Columbus Steele, 85, passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on November 4, 2023, 4 days after celebrating 55 years of marriage to his wife and best friend Sherry. This beloved man, affectionally known as “Bud”, was born on December 18, 1937, in Poplar Bluff MO. His childhood as one of ten children was spent in Lepanto, AR picking cotton, hunting, fishing, and doing all things to survive as a child born into a life of cotton share cropping.
Times were hard, and when his father passed in his tenth year, Bud went from boy to man in a single day. As the oldest boy still living at home, his schooling ended in the 4th grade, and he became the man of the house. He often told the story of the first cotton crop he sold in 1947 and upon returning home to give the money to his mother, he was $20 short. This puzzled him all his life as to where that $20 was lost. We now know he is happy to have that mystery solved in heaven.
In early adulthood, despite his lack of traditional schooling, Bud was naturally good with numbers which led to his lifelong profession in woodworking. Bud worked for Central Manufacturing for 33 years, where he was the superintendent foreman. He was loved for his affable nature and because he never said no when asked to help a little until payday. Bud understood that kindness was worth the risk of a few dollars lost.
He fathered 8 children, one of which was a daughter named Kimberly who died many years ago on his birthday. Though he wasn’t one to show it, those close to him knew that each birthday brought on a sense of melancholy in him. Now joyfully reunited with her in heaven, the bindings of sadness and time have been broken.
Bud had one adopted son and though not of his blood, Bryant was nurtured and loved as one of his own, because he was.
Bud shared an incredibly close bond with one of his granddaughters, Jada, whom he helped raise during his retirement years. Jada has always possessed a joyful spirit, and her company allowed him to live the last two decades of his life like he was a kid again. Best buddies, she served as his muse and he her most loyal friend until his last day.
Bud loved the Razorbacks, rooting for them in all their games and cussing the officials when a call didn’t go their way.
Bud loved to play jokes on those he loved. Truth be told, his teasing made others feel included and special, that they mattered to him, and he loved them.
Columbus “Bud” Steele was preceded in death by Macy Columbus (father), Maggie Jane (mother), Kimberly (daughter), Michael (son), Lenora, Dorothy, Fairy Jean, Wilma, Betty Sue, and Lela (sisters), Davis and William (brothers).
Columbus “Bud” Steele is survived by his wife Sherry. He is also survived by his brother Walter; sons Perry, Jason, Bryant, Shannon; daughters Beth, Romona; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 6:00pm-8:00pm in the chapel at A Natural State Funeral Service in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at www.anaturalstatefuneralservice.com