Gonzaga Hall of Famer George Steeves Dies

April 23, 2003

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University Athletic Hall of Famer George Steeves passed away April 11 at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco, Wash.

Born February 13, 1919, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, he came to Gonzaga at the age of 19 and played for the Bulldogs' 1939 and 1940 hockey teams. After joining the U.S. Army as a Canadian citizen in 1942 and serving during World War II, he returned to Gonzaga and earned a degree in chemical engineering in 1947.

Steeves and goaltender Frank McCool were the first hockey players inducted into the Gonzaga Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

At Gonzaga he became good friends with Raymond VanderZanden and it was while visiting Raymond at his family's home in Roy, Oregon, that George met and began dating Raymond's little sister, Agnes Francis VanderZanden. They continued their courtship when George left Gonzaga in 1942 to enlist in the United States Army as a Canadian citizen. George was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program and went to Atlanta, Geo., to study Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech. During his tenure in Atlanta, he asked Agnes to become his wife and they were married in Atlanta on July 3, 1943.

He completed his electrical engineering degree in 1944 and later that year was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. He was a soldier in the 692nd Field Artillery Battalion and served in the European theater in World War II from 1944 to 1946.

Following graduation from Gonzaga he began his professional career with Phillips Petroleum in Spokane, later transferred with Phillips Petroleum to Bountiful, Utah, and in 1957 to Pasco where he remained until his retirement in 1985.

He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Pasco since 1957.

Rosary was recited April 14 at Mueller's Greenlee Funeral Home in Pasco, and funeral Mass was held April 15 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Pasco and was presided by Monsignor Pedro Ramirez. Internment was at Pasco City View Cemetery.

The family requested contributions be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Parish or School in memory of George J. Steeves or a charity of choice.

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