James Walter "Tuffy" Steele age 60, was born in Davenport, Iowa on February 13, 1944. He died on August 3, 2004 from cancer at Long Beach Veteran's Hospital.
He leaves behind three siblings: Sandra Bejare, Iowa, Karen Mueller, Redding, Calif. Brother Scott Steele, Calif. Godson Devin Shanks, Aptos, Calif. And close friends too numerous to list.
After moving to California with his family he attended Nicolas Junior High in Fullerton, 1956 - 1957, where he became student body president. He attended Fullerton Union High School in his freshman year. His sophomore year was the founding year of Sunny Hills High School. He was in its first graduating class (1962).
He was well known for his sports ability: football, basketball and track. Tuffy was a charter member and officer of the Judges Car Club, which was started in 1961.
After high school Tuffy served in the Vietnam War aboard the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga.
He then entered into a professional sales career, at one point owning his own company. He loved the ocean and was a longtime resident of Newport Beach. An avid sports fan with a special love for golf followed him every day of his life. His love for his friends and family knew no bounds.
On August 8 nearly 100 friends (some since junior high school) and family gathered at the garden home of John and Martha Stumetz, La Habra, for a memorial service celebrating Tuffy's life and their lives with him. His ashes will be spread at sea.
Published in Orange County Register on Aug. 28, 2004.