SEARSMONT – Joe Ervin Steele, 86, died peacefully June 17, 2012, at home. Joe was born June 27, 1925, in Rochester, Texas, son of the late Malone and Theckla (Poff) Steele.
He graduated from Rochester High School in 1943 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Joe proudly served his country for more than 32 years aboard several of the Navy’s most sophisticated aircraft carriers. He spent time stationed at Quonset Point, R.I., and retired from Naval Base San Diego in 1975. Joe enjoyed time woodworking, fishing and reading. He was a master gardener and member of Church of Christ, and for many years he served the people of Searsmont on the planning board. He volunteered for many years at Merryspring Nature Park, where he would meet his future wife.
Predeceasing Joe were his parents; and sister, Lavoris. Surviving is his wife of nearly 20 years, Geraldine (Enman) Steele of Searsmont; daughter, Bev Stedford and husband, Deny, of Waldo; three grandchildren, Joel Stedford, Leslie Nolan and Toby Stedford; four great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, several nieces, nephews and cousins, his three cats, and pet chicken.
A graveside service for Joe will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta. For those that desire, memorials in Joe’s name may be made to Waldo County Home Health and Hospice, who made his last days more comfortable. Care for Joe and his family has been entrusted to Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. Online Condolences may be offered to the family at