Robert Sanger Steel

Robert Sanger Steel, 58, passed away December 13, 2019 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut after a long illness. Born September 25, 1961, in Schenectady, New York, he was the son of Sanger B. Steel and Madeleine R. Steel. After graduation from Scotia-Glenville High School he attended Parsons School of Design and worked several years in New York City as an artist, photographer and bartender. Returning to his studies, he earned the Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia’s School of General Studies and the Master of Arts in Social Studies Teaching from Columbia Teachers College. His mentor at Columbia was historian Kenneth T. Jackson, who recruited him as a project editor for The Encyclopedia of New York City, to which he contributed 25 articles. From 1994 to 2015 Bob taught social studies at Rye High School in Westchester County, where he began a writing mentor program and was department chair of social studies for several years. He took a special interest in veterans’ affairs, inviting World War II and Vietnam veterans to speak to his classes. In 2015, he was awarded the Americanism Award by the Rye American Legion Post 128. He served on the board of the Rye Historical Society, where he helped to create several exhibits. 

He was a loving father, devoted husband and caring family member; a skilled and intuitive musician;  an inspiring teacher; an avid cyclist; and a loyal friend with a warm and generous heart and an infectious sense of humor. In 1992, he married food editor and writer Tanya Wenman Steel.  
He is survived by his wife Tanya, two sons, William and Sanger Steel, all of North Salem, New York, two brothers, Warren Steel (Anne) of Oxford, Mississippi and Bill Steel (Donna) of San  Diego, California, and nephew Nathan. Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 20 at 11 am at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church; 351 Main Street, Ridgefield, interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration: 2700 Horizon Drive, Suite 120, King of Prussia, PA 19406theaftd.org