Marie Grace Steidle, 93

Dec. 8, 1923 - Jan. 15, 2017
Marie Grace Steidle, Dec. 8, 1923 - Jan. 15, 2017

Marie Grace Steidle of Springs, a homemaker and longtime volunteer for a number of worthy causes, died in her sleep at home on Jan. 15 at the age of 93.

Mrs. Steidle was described by her family as energetic and sociable. She dedicated herself to community service, volunteering with the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and the Southampton Hospital Thrift Shop, among others. A lifelong pursuit of learning led her to take classes in real estate, quilting, yoga, rug-braiding, oil painting, and cooking.

Her favorite place, according to relatives, was Maidstone Park beach in the quiet of early morning, and her fondest memories were of summers spent with her husband, Wallace E. Steidle, and children on a boat they kept at Captain’s Marina on East Lake Drive in Montauk, starting in the 1950s.

She was born at home on Dec. 8, 1923, in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, to Bernard Clancy, a Brooklyn borough administrator, and the former Mary Jane Whelan. She graduated from St. Brendan’s High School in 1941, where she was a top student and a member of a dance group that performed at Carnegie Hall. After graduating, she worked as an administrative assistant to the president of Armour Corporation, an aircraft parts manufacturer.

She met her future husband at a neighborhood party in Brooklyn. He left his job as a machinist working in his father’s company to enlist in the Navy early in World War II, and was assigned to a California-based flight crew for a Consolidated PBY Catalina, an amphibious aircraft. They were married in New York two years later and moved together to his base in California.

At the end of the war the Steidles headed first for Brooklyn, then built a house in Huntington. They moved from there to Springs to be closer to water, buying a parcel of land from George Sid Miller, the family said. Mr. Steidle died in 1997; they had been married for 53 years.

Mrs. Steidle is survived by two sons, Rear Adm. Craig Steidle of Kittery Point, Me., and Wallace C. Steidle of Water Mill, and a daughter, Jody Jane Heneveld of East Hampton. Two other children, Kim Bernard Steidle and Jill Marie Steidle, died before her. She leaves 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

A prayer service was held at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton on Sunday. She was cremated, and her ashes were buried the following day at Calverton National Cemetery, alongside her husband’s.