American Veteran 01

William Howard "Pete" Lea

March 9, 1925 ~ July 31, 2021 (age 96)

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William Howard “Pete” Lea of Steelville, Missouri passed away Saturday, July 31, 2021 at the Cuba Manor at the age of 96 years, 4 months and 22 days. Pete was born March 9, 1925 in Huzzah, Missouri to Ross and Opal Clonts Lea.

After graduating from Steelville High School in 1942, Pete served his country honorably in the U.S. Army. He was honored with a Bronze Service Star for the New Guinea Campaign, a Good Conduct Medal, an Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Campaign Ribbon, three Overseas Service Bars and a Victory Ribbon. After arriving back home to Crawford County, he was united in marriage to Bonnie Edgar on September 12, 1946 in Steelville and to this union one son and two daughters were born.

Pete had such an adventurous spirit and became involved in so many interests of employment and commitment to his community throughout the years. He became an auctioneer and a livestock judge in 1947, an insurance broker, a real estate broker, served as the County Collector, a sub rural mail carrier, an acting U.S. Postmaster in 1958 and becoming the Postmaster for twenty years beginning in 1960. He became employed at Peoples Bank as Vice-President opening the first Peoples Bank Loan office in Steelville. He also was the MC and Ringmaster for horse shows and pulling contests in several surrounding area towns and worked at the Lea Auction Company. For thirty years, he was on the Steelville Telephone Board serving as president and director. His involvement expanded throughout the county and city by helping establish Gibbs Care Center, Golden Echoes and the Meramec Music Theatre. He was a long-time member of the Steelville Chamber of Commerce and was named by the Steelville Chamber as Citizen of the year in 1989 and 2012. Pete was the last living Charter Member of the VFW in Steelville and a long-time member of the Steelville Presbyterian Church. With all of that he still had time to enjoy hunting, fishing, golfing and being with family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Ross and Opal Lea; his wife, Bonnie; son-in-law, Ernie Floyd;  three brothers, Charles “Hack” (Vernice) Lea, Vernon “Bill Lea and John “Bud” (Dottie) Lea; one sister, Matred (Leslie) Kehner; parents-in-law, Pleas and Dora Gorman Edgar; six brothers-in-law, Charles Counts, Richard Mager, Reuben (Opal) Edgar, Harold (Bonnie) Edgar, Elmer (Edna) Edgar and Cecil (Alma) Edgar; two sisters-in-law, Beulah (Ernie) Moline and Wanda Freie.

He will be missed by his one son, Rusty (Judy) Lea of Steelville, MO; two daughters, Sheila Floyd of Lake St. Louis, MO and Jane Williams of Lake Ozark, MO; one sister, Shirley Mager of Steelville, MO; and sister-in-law, Dormalee Lea of Steelville, MO; five grandchildren, Darin (Kelly) Floyd, Bradley (Debby) Floyd, Mark (Jennifer) Floyd, Cody Williams and Cameron (Ashlynn) Williams; six great-grandchildren, Shane (Lindsey) Floyd, Matthew Floyd, Logan Floyd, Jessica Floyd, Emily Floyd and Luke Floyd; one great-great-grandchild, Baby Floyd on the way; nieces, nephews; other relatives; and many friends.

The Family received friends from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville, MO.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021 at the Steelville Presbyterian Church with Pastor Wendy Downing and Sheila Floyd officiating. Memories were shared by two grandsons and a friend. "My Tribute" was sung acapella by James Jones. Other music of "Silver Wings" was played.

Committal prayer and full military honors were held at the Steelville Cemetery with the U.S. Army, VFW Post 5608 St. James and the Patriot Guard.

Honored to be casket bearers were Darin Floyd, Mark Floyd, Cody Williams, Cameron Williams, Bradley Floyd and Shane Floyd with honorary bearers, Matthew Floyd, Emily Floyd and Luke Floyd.

The Lea Family was served by the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home of Steelville, MO.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Howard "Pete" Lea, please visit our floral store.


August 5, 2021

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Britton-Bennett Funeral Home
110 Cedar Street
Steelville, MO 65565

Funeral Service
August 6, 2021

11:00 AM
Steelville Presbyterian Church
211 North 1st Street
Steelville, MO 65565

Interment following funeral service
August 6, 2021

Steelville Cemetery
Church Street
Steelville, MO 65565


Golden Echoes
401 North Spring Street, Steelville, MO 65565,

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