Skip to content

EWTN Mourns Passing of Deacon Bill Steltemeier

February 15, 2013 - 6:58 PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY

IRONDALE, AL (February 15, 2013) - Deacon Bill Steltemeier, 83, who was known to millions of television viewers around the world as the longtime associate of EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica, died peacefully early this morning, Feb. 15, at his home in Hanceville, Alabama following a lengthy illness.

"Other than Mother Angelica herself, there is no one who has been more closely associated with the mission of EWTN throughout its history than Deacon Bill Steltemeier," said EWTN President & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. "In all respects, he was a man of incredible faithfulness. As a husband, a father, an attorney and in his vocation as a permanent deacon, Bill always remained focused on serving God and serving others. He devoted himself totally to Mother Angelica's mission and sacrificed all he had to help her build EWTN into the tremendous vehicle for evangelization that it has become. I was privileged to know and work alongside Bill for twenty-five years and to succeed him as president and chief executive of the Network he loved so much. While we mourn his passing, we take comfort from his own example of faith and are confident he has heard those words from the Gospel of Matthew, 'Well done good and faithful servant...enter into the joy of your master.'"

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., the longest-serving member of EWTN's Board of Governors, knew Deacon Bill well. "Mother Angelica's vision and dedication inspired the founding of Eternal Word Television Network, but the man who more than anyone turned her vision into practical reality was Deacon Bill Steltemeier. As Mother's coworker, right hand and friend for many years, Bill lived out a tremendous commitment to bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world through the modern media. He was an extraordinary man, and millions of EWTN viewers will remember him with gratitude and respect. May God console his family and grant him eternal light and joy."

Born in 1929 in Nashville, Tenn., to the late Rudolph William Steltemeier, Sr., and Mary Ione (Phippen) Steltemeier, R. William Steltemeier, Jr., attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, Mo., and Vanderbilt University. He married Ramona Schnupp on Aug. 22, 1953. A year later, after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, Bill entered the United States Army and served for two years in France. In 1960, he co-founded the Nashville law firm of Steltemeier & Westbrook specializing in bankruptcy and commercial law. After fifty years, the firm is still serving clients in middle-Tennessee with expanded areas of practice.

Both as a lawyer and as a committed Catholic, Bill served his community in many ways. For more than three decades, he was engaged in assisting prisoners in both their civil and spiritual rehabilitation. He co-founded a prison Junior Chamber of Commerce program, and served on the boards of the 7-Step Foundation, Operation Comeback, and the Dismas House, organizations dedicated to helping former prisoners transform their lives. In 1975, he was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the state's review board for prison reform.

Of greatest significance, however, was his ordination on April 26, 1975, as a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Nashville by Bishop Joseph A. Durick. Deacon Bill was among the first men in the United States to be ordained to the permanent diaconate. Following his ordination, he was appointed Catholic Chaplain to the Tennessee State Prison for Men.

On March 9, 1978, while attending a legal convention in Chicago, Deacon Bill first encountered Mother Mary Angelica. While Mother Angelica was speaking, Deacon Bill heard an interior voice say to him, "Until the day you die." He knew from that moment that his life would be devoted to serving Mother Angelica.

When EWTN was formed in 1980, Deacon Bill became the Network's first President and a founding board member. In 1985, he resigned from his law firm to dedicate himself full-time to Mother Angelica and EWTN. For 22 years, Bill would commute each week from his home in Nashville to the Network's headquarters in Irondale.

Upon Mother Angelica's retirement from active leadership of EWTN in March of 2000, Deacon Bill took over the offices of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Though he retired from the role of chief executive in 2009, he continued to serve as Chairman of the Network's Board of Governors until his death.

In May 2008, the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, was conferred upon Deacon Bill by Ave Maria University in recognition of his accomplishments and service to the Catholic Church.
In October 2009, Deacon Bill was awarded the Pontifical Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of his lifetime of extraordinary service to the Church.
Deacon Bill Steltemeier is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ramona, who lives in Hanceville, Alabama, where they moved in 2002, and his brother Fred Steltemeier of Nashville, several nieces and their families. He was preceded in death by his son, Rudy Steltemeier, III and daughter-in-law, Debra Steltemeier.

