Justin "J.W.", "Butch" Wright SteadhamMarch 4, 2017
Justin “J.W.”, “Butch” Wright Steadham Jr. 72, of Palm Harbor, passed away March 4th, 2017. He was born July 17th, 1944 in Dunedin, Florida and grew up on a small farm in Palm Harbor working shoulder-to-shoulder with his parents cultivating and harvesting citrus, melons and vegetables. Being a true native, he graduated from Tarpon Springs High School in the Class of 1962 where he enjoyed playing saxophone in the Spongers Marching Band and was a long-standing and prize-winning member of the 4-H Club. Justin attended and graduated from St. Petersburg Junior College before earning Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of South Florida.
Justin’s professional career spanned decades of service as an elementary school teacher in the Pasco County Public School District, first in Land O’ Lakes and later at Elfers Christian School. Together with his mother, Justin first transformed the family farm’s output to serve the commercial / wholesale flower farming industry raising breathtakingly beautiful acres of statice, Bells of Ireland, Bachelor Buttons, Helichrysum, snap dragons, baby’s breath, sweetpeas and zinnias. As these flowers came into bloom, they enjoyed high demand from not only local florists, but supplied the needs of major florists from Atlanta to New York City.
Ultimately, as the demand for housing in Palm Harbor increased, Justin consulted and assisted in the residential development of the farm’s acreage inclusive of overseeing construction of a modern family home in place of the rustic “Florida Cracker” farm house of his youth.
He and his mother became avid international travelers touring Europe, Asia and Alaska. Justin, who served several terms as President of the Pinellas Rose Society, had a passion and considerable talent for rose gardening, maintaining a massive garden that showcased a prize-winning array of rose varieties and colors. Neighbors report repeatedly finding 5-gallon buckets filled with roses of every size and color imaginable on their doorsteps.
In addition to serving as a thoughtfully sincere and scholarly role model for multiple generations of students and unselfishly sharing his considerable knowledge of how to grow things with family, friends and neighbors, Justin was an exemplary caregiver, dutifully and diligently attending to the needs of his father and mother in their later years.
Justin is predeceased by his father Justin Wright “Judd” Steadham, Sr., mother Lala L. Steadham, grandfather John Henry Steadham, grandmother Claudia Estelle Gates “Miss John” Steadham, his five uncles John McKeithan “Mac Steadham (Elva B.), Charles V. “Vic” Steadham, Sr., James Frank Steadham (Lollie), Joseph Theodore “Joe” Steadham (Jewel), and Jabe Henry Steadham (“Sam” Glenn); Aunt Laura Steadham Davis (Elwood), his cousins John Michael Steadham, Mary Alice Steadham, Joseph Victor “Little Joe” Steadham, Robert Gordon Steadham and Robert Elwood “Bobby” Davis, Jr., and his cousin-in-law Eugene "Gene" Craig.
He is survived by his Aunt Mary Steadham and cousins Norman Troutman (partner Thomas Clegg), John Owens, Charles Owens, Ann Duncan Williams, Patricia Steadham “Pat” Craig, Charles V. Steadham, Jr. (Mary), Stephen V. Steadham (Libby), James Stanley Steadham (Patsy), Robert L. Edmonds (Maria), Jane Steadham Black (Fred), H. Dale Steadham, Laura Jill Steadham Gutshall, Dr. Marti Glenn (Ken), Daniel J. “Dan” Steadham, Charles Lee Steadham, John Glenn Steadham (Diane), and his cousin-in-laws Julie Steadham, Sherry Steadham, Betty Steadham and Sharon Davis.