Steve Bixler Story, 87, of Hawkeye, Iowa died Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at his home. Steve Bixler Story was born December 3, 1932, at Monticello, Iowa, the son of Dillon Wells Story and Clarice Isabelle Bixler Story. He grew up on the family farm in Jones County, Iowa, graduating from Olin, Iowa High School in 1950.
Steve married Donna Ketchum June 7, 1953 in the Methodist Church, Olin, Iowa. Four children were born to this marriage: Steven Paul, Karen Diane (Mike Doscher), Janet Kay (David Schlapkohl), and Linda Jeane (Nolan Gunderson).
Steve received a B.S. degree from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, in 1954 and his M.A. in school administration from the State University of Iowa in 1958. He was an athletic coach and social studies teacher in Clarence, Iowa from 1954-1958. He taught social studies and was athletic coach at North Fayette High School from 1958-1966. He was high school principal and athletic director at North Fayette High School from 1966 through 1994, named Boss of the Year in 1971. Steve developed the student foreign exchange program with England, Germany, and Spain. On October 1999, he met and shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II at the Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, near Manchester, England.
His hobbies included genealogy, history, politics, rural life, and community service. His Community service included the Fayette County Historical Society, charter President and a founding member of the West Union Jaycees; President of the West Union Chamber of Commerce. He was the Fayette County Democrat Party Chairperson and delegate to the 1964 National Convention. He was a board member of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Speech Association from 1969 through 1994, selected for the IHSSA Hall of Fame in 1993. Steve was a member of the local H&L (History and Literature) club. He developed a Community Concert program to raise money for charitable causes. He worked as a referee and umpire at community schools. He volunteered with the West Union Ambulance service for over 20 years. Donna and Steve worked with friends to restore pioneer cemeteries. He served as President of the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries.
An accomplished organist, Steve wrote over 25 full length musical programs featuring local musicians and preforming on the historic 1896 Kimball pneumatic organ at the Union Sunday School in Clermont, Iowa. He was an organist at the United Methodist Church. Steve was Fayette County Union’s West Union Citizen of the Year in 1964 and 1994. As a private pilot, he flew his family to Florida for a 1967-1968 Christmas vacation.
He loved teaching, coaching, students, and the people with whom he worked. He loved the United Methodist Church, was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Methodist Church in Olin and a was a member of the West Union United Methodist Church since 1958. He enjoyed working on the family’s rural properties. Above all, Steve loved his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a stillborn brother, Warren, brother-in-law, John Keith Smola, nephew John Paul Smola (Cheryl), great-nephew John Brennen Seelie and his beloved son Steven Paul Story, who died in infancy.
Surviving Steve are his wife Donna, his three daughters, sister Judy Story Tsui, (George), nephews Kent (Megan), and Samuel (Casey) Tsui, and sister-in-law Bonnie Smola, niece Beth (Michael) Seelie, Christopher and Garret Seelie, nephew James Smola (Lisa), Jennifer and Emily Smola, his grandchildren, Kristina Doscher Cotterman (Jesse), David Doscher (Lindsay), Theodore Doscher (Clarissa), Faithe Doscher Keomanivong (Jamie), Laura Schlapkohl Johnson (Shawn), Paul Story Schlapkohl, Jane Schlapkohl Vanheuvelen, (Tom), Steven Hein, Sarah Stolp (Eric), Kaitlin Hein, Thomas Story (Victoria).
Steve is survived by ten great-grandchildren, and numerous good friends.
Because of Covid-19 a private family graveside service was held in Olin, Iowa, on July 15, 2020.
Please join us for a Mobile Memorial on Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm at North Fayette Valley High School, 600 Pine Street, West Union, Iowa.
Due to COVID-19, guests will remain in their own vehicles as they drive through the various points of the memorial. Donations in Steve’s name may be made to the Iowa State Speech Association, Iowa High School Girls Union, Fayette County Historical Society or North Fayette Valley High School Scholarship Fund.
A celebration of Steve’s incredible life will be held as soon as it is safe to do so.
Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of West Union, Iowa is assisting the family.