A guy walks into a bar. His name is Brendan, he’s Irish Catholic and proud of it! He might have bought you a drink, commandeered a microphone as he stood up on a table and sang a little Jonny Horton for your entertainment. He had a spark in his eye when he flashed a grin at you and whether you knew it at the time or not, you were hooked...you had a friend for life.
You might have known him growing up in Germany while your families served in the Air Force together. Or maybe in Great Falls, during your teenage years, you spent time playing cribbage, eating ding dongs, or riding around in (most likely pushing) his precious ’72 VW Bug.
Perhaps you served our country or our Bozeman community with Brendan by sitting in commission meetings, fighting forest fires along side him, building structures, spending time inside a command vehicle with him or maybe you were the one who pinned a medal on him for his outstanding service.
There were many nights you could have spent with him on bowling and softball leagues. Or you could have taken it easy on a golf course enjoying a cigar and some quick banter. He could have taught you not to mess with the IT guy by giving you a pink phone, advising you ever so politely to reset your computer, or maybe he told you about PICNIC...the Problem in Chair, Not in Computer!
This guy, Brendan, may have teased you relentlessly, given you a nickname that you really didn’t want to be known for but secretly grew to appreciate the honor of being given it. You could have spent countless hours solving the world’s problems over a choice beverage or in heated discussions about how the Miami Dolphins were better than your Packers.
There were those who were always remembered on Mother’s Day and those who called him in the middle of the night in despair for his comfort. He never judged you but offered his help. If you needed something, you knew he had your back. He had colorful sayings, shared your like of Almond Joys, and told you how things were going to go when you were trying to treat him.
If you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Brendan, maybe you saw some guy wearing a Notre Dame cap and a Hamburger Helper t-shirt...that was Brendan. Maybe you were expecting a bill at the restaurant but were told that your meal was taken care of...that was Brendan. Someone in line ahead of you bought your groceries...Brendan. When the downtown explosion happened, some guy kept you back at a safe distance...that was Brendan. A stranger helped pick you up from a mud puddle when you fell...that was Brendan. You were given Christmas presents and meals when you didn’t think Santa existed...Brendan again. You had no problems being apart of a clinical trial for your cancer treatment...Brendan helped make that happen for you. Hopefully, one day in the future, you won’t need it, but if you find yourself being diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer...maybe, just maybe, there will be a cure set in place because over 8 1/2 years he made selfless donations to research including his final one of giving his brain so that one day, Glioblastoma Multiforme will have met its match...that will be Brendan! Everything he ever did, was never for him, it was about everyone else.
For this guy who walked into a bar, was Brendan “the Real Deal” Steele. He came into this world on his own terms on September 21,1972 and left on his own terms on September 14, 2018. He loved his life, he loved his friends, he loved his family. He loved most especially his pride, his ultimate joy, his cherished kids...Riley, Dani and Connor. He will be terribly missed by his wife, Kathy, his mom and dad, Colin and Connie Steele, his sister Colleen Okes and countless brothers and sisters in law, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
If you knew Brendan or not, he would want you to know this...whatever your fight is... FIGHT! When you get knocked down, GET UP! He will help you when he can, for he will always have your back...because that is Brendan.
A Rosary & Visitation will be held Wednesday at 5:00 pm at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center. A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday at 10:00 am at Holy Rosary Catholic Church with a Graveside Service & Reception to follow.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.