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Brothers remember father killed in Woodward tornado as a larger-than-life character with a big heart

Dusty and Adonis Peil lost their father, Steve Peil, in Sunday's deadly tornado in Woodward, in northwestern Oklahoma. They said their dad, known by the nickname Mickey Mouse, had a big heart and loved spending time with his grandkids.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: April 18, 2012
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“She still doesn't know that her husband is dead,” Adonis Peil said. “She's going to have to wake up to that. That's probably the part that eats me the most.”

The death of a man known throughout Woodward as Mickey Mouse is also affecting many who weren't related to Steve Peil but loved him nonetheless, his sons said.

“He was a larger-than-life character,” Adonis Peil said. “He was ‘Uncle Steve' to a lot of nephews who weren't even his. People have been calling and saying, ‘I know we haven't seen you in years, but we just loved your father.' Some people have told me that they didn't even know his real name. People just called him ‘Mickey.'”

Dusty Peil said people were drawn to his father. Andrea Rush, a friend of Steve Peil's, identified herself Monday as his sister. Although Dusty and Adonis Peil said she is not related to them, they aren't surprised people felt that way about their father.

“He had a big heart, and he was known as being someone you could talk to,” Dusty Peil said. “He wasn't judgmental of people. Dad was a good listener. The nickname just fit. He was Mickey Mouse.”

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