WILMINGTON - Dorothy Ann Bell Steelman, 85, died Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at Mariner Health of Wilmington. She had been a longtime resident of Oakdale Heights of Wilmington.

She was born July 6, 1923, in Gastonia, N.C., the daughter of Dennis Fleet Bell and Mary Emma Loftin Bell. The first member of her family to graduate from college, she worked at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis to help pay her way through Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), where she graduated in 1945.

Mrs. Steelman worked for a number of years as a social worker with the Red Cross in North Wilkesboro, Greensboro and Raleigh. Later, she taught kindergarten at Franklin Academy in Louisburg, N.C.

She wed Hoke Hayes Steelman on Dec. 24, 1949, and their marriage lasted until his death on Nov. 16, 1983.

A longtime Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Steelman was a loyal member of Louisburg United Methodist Church.

Surviving are one son, Bennett Loften Steelman of Wilmington, and two sisters, Eloise Dellinger of Gastonia and Frances Rebecca Chewning of Kannapolis. A memorial service is planned for 1 p,m,, Monday, February 2, 2009 at First United Methodist Church in Gastonia. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Belmont, N.C. Online condolences may be sent to In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Louisburg United Methodist Church. Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

Paid Obituary