NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville man who has touched the lives of millions of TV viewers around the world has passed away.
Deacon Bill Steltemeier died at his home after a battle with an extended illness. He was 83-years-old.
Affectionately known as "Deacon Bill," he was best known for his role on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), and served as the network's first President and a founding board member. For years he commuted from his Nashville home to the television headquarters outside of Birmingham, Alabama.
Born in Nashville in 1929, he attended Vanderbilt Law School, and worked as an attorney. He was highly active in the community and worked to help prisoners rehabilitate their lives.
Bishop David Choby, of the Nashville Diocese, knew Steltemeier for 40 years. He said was a generous man, who was a good example to others.
"He was a man who was extraordinarily motivated by his love for God and his love for others," said Bishop Choby.
Bishop Choby said Steltemeier committed a lifetime of service to the Catholic Church and leaves behind quite a legacy.
"I think everyone will remember him in terms of his prayerfulness," said Bishop Choby. "He had an intense love for God.
EWTN will air live coverage of a prayer vigil and rosary for Deacon Steltemeier Monday at 7 p.m.
His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Hanceville, Alabama. He will be buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Nashville Tuesday afternoon.
Steltemeier is survived by his wife Ramona, and his brother Fred Steltemeier of Nashville, several nieces and their families.