith), Carolyn Finch Loveless (James), Adam Tyree Finch (Sandie), Katie Schmid (Brian Crow), and Mary Schmid. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gavin Keith, Callum McCaffrey, Dominic McCaffrey, Desmond Cox, Charlie Loveless, Lois Loveless, Julia Finch, Madeline Crow, Simone Crow, and Mina Keith. His grandchildren knew him as their beloved “Tex.”

Ty was a friend to every person he ever met. When you spoke with him, he had an amazing way of making you feel noticed and valued for your unique gifts. Ty invited others into his life with warm greetings, memorable nicknames, and powerful hugs. He was an exceptional father, a loving husband, and outstanding friend. He will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved him.

Services will be held on March 2nd at 2 pm at West End United Methodist Church (2200 West End Avenue) with visitation beginning at noon. Ty can be honored with donations to West End United Methodist Church for Creation Care or Friends of Radnor Lake.

John Howard Roe, Jr. ’69

John Howard Roe, Jr., aged 77, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on February 6, 2024, after a brief but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. John was born on December 29, 1946, in Springfield, Tennessee, to John Howard Roe, Sr. and Lillian C. Roe. John grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, graduating from Clarksville High School before attending Davidson College for his undergraduate studies. He attended Vanderbilt Law School, graduating first in his class as Founder’s Medalist in 1972.

John began his legal career in Atlanta, Georgia, and then moved to Nashville in 1974 to be closer to his hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee. In 1981, he and his colleague and friend Tom Sherrard opened the law offices of O’Hare, Sherrard & Roe, now Sherrard, Roe, Voight & Harbison, an esteemed law firm of more than 40 attorneys today. Known for his strong work ethic, his razor-sharp memory, and his expert legal acumen, John was dedicated to providing his clients not only the best legal advice, but to offering his clients a holistic approach to their business needs and goals. Over his 50-year legal career, John developed an expertise in real estate and tax law, co-authoring the Tennessee Condominium Act of 2008, but more importantly, he developed lifelong relationships and friendships with his clients and colleagues that he valued deeply.

John was committed to the organizations in which he was involved, the people for whom he cared, and the communities in which he lived. As an elementary school student, he became involved with the Boy Scouts of America, rising to the rank of Eagle Scout. He spent his summers at Camp Boxwell, where he developed lifelong friends with whom he continued to gather year after year. He remained involved in the Nashville chapter of the Boy Scouts until his passing, and is to be honored for his lifelong service to the Boy Scouts in April, 2024. In partnership with one of his best friends from high school, Jerry Clark, John purchased the abandoned 100-year-old building in which his high school was housed, and restored it into an apartment building, saving the historic structure from demolition. He also helped found the Wade Bourne Nature Center at Rotary Park in Clarksville. He was a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, serving as Board Chair in 2005.

Learning to sail as a Boy Scout, John sailed during his free time throughout his life and kept his own sailboat on Percy Priest Lake until his passing. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed backpacking, canoeing, and fishing trips with his family. A life-long student of history and an adventurer, he enjoyed traveling to places all over the world. But perhaps his favorite pastime was spending time at Moosehead, his home in Monteagle, where he enjoyed hiking, swimming, and sitting on the deck with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and friends.

John will be remembered for many wonderful qualities, but his family and friends will remember him best as someone who was intensely loyal, devoted, and generous to those he loved. John’s friends were friends for life, and he would do anything for someone he considered a close friend. He valued his family dearly, cherishing his relationships with his immediate and extended family members. He was beloved by his children, his stepchildren, his nieces and nephews, grandchildren, sister, and his wife Jane, all of whom gathered by his side in his final days to support him in his transition.

John is survived by his wife of 20 years, Jane Buchi Roe, his children Lillian (Nate) Gilmer, John (Alicia) Roe, and Alan (Tatiana) Roe; his grandchildren Emi, Lila, and Hannah Gilmer, Tasman and Amelia Brinton-Roe, and Matthew and Naomi Roe; and his sister, Lynne Wilson. He is preceded in death by his wife of 34 years, Emily Hunt Roe, his father, John Howard Roe, Sr., and his mother, Lillian C. Roe. Through his marriage to Jane, he was blessed with three additional children, Marla (Topper) Doehring, Hunter (Katty) Connelly, Will (Lauren) Connelly, and eight additional grandchildren, who survive him as well.

Services will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday, February 10. Visitation will be held at 2:30 p.m. with a Celebration of Life Service to be held at 4:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society, or Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.