Robert Hall ‘Hall’ Steele

Published 4:00 pm Monday, December 26, 2016

Robert Hall “Hall” Steele, 88, of Salisbury died Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 at the Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House.

   He was born Nov. 28, 1928 in Salisbury to the late Margaret Hall Steele and Robert Lee Steele. He was a graduate of Mt. Ulla High School Class of 1945 and attended Mars Hill College, where he was co-captain of the basketball team. He served in the U.S. Army from 1946-48 as a military policeman at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at Sandia Base, Albuquerque, N.M. He graduated from Clemson University in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and was a member of Alpha Zeta honorary fraternity. He spent more than 50 years in public service to Rowan County, while owning Steele Feed & Seed in Mt. Ulla and managing it for 40 years. He served 12 years on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, four as chair. He grew up working in the family business, a general store in Mt. Ulla that his father purchased in early 1929. In addition to groceries, hardware and clothing, the store served as the post office with a barber chair in the back for shaves and haircuts. He returned to the store after college, and in 1953, facing competition from major grocery stores, he changed the focus of the business to farming. He expanded to Davie County in the 1980s and owned Steele Feed and Seed in Mocksville. During the 1970s, Steele Feed & Seed serviced more than 200 dairy farms in a six-county area. After retirement, he and his wife, Ronney, who worked in the store with him, spent part of their time at their second home in Sparta and traveled widely.

He was also preceded in death by 2 sisters, Mary Ida Steele Mathis of Granite Quarry on Nov. 1, 2010 and Irene Steele Weaver on April 1, 2014.

Survivors: his wife, the former Roselind Holloman of Ahoskie, whom he married Dec. 27, 1952; 2 sons, Robert Vann Steele of Mocksville and John Ridley Steele of Bear Poplar; a daughter, Mary Margaret Steele of Wake Forest; a sister, Frances Steele Ballard of Mt. Ulla; 2 grandchildren, Elizabeth Steele Patterson (Jared) and Margaret Steele (Brandon Davis); 5 great-grandchildren, Melanie Steele, Emily Patterson, Benjamin Patterson, Lily Hope Patterson and Samuel Patterson.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28 at Thyatira Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Stacey Steck officiating. A reception will follow in the parlor.

Memorials: Thyatira Presbyterian, 220 White Road, Salisbury, 28147; or to the donor’s choice.