NORMAN — Kathryn Marie Copple Steely passed away peacefully Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, after an extended struggle with dementia. She was born June 7, 1929, to Oliver and Essie Copple in Tulsa, where she lived until she graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1947.
Services, under the direction of John M. Ireland Funeral Home and Chapel in Moore, will be 1 p.m. Thursday at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Blvd. in Norman.
Her love of piano took her to the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in Music (piano) in 1951. While at OU, she was active in Delta Gamma sorority, was homecoming queen and Big Woman on Campus. She met the love of her life, Joe C. Steely, at OU. They married in 1950 and lived in Norman and Oklahoma City for a few years while finishing school. After transferring to Amarillo, Texas, in 1954, she began teaching private piano lessons in the home, a career that lasted more than 30 years. They returned to Norman in 1967, where she continued her teaching. She went back to OU in 1968 and obtained a teaching certificate.
She remained active as a Delta Gamma alumnae and advisor and was instrumental in the renovation of the chapter house. She was a member of the Ladies Music Club in Oklahoma City, performing periodically for that group. She was one of the founders and board member of the Greater Oklahoma (GO) Hunter Jumper Association, established in the mid-70s, and was active in organizing and running the annual “GO” Shows. She enjoyed her friends and activities at McFarlinMemorial United Methodist Church and was a member of the fellowship class and the United Methodist Women. She played piano regularly for her class as well as accompanied children’s choirs on occasion.
She was ever the optimist, living life to its fullest and gained true happiness by ensuring all those around her were smiling.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe C. Steely.
She is survived by three children, David Steely and wife Patti of Katy, Texas, Ann McGehee and husband Kevin of Norman and Kathy Steely of Talala; four grandchildren, Adrian Steely and Graham Steely of Houston, Kristin Doll and husband Tim of St. Louis and Grady Herlacher of Norman; one great grandchild, Gabriella Grace Doll of St. Louis; and three step-grandchildren, Madylan Eskridge and husband Will of Houston and Madison McGehee and Kendon McGehee of Norman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013