Tuesday, June 03, 2003  
June 03. 2003 6:01AM

June 3, 2003

Ex-pilot, professor dies at 85

atherine Landry "Katty" Steele of Gainesville died Friday. She was 85.

Dr. Steele was born in Marquette, Mich., and moved to Florida in 1945. She was the retired associate director of the Office of Instructional Resources at the University of Florida. She was also a former university professor and a pilot.

She was a graduate of Northern Michigan University and the University of Florida, where she received a Ph.D. in education. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, she left a teaching job to work on a defense project at Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.

While in college, she completed the Civilian Pilot Training Program and received a private pilot's license. In 1943, she enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and served with the 3rd Air Force, 369th Tow Target Squadron, in El Paso, Texas.

After the war, she settled in Miami and continued her career in aviation. She taught flying at several airports in the Miami area and also worked as an acrobatic pilot with World Air Shows.

She later served as associate professor at the University of Florida, where she began teaching full time in 1968. She retired from the Office of Instructional Resources in 1987, after serving as its associate director for 12 years.

She was a member of WASP WWII Inc., a veteran's organization, Women Military Aviators, The P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot's Association, Women in Aviation International, Experimental Aviation Association and Altrusa Club of Gainesville.

She was an Episcopalian.
She is survived by her husband, Robert W. Steele of Gainesville.

Arrangements by Williams-Thomas Funeral Home.


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