Glen Dale “Fats” Steele

Glen Dale “Fats” Steele, 87, was born May 18, 1930 in Akron, to Theron Doyle Steele and Emma Matilda (Zimmer) Steele. Glen, a life-long Akron resident, passed away Thursday, August 3, 2017 at Bay Medical Center, Bay City, surrounded by his children. Glen’s older siblings tell he was a “roly poly” baby and was quickly dubbed “Fats”. Most people never knew him by any other name.
Glen graduated from Akron High School in 1948. He had God-given athletic talent, especially baseball. A gifted “lefty” pitcher, Glen was scouted twice by the Detroit Tigers while still in high school. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 assigned to Company E, 31st Infantry Regiment, promoted to Corporal in 1952, served in the Korean Conflict and received the Bronze Service Star, Korean Service Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon. Returning to Akron, Glen reignited his passion for baseball and joined the Bay City Baseball Federation League as a standout southpaw pitcher. Glen golfed and was an Akron Country Lanes bowler on the 1983 team that won the Michigan State Bowling Association Championship, Handicap Division.
Glen was a content, humble man with a joke for all. He followed his father’s footsteps to devote his life to the Akron community as a volunteer fireman, the Village Constable, a member of the Fairgrove VFW Post and the Caro American Legion. As the Village of Akron’s Public Works Director for over 40 years, Glen oversaw all infrastructures, installed Christmas décor and meticulously groomed the Akron Park’s baseball diamonds. He also worked the family’s farm and family owned Laree Grain Elevator Co. with his father, Theron, and brother, Charles “Chiz”. However, Glen was best known throughout the Akron-Fairgrove School District as one of the most beloved school bus drivers. From 1955 to his retirement in 2001, Glen daily drove hundreds of children and athletes to and from schools and competitions throughout the state. After his retirement, students who rode his routes went out of their way to fondly say, “Hi, Fats! Remember me?” In recent years, he daily joined his favorite coffee hour gang at the Iron Horse Saloon, reminiscing and discussing current events. Glen had a committed faith, was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Fairgrove and spent many years serving the congregation in any capacity he was needed.
Glen is survived by his four children and their spouses, Peggy Ann (Ralph) Brandle of Oscoda, Glen Dale (Janelle) Steele II of Frankenmuth, David Theron (Suzanne) Steele of Baroda and Rachel Lynn (David) Ruppal of Fairgrove; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; his sisters, Elizabeth Dewald, Emma Jean Roller, Joyce McCann and JoAnn Van Avery; many nieces, nephews, extended family and his long-time companion, Maxine Dennis. He was predeceased by his parents, Theron and Emma, his brother, Charles “Chiz” Theron Steele and his son, Michael James Steele.
A celebration of Glen’s life for his family will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, Fairgrove, officiated by Pastor Josh Haller on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 11 a.m. For everyone wishing to attend, a Military Honor Guard and Veteran’s Memorial service will be held for Glen at the Akron Veteran’s Memorial Park in Akron at noon and the family will receive relatives and friends from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Akron Community Building Fire Hall as “Fats” had requested as his way of saying “Thanks!” to family, friends and the community he so dearly loved. Memorial contributions in Glen’s name may be made to The Grace Lutheran Church Building Fund, 1809 S. Main St., Fairgrove, MI 48733. To sign online guestbook, visit

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