Barbara “Barby” Jean Steelman

July 8, 1947 – October 20, 2020Steelman, Barby

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’.


  1. Love and 🙏 prayers for Barby’s family. May God bless them with peace knowing she is pain- free and whole in God’s arms. 💖

    Bron & Chris Coussens

    • Miss my momma so much. I’m thankful she gave me my first breath , and that I was with her for her last breath.

      • While I know all of her loving Siblings and Mother are feeling pain, we know your’s is much different and impacting!! Love you from Uncle Greg and Aunt Celery!!

  2. Barby was a fabulous woman, a loving wife and mother. She left a great legacy in her family.

  3. Barby was my dear sister but also my best friend. She was always there for me when I needed love and support. I have so many special memories and I will miss her so much.

  4. Greg Schrempp

    Can’t say enough about this beautiful soul! She is a SUPER HERO for her life and battle with cancer! She was the epitome of the perfect Sister, Friend, Aunt, Mother, Daughter, Grandmother, Teacher, Godmother to my Daughter, and so much more! Our #2 will be #1 in our heart!! We already miss her so much, but she is always in our heart and memories!!

    I could go on and on with sooo many GREAT MEMORIES!!

    Love you #2, Sis, Barb, Friend!!

  5. Ann Gasper
    In reply to Greg Schrempp.
    Yes Greg! Barby, the number 2 sibling in our family of six siblings will now be #1 in our hearts.

  6. My heart is breaking over the loss of my big sister and friend, but at peace with knowing that she is no longer in pain. She has been the rock of our family, and we will miss her dearly. She was always there to take care of us in tough times, and to celebrate with us in good times. In the abbreviated lingo of the six siblings, she is “#2” in the order of her birth, but will always be #1 in our hearts.

  7. To Jimmy and his family,

    Our condolences and you are in our thoughts and prayers today and through the grieving process. What a beautiful write up. Her service as a teacher is greatly respected and appreciated. From a teaching family to yours……she was impressive!

    Kim and Bryan

  8. So sorry for your loss, she was always so kind and compassionate, our early years from Medical school, to Holdenville, starting our families together brings back wonderful memories, my thoughts and prayers to you Luck and Maggie and your families🙏

    • Yes, and thanks Carol. Those were good times. I wonder if Gus and Barby are partners in a heavenly game of bridge.

  9. Our daughter Megan was blessed to have Mrs. Steelman for 3 preschool and 4 preschool. Mrs Steelman then decided to move to kindergarten so Megan was blessed again. We were thrilled! Barby was loved and respected and will be missed.
    Condolences to her family.
    xx Tim and Laurel

  10. Barby was absolutely precious and she loved and cherished her family. She lit up when she talked about her grandkids. Its an enormous loss for this amazing family. Many hugs and continued prayers to you all.

  11. Barby taught my son, David, in preschool at Rosary Catholic School. We worked together there for many years and had lists of funny stories that we all shared. She was such a sweet soul who always wanted to help.
    May the angels lead her into Paradise. I will miss you, Barby!

  12. Whatever Barby did, she did well. And somehow it seemed effortless even though you knew that this could not be so.

    I often thought that the phrase “unassuming grace“ had been coined especially for her. We were blessed to have her among us.

      • I am sending a huge virtual hug and hope you feel it surrounding you with love and hopefully bringing you some comfort,Maggie. I wish I could be there with you, but I will be there in spirit and hopefully on the streaming event. Love you. P. S. Please share the hug with Luke and Mike.

    • Thanks, Sis. I love you. I know I’ll be calling on you for some nurturing in the coming weeks. Wish you could have been here. Hope it came through on the webcast.

  13. Barby taught three of our five children and we were so very blessed to have her in our lives along with Maggie, Luke and Mike. While Maggie was at Rosary I was fortunate to coach her in a few things. Luke even helped me out one year. When Maggie went over to Trinity I was so very happy that she got to continue playing with us in basketball for one more year. Barby left a wonderful legacy in her children. I was so very very fortunate to have her in my life while I was raising all of our children . She and I shared some good stories about all of our children. Thank you Mike, Maggie and Luke for sharing “Mrs. Steelman” with the Rosary/St. Francis community for so many years. God truly blessed us. May the Lord wrap his loving arms around each of you and may the Angels lead her Safely Home.

  14. My condolences to all of Barby’s friends and family who are feeling her loss so deeply. She was such a kind and loving person. Even when, as a teen, I showed up at family gatherings in full goth mode, she welcomed me with warmth, acceptance and compassion. She was just that sort of person with a heart big enough to let everybody in. I’m deeply saddened that the world has lost her. She will be missed.

  15. Barby brought so many blessings into this world in so many ways. I am so sorry for your loss. May love and good memories surround you all in the coming days.

  16. So many wonderful childhood memories. All of the Schrempp kids were like Steffen siblings. We were all so close. Barby you shall truly be missed. So many times I wished we could go back to those innocent days. You lead a wonderful life and had a beautiful family. God bless and keep you. Much love to the whole Schrempp Clan, especially for Eloise,Mike and kids my heart aches for you. Barby was a wonder person and will always be remembered.

  17. My prayers for this whole family as I know Barbie was an amazing woman and I loved her and the whole family so much.

  18. Our prayers and condolences be with you all at Barbara’s passing. May her memory be a blessing to you all. I will remember my times with you cousin.

  19. Barbara and I shared times with our children at Heritage Hall and she was exceptionally kind and helpful. She was a great asset to the parent community and made her mark on our group. May your family’s precious memories console you and prayers for each of you.

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