Vespers and the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be prayed on Monday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. CT at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala. followed by public visitation. A Prayer Vigil and Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. CT. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. CT Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala. Burial will take place at 2:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Calvary Cemetery in Nashville.

Please see EWTN's website (www.ewtn.com) for information about Masses and programs celebrating Deacon Bill's life. Services may be watched or listened to live on EWTN television by cable or satellite (www.ewtn.com/channelfinder), streaming audio or video on the Internet (http://origin.ewtn.com/audiovideo/index.asp), EWTN mobile (http://www.ewtn.com/mobi/), on the EWTN Radio Network via affiliates (http://www.ewtn.com/radio/amfm.htm), shortwave (http://www.ewtn.com/radio/freq.htm), or on satellite radio (http://www.sirius.com/ewtn).

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 32th year, is available in over 225 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

Contact

EWTN Global Catholic Network
http://www.ewtn.com
AL, 35210 US
Michelle Johnson - Director of Communications, 205-795-5769

Keywords

EWTN, Catholic, Deacon Bill, Deacon Bill Steltemeier

Category

Catholic Organizations

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 7,183

When Pope Francis Arrives in North America, There is Only One Network to Watch: EWTN Global Catholic
EWTN Global Catholic Network
September 16, 2015 - 5:17 PDT

GHIRELLI'S WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES ROSARIES NOW AVAILABLE
The Word Out | Marketing For Catholics
September 11, 2015 - 11:44 PDT

The Synod on the Family: Addressing the Instrumentum Laboris
Franciscan University of Steubenville
September 11, 2015 - 10:26 PDT

OCP Artist, Pedro Rubalcava, Writes Song for Pope Francis' Visit
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
September 10, 2015 - 2:50 PDT

Pre-Synod Conference unites Cardinals and men and women living with homosexual tendencies
September 09, 2015 - 2:58 PDT

The Rigging of a Vatican Synod
September 02, 2015 - 3:44 PDT

17 Cardinals and Counting
August 31, 2015 - 3:38 PDT

19th Annual Carnival Announced for St. Ann's Parish
August 28, 2015 - 9:20 PDT

The John Paul II International Film Festival Marks Its Five-Year Anniversary
August 27, 2015 - 6:09 PDT

OCP Pledges to Support the V Encuentro
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
August 27, 2015 - 2:51 PDT

Thu, Sept 24, 2015- Mass & Healing Service with Fr. Angelos Sebastian Our Lady of Grace Catholic Chu
August 26, 2015 - 4:03 PDT

Grief, Death, Eternal Life Explored in New Catholic Title by PBM
Pauline Books & Media
August 25, 2015 - 3:55 PDT

How do we live the truth in love when the culture says we're haters?
August 25, 2015 - 9:52 PDT

Right Next to Disneyland: Theater Meets Faith
Saint Luke Productions
August 19, 2015 - 1:29 PDT

OCP Parish Grant Program to Distribute $200,000 to U.S. Parishes
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
August 18, 2015 - 1:23 PDT

Franciscan University Joins With UK School to Offer Online Master of Catechetics Degree
Franciscan University of Steubenville
August 05, 2015 - 2:20 PDT

CONOR GALLAGHER NAMED PUBLISHER OF TAN BOOKS AND SAINT BENEDICT PRESS
Saint Benedict Press & TAN Books
July 20, 2015 - 12:49 PDT

Thérčse Drama Surprises Audiences
Saint Luke Productions
July 16, 2015 - 12:35 PDT

Catholic Press Association Honors Liguori
Liguori Publications
July 10, 2015 - 8:29 PDT

