KEARNEYSVILLE, WV -- Roy Stuart Steeley, a 60-year veteran of the vending industry who founded two major machine manufacturing companies, died here on March 16. He was 93.
Steeley was born in New York City in 1919 and was educated there, completing his engineering studies at Pratt Institute. He began his career in vending with Victor Products (Hagerstown, MD), and later joined Dixie-Narco (Ranson, WV). Advancing to the post of president, he served for 10 years in that role and retired at the age of 67, shortly after Dixie-Narco was acquired by Maytag Corp. (Newton, IA).
Steeley founded Royal Vendors (Kearneysville) in 1988 to manufacture a line of innovative packaged cold beverage machines. He sold Royal Vendors to Coin Acceptors Inc. (St. Louis, MO) in 1996 and retired again.
Steeley unretired once more to found Automated Merchandising Systems in 1997. The company's original product was a glassfront snack machine with a novel vend verification feature, "Sensit," and groundbreaking cabinet design that uses insulating foam as a structural element. He appointed Sharon Shull president in 2000 and became chairman.
"We here at AMS have truly been blessed to have worked with this amazing industry leader," Shull said. "From Dixie-Narco to Royal Vendors and through AMS he was an inspiration to us all, constantly challenging us to do better and to have fun doing it."
An instrument-rated pilot, Steeley enjoyed playing tennis. He served the community in a variety of capacities, among them membership on the boards of the Animal Welfare Society and Blakeley Bank.
Steeley is survived by his wife of 43 years, Gwen Scott Steeley, MD; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son, Lee, and a daughter, Dolores.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Panhandle, 122 Waverly Court, Martinsburg, WV 25403.