July 31, 1927 – May 13, 2018
Steele Coddington, 90, author of Sonoran News’ “Spoof Space” passed away peacefully on May 13 surrounded by loved ones in Las Vegas.
Readers will recall that Steele and his faithful border collie, Arbuckle, always had fun sharing their take on people, places and politics – and much more. “I can’t speak for anyone else, or my wife, or my dog, Arbuckle. They are smarter than I am because they take advantage of alternative reliable sources of national news,” Steele wrote eight years ago. While readers appreciated Arbuckle as a creative character from Steele’s imagination, it may be interesting to know that the canine was an actual cherished family pet. Steele brought him to life for everyone to know and enjoy.
Steele was an educated man and a proud conservative, and it showed in his Spoof Space column – whether he was quoting the oracle of Delphia, Pythia, or President Ronald Reagan. His reading of history convinced him that most bad government results from too much government. And every single one of Steele’s articles shared at least one new word, phrase, or perspective to test the reader’s intellect. “A specialty of today’s Spoof Space is in the intellectual pursuit of the truth by uncovering the phony use of words and phrases which are regularly employed by radicals, political imposters and government manipulated press and TV to brainwash a gullible U.S. – the subversive weapon used as obfuscation of information through distortion, deception, and prevarication.” (May 26, 2010)
Spoof Space was only one of Steele’s many forays into self-expression. As a corporate executive in Seattle who commuted across Puget Sound every day, he penned a regular column called “The Commute” for the Entai, the Washington State Ferry system newspaper. He spent a lot time interviewing commuters and focused on the positive, funny things he learned. “The way a question is asked and who it’s asked of can make all the difference in the world. For example, I interviewed a young freshly married couple who obviously enjoyed each other more than the ferry ride. After several inquiries in reference to their commuting, I continued my line of questioning by asking what they enjoyed doing the most. The question was met with an embarrassed silence after which they looked at each other and broke into a loud laugh. Needless to say I rephrased the question, but discovered they had a terrific sense of humor and we’ve become friends.”
Steele’s writing impacted a lot of people, but putting pen to paper was only one of his many accomplishments. Syracuse University graduate in journalism; Navy veteran of WW II and Army veteran of the Korean War; mountain climber; horseman; sailor; golfer; mayor; councilman; model; realtor; political junkie; writer; humorist; Sheriff’s Auxiliary member; VA hospital volunteer; dedicated Christian; church board member and teacher; and dreamer.
After retiring, Steele and his beloved wife of 67 years, travelled the world on cruises, golfed across the U.S., and visited family and friends far and wide.
He loved his morning mocha at Starbucks as he caught up on the day’s happenings with family. And he always had a hug or fist bump for friends, and sometimes strangers who seemed like they needed it.
Steele leaves behind his wife and four children, seven grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren – all of whom deeply respected and treasured him as a husband, father, grandfather and friend. When they all came together to celebrate Steele’s 90th birthday last year, he reveled in the admiration and loving attention of the family that he had nurtured. “My beautiful family, how precious you are to me.”
Farewell to the man of Steele, who entertained us with his words and humor, educated us with his intelligent thinking and viewpoints, and graced us with his love and kindness. Arbuckle awaits your next chapter together in heaven!