Vivian M. Steinle Cates, a former resident and the mother of Fort Lewis College Vice President Emeritus Harlan Steinle, died from complications of a broken leg and emphysema in Mesa, Ariz., on Saturday, July 17, 2009. She was 84.
Mrs. Cates was born to John Henry and Philomena Eckert Casey at home in Barton County, Kan., on April 11, 1925. She was raised in Kansas.
She graduated from Bunker Hill High School in Bunker Hill, Kan., in 1943.
In 1945, she married Harold Steinle in San Antonio while he was in the Army. Mr. Steinle died in 1949 in a farming accident. In 1955, she married Perry W. Cates in Sterling.
Her true love was being a homemaker, her sons wrote, but she also worked at a variety of retail sales jobs throughout her life because she enjoyed helping people. The Cateses lived for a significant amount of time in Farmington, where Mrs. Cates was a familiar figure working for friends J.D. and Beckie Hicks behind the counter of the local A&W Drive-In.
After her husband's death in 2002 after 47 years of marriage, Mrs. Cates moved to a variety of assisted-living facilities, finally living in the Gilbert House in Mesa. Her family said she fiercely defended her right to "live alone" in her twilight years. When her sons would visit, other residents would tell them how kind she was to help even though she herself was severely limited in her physical capabilities.
Mrs. Cates is survived by her sons Harlan Steinle of Mesa, Ariz., and Randall Steinle of Lakin, Kan.; sisters Loretta Ross of Russell, Kan., and Mary Weeks of Alpharetta, Ga.; three grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
At her request, there will be no services. Cremation has occurred, and burial will take place at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.