Shirley Steele Paddock

Shirley Steele Paddock, a courageously independent woman with a lively wit, determination, competitive spirit, and boundless love for family, died peacefully at her Pensacola home on May 8, 2014. Her beloved husband, Rear Adm. U.S. Navy (retired) Richard A. Paddock, preceded her in death in 1997, a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary.

She lived always with her own special verve and vitality. She was born in Auburn, NY, to Chester William and Norma Burtless Steele (later Heckman) on May 30, 1927 – Memorial Day. She graduated as valedictorian of Auburn’s East High School in 1945. She attended Cornell and Barnard before graduating with a BA in English from George Washington University four children later.

She leaves to cherish her memory her children: daughter, Carolyn Knefely (Dr. George M.) of Pensacola, FL; son, Dr. Bradley Paddock (Amy Hall and Christina and Aaron Hall) of Gloversville, NY; daughter, Susan Stumpf (Capt. Robert, U.S. Navy (Retired)) of Pensacola, FL; and son, David Paddock (Susan) of Virginia Beach, VA.

Tutu will be so missed by her grandchildren: Mac Knefely, Alison Knefely Sides, Brandon Paddock, Mindy Paddock, Natalie Stumpf Solotoff, Carolyn Stumpf Wedel, Kimberly Stumpf Monteleone, Carolyn Paddock Huang, Christopher Paddock; and five great-grandchildren.

Donations in our mother’s memory may be made to The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra at 205 E. Zaragoza St., Pensacola, FL 32502; Cornell Lab of Ornithology at 159 Sapsucker Woods, Ithaca, NY 14850 (; or a charity of your choice.

Although our dad died 17 years ago, we can still hear his voice reciting his version of the 23rd Psalm: “Shirley, goodness, and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life …” And she did – always and forever.