July 12th 1985 - Last Birthday for Milton
Everett Steele, my Dad
I would be in Colorado at the time of his death.
You have no idea how much I, we, all missed him. Mom fell apart as did our family. My Mother was
famous at saying and teaching while raising us that all '...little birds get kicked out of the nest and are no longer
recognized by the parent birds when they're old enough to fly...'. She lived this after Dad's
death and demanded to be alone.
often wondered if she even loved us.
Dad there was no doubt of his loving us but as a Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Berkeley and number two in that chain of
command he often worked overtime and into the night saving other people's lives and homes, for night time is when fires usually
Dad had two Bat phones or
Hot Lines in the house. One was in the dinning room and the other was in his bedroom. During
the 'Hippie' anit Viet Nam war peace demonstrations of the late 60's Dad was always out. Although the riots were against
the University of California they were pushed off the campus and into the city streets. And during this time it
was war in the streets. Police and firemen and National Guardsmen against hippy sit ins or love ins. Thousands
of demonstrators from all over the country and majority non-students sitting in a campus or city office building and refusing
to move. They came to Berkeley because of the client and the beauty of the bay area. They could sleep in the streets
and get the most generous welfare in the country.
What a sad, sad mistake for they took advantage of all the native born Californians and took over all the City council
seats rather than go back to their homes back east and fight there.
The demonstrations took there toll on Dad. First he ruptured disks in his back bone while
lifting something heavy, then he spent six months laying in his bed on his back. He lived the final ten years
of his life in constant pain. Taking one medication after another until there were none left but experimental
drugs. So he joined an experimental drug program with side effects of possible heart disease and tried to
go through life this way. He didn't last long. And died of a massive heart attack at the front door of my
childhood home while going out the door for something. He was gone in minutes while my mother pumped his heart
and breathed into his mouth.