WOA Mourns the Passing of Dr. Howard H. Steel

WOA Mourns the Passing of Dr. Howard H. Steel

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our friend, mentor and benefactor, Howard H. Steel. Howard passed away on September 5th in Kalispell, Montana, where he suffered a cardiac event in the hospital while recovering from a stroke. He was vital and engaged up to the end of his remarkable 97 years.

The Howard Steel Foundation was established in 1981 by a group of his grateful adult patients who had undergone his unique “hemipelvectomy” procedure for chondrosarcoma and limb preservation. In 1990, the foundation began funding individual orthopaedic organizations for a lectureship. The only qualification was the acceptance of a $100,000 grant directed to the enhancement of educational efforts on a topic outside the realm of orthopaedics and medicine.

The WOA was awarded the Howard H. Steel Foundation Lectureship Grant in 1999, and it immediately became an integral part of the annual program. In 2001, the financial viability of the WOA was challenged and the Organization was compelled to borrow from the corpus of the foundation grant to pay its bills. The Organization regained its footing, repaid the loan, and re-achieved organizational and financial viability.

Without Dr. Steel’s benevolence, it is possible that the WOA would have ceased to exist. In honor of his contribution and in celebration of his 90th birthday in 2011, Howard Steel was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the WOA. This is a singular distinction and included the presentation of the WOA Presidential Medallion, an award he proudly displayed in his Villanova home.

We have lost an exceptional individual, a hero to many, and a true “man of steel.” His memory will be sustained through the Howard Steel Foundation Lectureship, which will always serve as a perspective on his unique life. A celebration of his life is planned for November at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia (a date is yet to be determined).

For additional insight on Dr. Steel’s legacy, please view the Howard Steel Legacy Documentary at https://vimeo.com/42668758. Additional information may be found online, including the 2013 AOA tribute to his 50-year membership. Memorial contributions can be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children: 3551 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, Attn: Development Office, and also to www.steelassembly.org.

Please take a moment in tribute to Dr. Steel.

Howard, it has been an honor and a privilege to know you. The experience has certainly influenced and enhanced our lives.

Theodore L. Stringer, MD


DISCLAIMER: Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the officers or the members of WOA unless such opinion or endorsement is specifically stated. Materials may be reproduced only if Touches and the Western Orthopaedic Association are credited.


Share this post:

Comments on "WOA Mourns the Passing of Dr. Howard H. Steel"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment