ANN ARBOR — Clelia Radegonde Steele, 81, died peacefully at home in the company of family on Friday, March 22, 2013. A resident of Ann Arbor, she previously resided in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Calif., New York City, N.Y., and London, England.
Clelia graduated in 1949 from Marymount School in New York City and embarked upon a life that included raising a family, political activism, world travel, culinary adventurism and perpetual intellectual discovery.
Clelia served as Associate Director of The Project on Equal Education Rights (PEER), a project of the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, from 1974 to 1978. During this time she was instrumental in the implementation, defense and enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, lobbying and testifying before the U.S. Congress, many state legislatures and various federal and state regulatory agencies. During the furor surrounding Title IX’s passage, she was quoted as saying, “Title IX is not a matter of difficulty or cost - it’s a matter of justice.” Her work in guaranteeing that many thousands of young women would get an education that might otherwise have been denied them was perhaps Clelia’s proudest achievement in life. In 2002 she was formally recognized for her work on Title IX by the Veteran Feminists of America.
In 1987 Clelia moved to the United Kingdom. During her time in London she was the director of the Centenary Appeal for Blackfriars Settlement, working with prominent Britons such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duke of Richmond. Later she was Director of Corporate Communications for a newly established national cable television/telephone company with responsibility for the full range of corporate communications and external relations in the UK and the European Union.
Among her other achievements were her authorship of “The Report, Round Table on New Leadership in the Public Interest (1980), and serving prominently on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: Founding Board member and Legislative Director for the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, a coalition of 20 national organizations concerned with educational equity for women; National Association of Women Business Owners; Sightline Theatre Company, a New York non-profit theater group; CamFed International, based in the UK, focusing on expanding education for girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
Clelia was loved and respected by many and is survived by family who will miss her fiercely: husband, Keith Scott, of Ann Arbor; sons, Mark Satchwell (Laura), of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Brittain Satchwell (Stephanie), of Ann Arbor, Clayton Satchwell (Carol), of Livonia, and Adam Satchwell (Jennifer), of Traverse City; sister, Judith May, of Portland, Ore.; brother, Jedediah Steele, of Kelseyville, Calif.; grandchildren, Andrew Satchwell (Amy), of Ann Arbor, Emily (Matthew) Weiss, Pamela and Andrea Satchwell, of Livonia, and Ethan Satchwell, of Traverse City.
Clelia was preceded in death by two infant children, Eliza and Ethan Satchwell; as well as by her father, Robert Steele, a writer whose pen name was Lately Thomas; mother, Frances Steele; sister, Theodora Steele; and brother, Jonathan Steele.
She truly believed that all women and men are created equal.