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Benefit set for Sunday for children  of C’ville woman who died in crash

Updated: October 22, 2012 6:13AM

Friends and family are hosting a fundraiser Sunday afternoon to provide financial support for the college educations of the two children of a Carpentersville woman who died in an August traffic accident.

The Steele Family Benefit is set for noon until 6 p.m. in the courtyard at Bandito Barney’s, 10 N. River St., East Dundee.

Kathleen Steele, 51, died the morning of Aug. 25 when the SUV she was driving crashed into a wall on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, then rolled over and ejected her, according to authorities. The crash occurred on eastbound I-90 at Roselle Road near Schaumburg. Witnesses told state police that for some unknown reason, the Isuzu SUV swerved, hit a wall and then rolled over. The accident remains under investigation.

Steele is survived by her husband, Mike; son Brandon, who is a sophomore at Illinois State University; daughter Erin, who is a junior at Jacobs High School in Algonquin; and siblings Ron, Paul, Dave, Jan and Nan Theobold (Jaconetty).

Mike Steele, who works at Taylor Rental in Streamwood, said his wife had been working as a server at the Onion Pub & Brewery in Lake Barrington and at Niko’s Lodge in Algonquin. She had been working in the mortgage business for six years but lost that job because of the recession.

“She went back to the tried and true and being a server,” Mike Steele said. “No grass ever grew under her feet. There was never a day that went by when she wasn’t working, trying to make things better for her family.”

Steele said family was very important to his wife, be it her immediate kin or extended clan.

“She put a lot of effort into organizing many family functions,” Steele said.

Steele noted that his wife touched a lot of lives — so many that about 700 people attended the funeral Mass at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, and 300 attended a gathering afterward at a friend’s home in Sleepy Hollow.

“We wanted it to be a celebration of her life, and we gave out DVDs (about Kathy) and had a dove release,” Steele said. “A lot of people walked away saying that’s the way they would like to be remembered.”

The event Sunday is being put together by a consortium of friends, Steele said, including Pete Frasier, Jim Harrison and Patrick Gleason.

“Support has been overwhelming. It renews your faith in mankind. I’ve been quite blown away,” Steele said.

Admission to the benefit is $25 for adults 21 and over, $10 for young people 13 to 20, and free for those 12 and under. That fee includes select draft beer, soft drinks, house wine and the pig roast. Bandito Barney’s phone number is 847-426-7300.

Contributions can be made to the Steele Children Education Fund at any BMO/Harris Bank branch, and there is one at 6900 Huntley Road, Carpentersville.

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