STATESVILLE, NC — Bessie Lee Horton Steele was born August 20, 1931 to the late Richard and Mary Etta Horton. Bessie passed in her sleep on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2020 in Statesville, NC. She fought a long battle with end-stage Parkinson’s. She was a prolific visual artist, homemaker and lifelong caregiver to her handicapped daughter and her husband, Russell Forrest Steele, who predeceased her.

She is survived by her brother, Joel Horton; her daughters, Rita Steele and Tina Steele Penn and her daughter-in-law, Maria Herlou Steele; her grandchildren, Mary Elizabeth (Steele) Yearwood, Charles Penn, Lauren Penn Nixon, Faith Penn Lackey, Ashley Bolton, Alyson Robertson and Harah Curamen and her great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Dean, Russell Nixon, Toby Nixon, Shenandoah Nixon, Clara Nixon, Taylor Wallace, Emmalyn Wallace, Jayce Robertson and Wyatt Robertson.

Bessie’s life was defined by her faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. She loved him and served him devotedly all her days. Surely this feisty warrior was met with “Well done, Thou good and faithful servant!” Shackelford Funeral Directors, Wayne County is assisting the family. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.

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