April 13, 2004 by

Gareth Steele


Categories: Extraordinary People

Gareth E. Steele, the inventor of the Ampufin, died on April 10. Cause of death was not released. He was 49.
Although he was born in Chicago, Steele’s family moved to South Florida when he was six years old. On Dec. 3, 1974, Steele was riding his new motorcycle when a teenaged driver ran a stop sign and broadsided him. The accident left Steele so severely injured that his left leg had to be amputated.
Undaunted, Steele graduated from Florida Atlantic University. He learned to run the 50-yard dash, roller-skated and developed the Ampufin, a device to help him swim in the ocean.
For the past 19 years, Steele negotiated rights of way for major roads in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties as a review appraiser for the Florida Department of Transportation. A founding member of the Center for Independent Living in Fort Lauderdale, Steele also led a support group for new amputees and volunteered as a swim instructor for the sports clinic at the United Amputee Association.

2 Responses to Gareth Steele

  1. Gareth E. Steele

    Though it has been 2.5 years since my brother’s death, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. It’s funny how you learn about the small acts of kindness a person performs only after their death. I always thought that he was the nicest of all three of us and he is missed and remembered on a daily basis.

  2. Nance McLeish

    Gareth was a very special, unique man. He was blessed with a positive look at life. My wish is for blessings to his wife and children. May Gareth’s love of life flow through you.

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