Harvey was born on Jan. 11, 1941 in Cabarrus County to Lawrence Thomas Steelman and Lucille Reavis Steelman. He graduated from Landis High School Class of 1959 and N.C. State College of Textiles in 1963. Harvey’s career in textiles included work with Cannon Mills and Westpoint Pepperell until his retirement.
Harvey married the love of his life, his high school sweetheart Martha Goodnight Steelman. Harvey and Martha had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Harvey loved nature and children. His love of the North Carolina mountains led him to purchase a home in Avery County in retirement. He enjoyed sitting on the back porch looking at the wild flowers on the hill behind the house, loved watching his grandchildren playing in the creek in the front yard, and loved trips with his cousin and his cousin’s wife to the Bluff’s lodge. A recent trip to New Mexico and Arizona to visit his sister-in-law and brother-in-law was a beloved topic of conversation. He was fascinated by seeing the Grand Canyon, Rio Grande, and learning about the Pueblo way of life.
He helped many children with leaf collections, rock collections, learning the constellations, and so much more. He could name almost every flower, tree, bush, or shrub he came across. He was awesome with giving directions and the lay of the land. He always had a quarter in his pocket to give the little ones. He adored being with his grandchildren and spoiled them endlessly. He graciously watched countless impromptu plays, musicals and dances. He dressed up as the prince for Mary’s princess fourth birthday party.
Harvey was preceded in death by his parents Lawrence and Lucille Steelman, his baby brother Roger Wayne Steelman, his brother Earl and wife Mildred Steelman and their child Timmy, and his son-in-law Christopher Armstrong.
He is survived by his wife Martha Goodnight Steelman, sister LuAnn Steelman Campbell, daughter Elizabeth Suzanne Armstrong, and daughter Sonja Steelman-Szymeczek and husband John Szymeczek. He adored and was adored by his three granddaughters: Elizabeth Suzanne, Sarah Grace, and Mary Catherine Szymeczek, and a large extended family.
The family wishes to thank the Wilkes County Rescue Squad personnel, Moravian Falls first responders, Moravian Falls firemen, Trooper R.R. Walker of the NCSHP, and the Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital (Winston-Salem) ER, Surgery teams, Trauma ICVU and trauma floor for their prompt, attentive, and supportive care. The family would also like to thank Riverview Animal Hospital for caring for our family dog Poodle Oodle who was fatally injured in the wreck.
A celebration of Harvey’s life will be held in The Amity House at Lady’s Funeral Home, 268 N. Cannon Boulevard, Kannapolis on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 from 2-3:30 p.m. Please come as you are. Harvey’s wish was for us to all celebrate his life with joy, laughter, and friends.
The family requests memorials in Harvey’s memory to be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Remembrances for the family may be left at www.ladysfuneralhome.com.
Lady’s Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family of Mr. Steelman.