On July 22, 2014 Phyllis Steele passed away peacefully with her daughter at her bedside. She passed after a long decline from the effects of aging and disease.
Phyllis was born and raised in Ft. Wayne, Ind. as an only child. Early in life she developed an interest and aptitude for painting. This lead to an undergraduate degree in art, at the University of Illinois. There she met her first husband, Montgomerie Steele, a math professor and aeronautical engineer. They moved to Arizona for his work in aerospace engineering. Two children were born, Chris and Elizabeth. In 1971, Phyllis completed her master's degree in fine art. She pursued art in a variety of mediums throughout her life.
In the mid 1980s, she met and married the love of her life, Daniel Nagrin. Daniel was an internationally known dancer and professor of dance at Arizona State University. They lived a beautiful life in Tempe, Ariz., until his passing.
Phyllis enjoyed visiting her daughter in Jacksonville, Ore. in the summer to escape the Arizona heat. The past two years in Oregon were difficult due to her declining health. However, she was blessed by many wonderful health care professionals, particularly, Drs. Allison Savage and Albert Newton. Both tailored her care to meet her needs, physical and spiritual, with flexibility and compassion. Ashland Hospice, Dr. Davis Wilkens, and her personal hospice nurse, Brenda. Brenda lived her job with empathy and professionalism. Hospice nursing is her true calling, and she is unattached. Finally, her private caregivers, Michelle E., Angie D., Annemaire R., Sabina C., Aimee N., and Heidi B. These women sacrificed family and sleep to care for an ailing woman in need, always with a smile. A special word of thanks to her lead caregiver, Michelle Hein. Michelle put her heart and soul into caring for Phyllis for two years, always with compassion, empathy, honesty, and loyalty. Phyllis rightly called her "my angel". She is forever indebted to you Michelle.
Phyllis is survived by her two children, son, Chris of London, New York, and Houston; and daughter, Elizabeth Steele, MD of Medford; as well as many grandchildren; and dear friends, Connie, Max, Mark, Tiki, Kim, and especially Barbi who wrote her at LEAST one letter a week and visited numerous times. Their friendship was an inspiration to all. As you had hoped, Mom, we will remember you with kindness.
Arrangements by Memory Gardens Mortuary, 541-770-7338