LACONIA — Rachel Elsa (Mills) Steele, 93, of 21 Ledges Drive, passed away at the Taylor Home in Laconia, on August 31,2013.
She was born at home in Fitchburg, MA, the second of four children (3 brothers one who died at 3 days of age) to Gilbert F. Mills Sr., and Elsa (Hertel) Mills.
Rachel was an excellent student throughout grammar and high school graduating from Fitchburg High School. As a young girl, she always helped out with the family's chickens, gardens, and cooking. She was also an avid Girl Scout.
She went to work at the age of eighteen at Doehla Greeting Card Company in Fitchburg, MA. There she met her husband Bill who was in the accounting department. "Rache" and Bill were married on June 3 1944, moving in with her parents due to the WWII housing shortage.
In 1954, the family now numbering six moved to Lunenburg, MA, into a rambling old colonial where the children were raised.
Rachel's methods of relaxation included knitting, cross stitch, Bargello, reading, Crossword Puzzles, and playing Scrabble, Bridge, Cribbage, and Bingo.
The entire family skied together each weekend for many years. In the summer, there was a boat which was towed all over New England and New York exploring its many lakes and rivers. Thus began a lifelong love with the Granite State.
Once her youngest son was in high school, Rachel went to work as a teacher's aide in the Lunenburg middle school.
Over the years, her children grew up and found their life partners. Rachel readily welcomed three new daughters and another son into her family. Soon, grandchildren arrived expanding the family another eight members. Rachel and Bill were always available to babysit.
In 1963, Mom and Dad bought land in Meredith and erected a shell. With family members as their labor pool, a wonderful second home was finished for all to enjoy. Finally, a permanent retirement home was created in the mid 80's when they moved to the area full time. Rachel loved this house, boating on the big lake, and the community beach. She considered this to be her piece of heaven.
She was the most wonderful wife and mother, devoted to her family, a loyal friend to many, kind, strong and silent always helping those in need in her quiet and unassuming way. She taught her children the importance of family, how to be a good friend, and innumerable life skills. Throughout her life she supported her beloved Bill and her children in numerous ways from home improvement projects, business ventures, and helping each time a new grandchild arrived. She was incredibly proud of all of the generations of her family and looked forward to their visits, pictures, travels, and learning about their successes.
Rachel was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, and her husband William G. Steele Sr. She is survived by her daughter Cheryl S. Cesati and her husband Richard of Sanbomton; her three sons, William G. Steele Jr., and his wife Sheila of Amherst, NH Robert B. Steele and his wife Roslyn of Danville, CA, Jeffrey G. Steele and his wife Suzanne of Deerfield, NH; her grandchildren who she held dear, Richard R. Cesati III and his wife Laurie, Julie Cesati and her husband Derek Davis and daughter Giavanna Davis, Andrew Cesati and his wife Allison, Kelly Reis and her husband Nicholas and daughter Lila, Meredith Bannon and her husband Chad, Mathew Steele and his wife Tifanie, and sons Cayden and Beckett, Courtney Steele, and Amanda Steele.
Private services and burial will be held at the convenience of the family.
Donations can be made to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, PO Box 766, Center Harbor, NH 03226.
Arrangements are under the care of Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Meredith and Plymouth.
To sign Rachel's Book of Memories, please go to www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com