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Harry Steel Jr. '53 November 12, 2021 2:40 PM updated: November 12, 2021 2:55 PM

Harry Van Steel, Jr.
September 3, 1932 - November 7, 2021

Harry Van Steel, Jr. was born in San Antonio, Texas, to Harry Van Steel and Dorothy Jeanette Leonard Steel. His only sibling was John Leonard Steel. Harry spent his early childhood in San Antonio. As his father prepared for the United States’ entry into World War II, his family accompanied him to Brownwood, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Massachusetts. He returned with his mother and brother to San Antonio when his father was deployed to Africa.

For most of his childhood, Harry attended Alamo Heights and Boerne public schools. He spent weekends and summers on his family ranch in Boerne and for two of his teenage years, his family resided there. He graduated from Alamo Heights High School in 1949.

In 1954, Harry married Louisa Cater. They have five sons and daughters: Rebecca Marx, Harry Van Steel III, Stephanie Ackerman '79, Richard Ernest Steel, Jeffrey Cater Steel; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

He graduated in 1953 from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and a major in Animal Husbandry. Upon graduation, the United States Army Reserve commissioned him as a Second Lieutenant, 90th Infantry Division. After returning from active duty in 1956, he was commissioned in the Texas Army National Guard. During his 26 years of service, Harry received numerous military awards, including the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal. He was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal upon his retirement as a Major General in 1981.

In 1955, Harry worked as a ranch manager in Altair, Texas. In 1956, he joined his family’s business, H. V. Steel and Sons, Inc., building small commercial buildings in San Antonio and nearby communities. In 1967, he entered the real estate brokerage business. From 1972 to 1985, he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of a mortgage banking firm, where he was responsible for the origination of farm and ranch loans and commercial property loans in Texas and New Mexico. From 1986 to 2017, he owned and operated a real estate brokerage firm specializing in the management, leasing, and sale of commercial properties.

He was a member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in San Antonio where he served as Vice Chairman and Chairman. He was a member of Victory Lodge, No. 1160, Ancient Free and Accepted Mason, in San Antonio for 68 years.

We will remember Harry for his personal integrity and honesty, his kind, gentlemanly manner, his scholarly pursuits and his fun-loving sense of humor. He loved his country and being a soldier. He loved Texas and all things Texan; if Texas were a museum, he would have been its curator. Most of all, he loved his wife, Louisa. They were the best of friends, and their marriage was strong throughout their 67 years together.

Harry will be interred in a private service at the Boerne City Cemetery followed by a memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Masonic Children and Family Services of Texas (1240 Keller Pkwy., Suite 200, Keller, TX 76248) or the charity of your choice. To leave condolences for the family, please visit Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.


© Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home

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