Cynthia "Cindy" Steele
March 26, 1955 - January 27, 2023
Obituary For Cynthia "Cindy" Steele
Cynthia (“Cindy”) Steele, 67, passed away peacefully from cancer at St. Anne Hospital in Burien, Wash. on Friday, January 27, encircled by friends and family. She left a legacy of friendship. As one friend noted, “Cindy had that magical touch without realizing it, which made her endearing and unforgettable to those who knew her.”
Cindy was born March 26, 1955 in Chicago, Ill., the second child and only daughter of Raymond A. and Grace L. (nee Moyer) Steele. She lived on Chicago’s northwest side until age 4, when the Steele family relocated to the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, Ill., where she began her elementary school education.
Four years later, at age 8, she moved with her family to the suburb of Medinah. While residing there, she graduated from Medinah North Elementary and Junior High School in 1969. During her years at Lake Park High School in neighboring Roselle, she earned a place on the varsity cheerleading squad, was among the girls on Homecoming Court, served as Prom Queen and was a high-performing student academically.
Following her 1973 commencement, Cindy earned a bachelor of arts degree from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo. Mich., from which she graduated in 1977. Her degree was in political science, which remained an interest the rest of her life. Her first job after college was with the re-election committee of Illinois Senator Charles Percy in Chicago. In 1978, she relocated to Seattle to take a position with R.D. Percy & Company, a firm then being launched by the senator’s son.
In subsequent years she would enjoy lengthy job tenures with the Seattle Trade Center, the Pacific Northwest Apparel Association and with her last employer, The Northwest Association of Independent Schools, for which she served as registrar.
However, her career did not come before family commitments. When her father faced a life-threatening medical crisis in the late 1990s, Cindy flew round-trip between Seattle and Chicago every weekend for months to be at his side.
Cindy was particularly passionate about travel. One of her first travel experiences involved living and studying in Germany in her junior year of college. Later, she journeyed through the Pacific Northwest on camping and hiking trips, visited state and national parks, sojourned in Hawaii, savored cruise vacations to destinations from Alaska to Mexico and relished drives between Seattle and her parents’ Chicago-area home. Her favorite recurring getaway was to a vacation home she rented for several recent years on the Olympic Peninsula, to which she often retreated to revel in nature.
A near-lifelong professional hockey fan, Cindy was among the earliest and most fervent Seattle Kraken fanatics, acquiring Kraken merchandise to keep and to present as gifts to others. She was an avid reader of fiction and nonfiction, and a skilled calligrapher, writer and creator of hand-crafted cards and stationery. However, her greatest talent may have rested in her remarkable ability to make friends wherever she went.
Throughout her life, she forged friendships with everyone from childhood neighbors to college roommates to co-workers and ultimately, fellow residents, their families and staff at the Des Moines, Wash. adult family home where she rehabilitated for much of the final 11 months of her life. People who met her often became fiercely loyal friends who were anything but hesitant about proclaiming their love for her. A great many of them traveled from near and far to spend time at her bedside in her final days.
Cindy is survived by an older brother and several cousins. A memorial service is slated for what would have been her 68th birthday on March 26 at Judson Park, 23600 Marine View Drive in Des Moines, Wash.