Mary Steffens, 91, of Clermont, Iowa passed away peacefully at the Ossian Senior Hospice in Ossian, Iowa where she had been on hospice care since August 28, 2019. Mary was born in Story City, Iowa, on May 10, 1928, to Otto and Agnes (Valen) Christensen. Mary began her education in a rural school near Story City. When she was almost 13, the family moved to a farm near Randalia. Mary graduated from Randalia high school in 1946 where she had many wonderful memories and friends. After graduation Mary worked in Waterloo as a clerk at the “Three Sisters” dress shop. She then worked as a telephone operator in Waterloo and later West Union. It was in the West Union telephone office where she first saw Reuben when he came in to make a call. Soon after that, they got together at a dance at the Oelwein Coliseum.
Reuben and Mary were wed on August 1, 1948 at the St Paul Lutheran Church, Postville, Iowa. They lived briefly in West Union before moving to the farm they would live on for the next 35 years.
Reuben and Mary were proud owners of Reu-Mar Registered Holstein Farm just west of Clermont. They raised four children there: Brenda, Alan, Kevin and Karen. Alan took over the farms in 1983, and Reuben and Mary moved to their newly built home in Clermont.
Mary was a wonderful homemaker and cook. She was also very involved with helping on the farm, especially with the process of registering the calves. Throughout her life she was a great encourager to her children in their activities such as 4H and school. Mary will always be remembered for her warm and welcoming demeanor; she truly loved visiting with friends and family. She cheerfully welcomed family for Christmas and other events as long as she was able. Being with family was always one of Mary’s greatest joys.
Mary was a longtime member of West Clermont Lutheran Church. Mary’s faith was always important to her. She served her church community as a Sunday school teacher, Stewardship chair, Circle chair and she was always bringing food and baked goods for events at the church. She was a member of the Clermont Legion Auxiliary and helped at the Fayette County Fair during Reuben’s tenure as Fair Board President. Mary was also a member of the Town and Country Club. She was also a wonderful baker; her family remembers her homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and bars. She loved animals, especially dogs, and enjoyed flowers and watching birds. Mary and Reuben were also avid dancers for many years, after all, that’s what brought them together! For many of their retirement years, Reuben and Mary enjoyed spending time in Texas where Reuben could fish and Mary could further develop her love of crafts and painting watercolors. They made many good friends during those retirement years in Texas and continued to stay connected with them. They also enjoyed visiting with friends that Reuben had made during his time in the Army.
Mary is survived by her husband of seventy-one years, Reuben; her children, Brenda (Mark) Steffens Johnson, Alan (Brenda) Steffens and their children, Aaron, Andrea (Brad) Sayles and Aric (Wendy); Kevin (Marilyn) Steffens and son, Jonathon (Krista) and Karen (Marc) Vandegrift and their children, Alison and Matt; nine great -grandchildren; brother, Roger Christensen; sister, Ruth Anne Crowe; brother-in-law, Lester Steffens; and best childhood friend, Mary Lou Sherwood.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Anges Christensen; half sister, Marjorie Wilson; sister, Naomi Stewart; sisters-in-law, Edna Steffens, Anita Parsons, Leona Steffens and Gerry Steffens; and brothers-in-law, Richard Crowe, Delmar Stewart, Clyde Wilson, Erbie Steffens and Jack Parsons.
Visitation will be held from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Friday, October 25, 2019 at West Clermont Lutheran Church, Clermont, Iowa. There will also be a 45 minute visitation from 9:45 to 10:30 am before services at the church on Saturday.
Funeral Service will be at 10:30 am on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at West Clermont Lutheran Church, Clermont, Iowa with Rev. Phillip Olson and Rev. Ginny Olson as the Officiants.
Burial will follow at Gods Acres in Clermont, Iowa.
Schutte-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Clermont, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.