LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Violet Steele Hebert passed away Feb. 9, 2019, at the age of 96 surrounded by three generations of her family.
She was born Violet May Rothery on March 6, 1922, to Wilbur H. and Sarah Louise (Hutchings) Rothery in Auburn, N.Y. She was the fifth of seven siblings, Wilbur C. (Mary), Elizabeth (Havens), Louisa (Harold Hoagland), Frances (Allen Post), Carolyn (Resnick), and Richard. She delighted in telling stories of her childhood on Hoffman Street and the gatherings of her family.
In 1943 she married Raymond Ten Eyck Steele in a beautiful, but quickly planned wedding as Ray had received his orders to report for service during World War II. The service took them to Mississippi and then to Pomona, Calif. via route 66, a trip that was a highlight of her life. After the war they returned to Auburn and began a family with the birth of their first child, Carolyn, and then Larry. Soon after they moved to Utica, N.Y. with General Electric where Corinne was born and Vi became very active in the school activities of the children, social gatherings of a young group of neighbors, and community events. Those were fun filled years and friends made then became life-long, dear ones. In 1960, Vi and Ray returned to Auburn. They built a new home, enjoyed the lake, and were happy being back around family. Sadly, tragedy struck in 1964 when she lost Ray after a short illness and two years later, she lost her only son, Lawrence Ten Eyck Steele. Those were hard years, but through her strong will, strength, courage, and the support of family and friends, she was able to find joy in life again. She began working at the National Bank of Auburn, where she managed the Student Loan and MasterCard department. Students loved her for her caring help in securing their loans and her genuine interest in their plans for the future. In 1971, she married Francis S. Hebert. She and Frank traveled and enjoyed their time together until she was widowed again in 1983. After retirement she relocated to Las Cruces, N.M. to be closer to her daughter Corinne and her grandchildren, Cara and Bryan. She delighted in being a grandmother and spent as much time as possible with them and they loved their Nona. She was happiest around children and young adults and many remember Aunt Vi/Nona as a favorite confidant and as a loved one who was always willing to play.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, son, siblings, and sister-in-law, Beverly S. Hassler.
She is survived by her daughters, Carolyn A. Steele (Nicholas Hejaily), of East Amherst, N.Y., and Corinne E. Steele (Alan Jurus), of Las Cruces, N.M.; her granddaughter, Cara Lynn Jurus (Angelina Barraza) and children; her grandson, Bryan Lawrence Jurus, of Winston-Salem, N.C.; her brother-in-law, George Hassler, of Leesburg, Va.; her best friend, Kathaleen Coon and family; and many beloved nieces, nephews and their children.
A celebration of life will be held in Auburn, N.Y. in the summer.
Contributions in Violet’s name may be made to the Mesilla Valley Hospice or your local Hospice.
Her favorite place was in a car going anywhere and now that road goes on forever “Go with love Dear One.”