Willett Ward Steenson, mayor of Carrollton from 1976 to 1980, died at his home
on Thursday, Feb. 8, 1990.
He was 68 years old. The cause of death has not been determined.
Mr. Steenson served the city in an official capacity for about 20 years, current
Carrollton Mayor Milburn Gravley said Mr. Steenson also worked for the city
through his affiliation with the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce and at the First
Christian Church of Carrollton, he said.
"He was just always pro-Carrollton," Gravley said. "There was nothing that he
ever said or did or tried to do that wasn't to attempt to improve the city and
the people that he loved."
Gravley, who knew Mr. Steenson for close to 30 years, said he always went out of
his way to help others.
"Ward was one who couldn't say no if it was something he thought he could do to
improve a situation," Gravley said.
Bill Blanton, another longtime friend, also noted Mr. Steenson's hard work in
"He's been one of the longest-time public servants in this town and he's given
many years of his life in that service as mayor, city councilman and in many
other capacities too numerous to mention," Blanton said.
Mr. Steenson retired in 1984 from his position as aircraft maintenance
supervisor wit Braniff Airlines after working there for 35 years. But even
before his retirement, he was busy with trying to improve Carrollton.
In addition to serving as mayor, Mr. Steenson w as a councilman from 1955 to
1976, served on the board of directors for the Metrocrest Office on Aging, was a
member of Plano Masonic Lodge No. 768 and was a charter member of Carrollton
Masonic Lodge No. 1400, serving as worshipful master, the highest position, from
1971 to 1972.
Mr. Steenson also was a member of the Dallas Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the
40-year pin from the Carrollton lodge,
on Jan. 25. And he was named the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce's "Citizen of
the Year" in 1979.
"Nobody would ever speak a bad word about Ward - he's just the kind of person
that everybody liked and everybody trusted," Blanton said.
Gravley, who characterized Mr. Steenson as "A good guy." said his death will
leave an empty place in the city.
He'll be missed. He was a very quiet person we would give you the shirt off his
back without any problem," Gravley said.
Mr. Steenson is survived by his wife, Joe Steenson of Carrollton; sons Donald
Gary Steenson and Stephen Jay Steenson, both of Carrollton, and a brother, J. J.
Steenson of Panama City, Fla.
Metrocrest Funeral Home directed funeral services on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the
Fist Christian Church of Carrollton with Rev. Clay Boyer officiating. A Masonic
graveside ceremony followed at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.
Pallbearers were retired Braniff employees Don VanCleve, Fred Symmank, J. L.
Tresenriter, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur H. Peterson, Ed Baker and Ben Brand. Honorary
pallbearers were the Carrollton Masonic Lodge No. 1400. Peters Colony Shrine
Club and past and present Carrollton city officials .
Willett Steenson dies
The Dallas Morning News - Saturday, February 10, 1990
Services for Willett Ward Steenson Jr., former mayor of Carrollton, will be held
at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church of Carrollton. Burial will be
at Restland Memorial Park.
Mr. Steenson died Thursday at his Carrollton home. The cause of death has not
been determined. He was 68.
Mr. Steenson was elected mayor of Carrollton in 1976 and served a four-year
term. He became a member of the Carrollton City Council in 1955 and served as
mayor pro tem from 1961 to 1965 and again in 1974.
He retired in 1984 from his position as aircraft maintenance supervisor with
Braniff Airlines. He worked for the airline for 35 years.
Mr. Steenson was active in various Masonic organizations for most of his life.
He was a member of the Plano Masonic Lodge No. 768, a charter member of the
Carrollton Masonic Lodge No. 1400 and a member of the Dallas Scottish Rite Free
He served as worshipful master, the highest position, of the Carrollton Masonic
lodge from 1971 to 1972. In 1979, he was appointed district deputy grand master
for the Texas Grand Lodge District No. 14-C. He received his 40-year pin from
Carrollton Lodge No. 1400 last month.
He was a member of the Hella Temple Shrine and Peters Colony Shrine Club of
He is survived by his wife, Joe Steenson of Carrollton; sons Donald Gary
Steenson and Stephen J. Steenson, both of Carrollton; and a brother, T.J.
Steenson of Panama City, Fla.
The family requests that memorials be made to the First Christian Church of
Carrollton, Metrocrest Youth Services or the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled