Barbara “Barby” Jean Steelman
Barbara Jean “Barby” Steelman passed away Oct. 20, 2020, peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loved ones after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Barby was born July 8, 1947, in Norman, OK. She graduated from Bishop McGuinness, earned a B.S. degree in Education at OSU, and obtained a Master of Early Childhood and Family Development at UCO. Barby was an early childhood teacher for 30 years, most of them dedicated to Rosary Catholic School where she retired in 2011. She compassionately delivered “Mobile Meals” to metro seniors once a month for 10 years.
Barby is preceded in death by her father, Fred Schrempp and sister-in-law, Shannon Schrempp. She is survived by her husband, Michael Steelman, M.D.; son, Luke Steelman and wife Ami with their sons Jacob and Ethan; daughter, Maggie Steelman-Youtsey and husband Michael with their daughters, Bailey and Rayann; mother, Eloise Schrempp; siblings Ann Gasper (and husband, Bob), Peggy Coe, Tom Schrempp (and wife, Rose), Jim Schrempp, and Greg Schrempp (and wife, Shelly).
Barby showed her creative talent in numerous ways. She was quite proficient at needlepoint and macrame and one of her framed needlepoints has been prominently displayed in her house for years.
One of her favorite parts of teaching was creating unique and fun lesson plans for her students. Her ‘Wedding of Q and U’, an annual performance project in which children acted out the parts of a wedding uniting the letters Q and U to always appear together, was highly regarded and once the subject of a segment on a local newscast.
She also developed a program called “Easter People” which featured the kindergarten class in a major role during the first Mass after Easter…as they stood and talked about the traits and activities of people who were following in the footsteps of Christ by praying, loving, forgiving, sharing and helping. The program was a huge success and continued for years after her retirement.
Barby was also a compassionate and charitable soul. She served for 10 years with the St. Francis Mobile Meals program, delivering food to those in need. For several years, she sponsored a child in Latin America through the Unbound program and sent messages regularly to the young girl, especially around Christmas and Easter.
Barby was quite intelligent and an avid reader. Her tastes were eclectic, running the gamut from Ayn Rand to Michener to Janet Evanovitch and many in between. In 2011 she started the St. Francis book club and ‘enrolled’ a group of close friends. This club was the source of much joy for her.
One memorable family vacation that provided stories for years to come was taken in Durango, Colorado. On a white water rafting adventure, Barby ended up leaving the raft in the middle of the river. Fortunately, the guide and her husband were close and quick enough to grab her immediately and pull her back aboard. On the same trip, after a horseback trail ride, she discovered her daughter, Maggie, had a hard time staying in the saddle because she thought the saddle horn was part of the horse and was afraid holding on to it would anger the animal.
The family expresses deep gratitude to Doctors Michael Keefer and Greg Krempl for their dedication and professional care. Also, we extend our profound thanks to Mercy Hospice and the Palliative Care Team at Stephenson Care Center, especially Samantha Langley for her expert and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Barby Steelman to the Palliative Care Department at the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Foundation, PO Box 258856, Oklahoma City, OK, 73125-9935, or online at:
A celebration of life is scheduled for family and closest friends at 3:00pm on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond.
We will be live streaming this service in an effort to accommodate those people that wish to attend but feel they should not due to health regulations. To watch the service CLICK HERE to go to our YouTube page. Click on ‘Videos’, then ‘Live Streams’.