“No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love of a devoted mother for her child.” -Jeffery R. Holland
With tearful eyes and tender hearts, we say goodbye for a time to our loving and devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend, Charlene Johns Steele. Surrounded by her family, she quietly returned to the loving arms of her husband of 56 years (James Steele), and the warm embrace of her Heavenly Father on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Born June 19, 1938, in Lynwood, California to Gerald and Helen Johns, Charlene was the oldest of four children. At an early age, her love of the outdoors and adventuresome ability to climb fences, trees, and rolling hills better than any boy in the neighborhood, affectionately earned her the nickname of “Charlie”. As Charlene journeyed into her teens, her love of the outdoors and quest for adventure occasionally found her riding shotgun with her dad as he drove his 18-wheeler truck cross country making deliveries for his growing chemical business. Though Charlene spent her life suffering from severe scoliosis, her thirst for adventure and love of family shadowed her perpetual pain and propelled her throughout her life. This tenacity allowed her to enjoy the beauty of the world as she spent time with family cruising the California coast, running around the Redwoods, swooshing through the Rocky and Teton Mountains, boating the lakes of Utah, exploring the wonders of Paris, revering the beaches of Normandy, and at the young age of 83 hiking the arches of Moab, Utah. No matter the path, Charlene always found joy in the journey.
As a BYU Graduate in Fine Art Charlene was an accomplished artist and pianist. During her university days, she could often be found in BYU studios studying the brushstrokes of the masters or practicing the scores of classical composers. And yet, her most rewarding adventure and course of study as a BYU student was her courtship and marriage to James (Jim) Steele. On September 16, 1960, Charlene was sealed to the love of her life for time and all eternity in the Los Angles, California, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple.
Charlene’s biggest adventure and greatest joy was manifest in her daily devotion to nurturing her family and her faith. Whether supporting Jim in his dental practice; wiping away tears, runny noses, and scraped knees of six kids; shuttling children to sports events, music lessons, and church activities; or quietly sitting in her early morning hours studying the teachings of Jesus Christ; Charlene’s love and devotion to family and a Christ centered life never wavered.
It should come as no surprise that Charlene was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Never hesitating, she willingly served in various ward and stake capacities as a Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society instructor, Ward Organist, Primary Pianist and Chorister. Later in life, she was blessed to fulfill a lifelong dream of serving with Jim as a full-time senior missionary at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Visitor Center in Kirtland, Ohio. No matter the calling, Charlene always accepted; considering it an honor to share the talents the Lord blessed her with.
The legacy of love Charlene leaves behind enriches the lives of those who survive her: her children David & Marge Steele, Kevin & Jessica Steele, Brent & Angela Steele, Chris & Janene Jensen, Jim & Sarah Steele, John & Kelly Steele, 36 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and two sisters, Linda Ebbert (Steve) and Debbie Ranill (Lee).
Life will never be the same without Charlene. Her selfless love and devotion to her family will be sorely missed. However, we find comfort in the knowledge that families are forever, and that we will be together again, wrapped in the warmth of our mother’s loving arms.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 17, 2023 at 2 p.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road. Friends may visit family on Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the mortuary.
Interment, Lindquist’s Memorial Park at Layton, 1867 No. Fairfield Road.