William Robert Steele, 80, died peacefully on Sunday, January 6 in
Raleigh, the place he called home since 1968. Bill also spent much
time at his mountain home in Laurel Bloomery, TN, where he enjoyed
exploring the many nature trails on ATVs while his beloved wife Nina
Beth rode nearby on horseback.
He was raised on a farm near Humboldt, TN, the son of Elbert E. and
Esther Stinson Steele. Bill was the youngest of a loving family of
eight siblings, Harry, Katherine, Vernon, Paul, Martha, Ed and Anita.
He grew up loving tractors, cars and all things mechanical and could
fix anything that was broken. He graduated from the University of
Tennessee with an electrical engineering degree in June 1968 and went
on to a life-long career with IBM. He was leader of the team that
developed the revolutionary supermarket and retail laser barcode
scanner technology and was approached to join Microsoft as a partner
when they were a startup of thirteen people. After an early
retirement, he traveled the world with his wife Nina Beth to
destinations like China, Africa, South America, Antarctica, Europe and
all over the US and Canada. He is survived by his wife Nina Beth, son
Robert and partner Debbie, daughter Ann Marie, grandson Sean, step-son
Bill and wife Marie and step-daughter Beth.