Randy Steele

 
Randy Steele

September 13, 1961 - May 22, 2009


Randy was born and raised in the city he loved--his mom still lives in their childhood home in west Hamilton.  Randy and I met in 1990 when my parents hired his company "Handy Moves" to move me.  Little did they know how far that move would take us--a journey of nineteen years and a legacy of four beautiful daughters.  


When the recession hit in 1992 , Randy was forced to close down his company and had no idea what to do with himself.  For the first time in his life he was depressed.  I was taking some courses at Mohawk College and while standing in front of a wall of course pamphlets, my gaze landed on one for broadcast journalism.  I brought it home to Randy and encouraged him to apply--I knew he would be great on TV.  At 30 years old, he went back to school.  He graduated in 1994 and used his trademark combination of charm, contacts and hard work to land a job at CH Television.  He had found his career calling.  Randy went on to become one of the viewer's favourite reporters, covering issues at city hall and eventually producing his own segment, "Steele's Town", an inside peek at his vision of Hamilton and its people.  


In 2001 Randy was diagnosed with throat cancer.  From 2003-2009 the cancer returned unrelentingly but with just as much force he fought back.  In 2004, when faced with an extended time off work, a friend told him to pick up a hobby--something he'd never done--and Randy bought his first camera, a Kodak.  He went from being in front of the camera to being behind it, blending the art of photography with his ability to connect with individual subjects and an entire city.  In 2009 Randy wrote to our youngest daughter Randi, who was four years old at the time, "I know you probably won't remember a lot of the things we have done together.  I've taken loads of pictures of your young life; I hope you can see I've taken all those pictures of you with a lot of love in my heart (and in my lens!).  They are something you will always have". 


Shannon, Carly, Keltie, Randi and I have been left with over 12,000 of Randy's photos, each one taken "with love"--for his family and for Hamilton.


Maggie Steele

January 2011

Hamilton, Ontario

 

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