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Nurse was a loving mother, caring friend

| Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005

Velma Elizabeth Steidle spent her life caring and doing for others as a nurse, a friend and a mother.

"My mother jokingly said she had her own version of Meals on Wheels," said Rebecca Steidle, recalling how her mother would drive around visiting friends who were confined to their homes and nursing facilities. "She never missed a birthday, and she would type notes to people just so they knew she was thinking of them."

Mrs. Steidle died Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004, at her home at Cumberland Crossings, West View, after a long illness. She was 82.

Mrs. Steidle was a registered nurse for more than 40 years. Most of her career was spent as a pediatric nurse at what then was known as Divine Providence Hospital on the North Side.

"Her kind is hard to come by anymore," said Sister Rosalia Caufield of the Sisters of Divine Providence, the order that founded the hospital in 1953. "I think she spent her life taking care of other people and caring for their needs."

Sister Rosalia said she remembered being a student nurse and Mrs. Steidle teaching her to make formula for infants in the hospital nursery.

"She just knew the measurements and had it down pat," Sister Rosalia said.

After her retirement, Mrs. Steidle volunteered her nursing skills caring for the sisters at the Divine Providence motherhouse in McCandless.

"She seemed to enjoy it, and the sisters loved her, too," Sister Rosalia said. "She had a really full life because she spent it for others."

Mrs. Steidle and William Steidle Sr., her husband of 57 years, loved to travel and made many cross-country trips in their recreational vehicle.

"They were our traveling buddies," said Margie Rinaman, of West View.

Mrs. Steidle was the cousin of Rinaman's late husband, Charles, and the two couples often spent weeks together sightseeing across the country.

"We saw as many things as possible," Rinaman said. "She was gung-ho for everything. She would sense what I needed and it would be there in a flick of a moment."

Putting others' needs before her own was Mrs. Steidle's way, son John Steidle said.

"I learned to help others and be compassionate because of her," he said.

Mrs. Steidle is survived by her husband, William A. Steidle Sr.; four children, William Steidle Jr., of West View; Rebecca Steidle of McCandless; John Steidle and his wife, Georgia, of West View; Cynthia Snyder and her husband, James, of Saegertown and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday at Schellhass Funeral Home, 388 Center Ave., West View. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Anthanasius Church, West View.

The family suggests donations to the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

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