Mary Ann ‘Gillen’ Steele


Mary Ann ‘Gillen’ Steele
July 13, 1935 — May 24, 2024

Mary Ann “Gillen” Steele, 88, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of May 24. She was born July 13, 1935, in South Orange, New Jersey to Hugh and Katherine Gillen. After graduating from high school, Mary Ann attended Chestnut Hill College graduating with degrees in chemistry and education in 1957. Shortly after graduation, she worked for a chemical company on the East Coast as a chemist. She spent several summers in the late 50s and early 60s on pack trips accompanying Lozier family as part of their dude outfit which led her out here full-time. 

Soon after a short teaching spell in Steamboat Springs, Colo., she met local rancher Wayne “Bear” Steele at the local dance hall in Boulder. They were married in December 1968. She spent the next 45 years ranching alongside Bear, raising two sons and continuing her teaching career at both Pinedale Elementary and Pinedale High School.

Known to few, Mary played a significant role in protecting Sublette County residents while a part of the Wagon Wheel Information Committee in the early 70s, fighting against the U.S. AEC which resulted in the termination of atomic nuclear fracking set to take place within the county.

More than just being an advocate for our community, she was a remarkable teacher and local rancher. Mary Ann was also a novelist, amateur carpenter, and master gardener, but more importantly, Mary Ann was a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and dear friend. 

Mary Ann is survived by her sister Jane (George) Hymas, two sons Hugh and Morgan (Selena) Steele, and her only grandson Rusty (Colette) Steele. 

The Steele Family will hold a small intimate gathering surrounded by close family and friends in the upcoming summer months to celebrate her life.

obituary, Mary Ann ‘Gillen’ Steele, Sublette County