Deacon Bill Steltemeier’s life and legacy

Deacon R. William Steltemeier, Jr., who served as chairman and CEO of EWTN from 2000 to 2009, died this morning at the age of 83. Deacon Steltemeier was a champion of EWTN and served at Mother Angelica’s side for 30 years.

Raymond Arroyo, who wrote a biography on Mother Angelica, said of Deacon Steltemeier, “In the formative years of EWTN, he was central to the launch. He was Mother’s primary cheerleader and negotiator … I often say Mother Angelica was like a locomotive, and there were a lot boxcars attached to her. Bill was there shoveling the coal.”

At EWTN’s 25th Anniversary Family Celebration, Archbishop Charles Chaput, then archbishop of Denver, said, “Behind every great man stands a great woman, we’re told. But in this case, behind a great woman stands a very great man, Deacon Bill Steltemeier.”

Deacon Steltemeier is survived by Ramona, his wife of 59 years, and was preceded in death by his son Rudy Steltemeier, III. In addition to his work with EWTN, Deacon Steltemeier was a respected lawyer in the state of Tennessee and active in prison ministry, serving as a board member of the 7-Step Foundation, Operation Comeback and Dismas House, which seek to rehabilitate prisoners spiritually and socially.
Read more about the remarkable life of Deacon Bill Steltemeier at the National Catholic Register.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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