Crosier Order elects master general and councilors
June 26, 2015 - 2:06 PDT

World Library Publications Honored With Three Paul Revere Awards
World Library Publications
June 23, 2015 - 4:11 PDT

Indie Catholic Authors June Ebook Sale Offers the Faithful 17 Books Outside the Mainstream
Four Waters press
June 23, 2015 - 12:10 PDT

Limitless Love in Action: First Steubenville Youth Conference Inspires Teens to Bring the Fire Home
Franciscan University of Steubenville
June 18, 2015 - 2:03 PDT

Franciscan University of Steubenville Athletic Director Enshrined in Sports Faith Hall of Fame
Franciscan University of Steubenville
May 29, 2015 - 1:53 PDT

AWARD-WINNING CATHOLIC AUTHORS TEAM-UP TO PROMOTE HEALING THROUGH FORGIVENESS
Pauline Books & Media
May 27, 2015 - 12:32 PDT

NY CONCERT FOR NEPAL 5/31
May 27, 2015 - 1:22 PDT

Who's responsible for designing the designer?
May 19, 2015 - 11:12 PDT

Thu, Jun 11, 2015- Mass & Healing Service with Fr. Bill Adams at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
May 13, 2015 - 4:21 PDT

Your search for true happiness is over
May 05, 2015 - 1:22 PDT

ValLimar Jansen's latest album "a soulful experience"
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
April 30, 2015 - 1:33 PDT

Uncovering the roots (and branches) of the greatest revolution in the American Catholic Church
April 28, 2015 - 9:45 PDT

NYC May 8, 2015 Spring Fling Catholic Singles Mingle Fundraiser
The Catholic Fellowship
April 18, 2015 - 9:07 PDT

Thank A Nun Day
Image Books/Random House
April 15, 2015 - 12:32 PDT

#TweetingwGod dares young people to believe
April 14, 2015 - 9:54 PDT

Experience Beloved: Finding happiness in marriage
April 13, 2015 - 1:27 PDT

Archbishop Aquila, Dr. Edward Sri and other experts to participate in 'Beloved' telepress conference
April 07, 2015 - 4:51 PDT

Nobis Media, Marketing & Web Development Company
April 01, 2015 - 5:49 PDT

Catholic toymaker puts Faith in hands and mouths of babies: Pope Francis doll added to line of toys
The Word Out | Marketing For Catholics
April 01, 2015 - 3:48 PDT

Concert Series Concludes with Winthrop University World Percussion Ensemble
April 01, 2015 - 2:48 PDT

Birth Choice Health Clinics Announces Transition to Obria Medical Clinics and Plans for Expansion
March 28, 2015 - 10:43 PDT

OCP releases expanded edition of Mass of the Sacred Heart
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
March 24, 2015 - 4:43 PDT

Archbishop Aquila, Dr. Edward Sri and other experts participate in 'Beloved' tele-press conference
March 21, 2015 - 11:57 PDT

Priest and Seminarian Join National Three-Point Contest to Benefit Marriage Ministry
Paradisus Dei
March 13, 2015 - 10:20 PDT

Shroud of Turin Exhibit At Holy Spirit Brighton
Holy Spirit Catholic Church and School
March 12, 2015 - 3:58 PDT

Flor y Canto campaign invites the Hispanic community to share their stories
OCP (Oregon Catholic Press)
March 11, 2015 - 4:40 PDT

Crisis Pregnancy Center Dream Becoming Reality
TRFC Inc.
March 10, 2015 - 6:36 PDT

Crisis Pregnancy Center Dream Becoming Reality
TRFC Inc.
March 09, 2015 - 7:04 PDT

Join RealOptions 2015 Walk for Life and 5K Run!
RealOptions Pregnancy Medical Clinics
March 09, 2015 - 2:40 PDT

New Orchestra Comes to Mary's Nativity Church
March 09, 2015 - 12:06 PDT

Paradisus Dei Offers New Marriage Program to Churches at No Cost
Paradisus Dei
March 05, 2015 - 6:25 PST

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.