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Dixie Lee Steffes, 88

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Dixie Lee Steffes, age 88 of New Hampton, died Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton.

Friends may greet the family beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory have been entrusted with arrangements.  Online condolences for the Steffes family may be left at

Dixie Lee Steffes was born Sept. 9, 1935, in Carroll, IA, the daughter of Jake and Lucille (Klocke) Dillivan.

A proud graduate of Carroll High School’s Class of 1954, Dixie’s youthful exuberance was showcased as a majorette, twirling her way into the hearts of many. It was during these formative years that she encountered the Everly Brothers at the Starlight Ballroom, an experience that would resonate with her love for music throughout her life. 

On Oct. 16, 1954, Dixie’s heart found its match when she married her high school sweetheart, Norbert “Nubs” Steffes, at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Carroll. Their love blossomed and brought forth four wonderful children, cementing a family legacy of love and unity.

The early years of Dixie’s life saw her working various jobs, including working at a root beer stand and a bakery in Carroll. Her dedication to her family was unwavering, even as they ventured west to California, where Nubs worked for Ryan Aviation. 

In 1969, the family planted their roots in New Hampton, where Nubs took on the role of superintendent of Highway Surfacers Inc.

Dixie’s professional life was as diverse as it was dedicated. She served as a secretary at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Carroll for a local surgeon and later at St. John School of Religion in New Hampton from 1973 to 1983. Her commitment to faith and community extended to her role as a religious secretary for the towns of New Hampton, Alta Vista, and Ionia. In 1983, Dixie embraced the role of vice-president of Steffes Construction, the family business led by her husband, showcasing her acumen and partnership in both life and work.

Dixie has always been an avid sports fan. The couple attended their children’s sporting events whenever possible, often hauling the team members to out-of-town events. In recent years, Dixie would keep track of the family’s favorite baseball and football teams. Everyone in the family could count on Dixie knowing the outcome storyline and the scores of each game.

An avid bowler, Dixie’s competitive spirit shone through in the lanes where she won city tournaments in singles and doubles. Her crowning achievement came in 1977 when she swept the top three state awards in singles, doubles and team events. Dixie’s personal best, a score of 221 in Cedar Rapids during the singles trophy, remained a proud memory and testament to her skill and passion for the game.

In the fall of 1981, Dixie and Nubs saw Mark embark on a six-month foreign studies program through Central College to Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales. Throughout the six months Mark was in Wales, Dixie would write a weekly letter keeping him informed of all family matters. These letters took one week to arrive. When she found out that Trinity College did not serve milk at the college meals, she took matters in hand. Immediately Dixie sent Mark a $100 bill every month in her letters to make sure he made the daily walk into town to buy a daily bottle of milk. Dixie always thought of her children first and foremost.

Dixie’s zest for life extended far beyond her hometown. Alongside Nubs, she traveled extensively, exploring many islands, reveling in the bright lights of New York for Broadway shows, and attending concerts of her favorite artists, including the legendary rock band Queen and the vocal powerhouse Celine Dion. These adventures were the backdrop for a life lived fully and with joy.

She is survived by three of her four children, Terry (Timothy) Rausch of Ionia, Mark (Karen) Steffes of Cedar Falls, and Kristy (Todd) Ashton of Apple Valley, Minnesota; four grandsons, Jared Downing, Jacob Downing, Jordan Downing and James Ashton; two granddaughters, Caitlyn O’Conner, and Amy Fogarty-Houser of New Hampton; two step-grandaughters, Taylor Ashton, Grace Ashton; and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 51 years, Norbert “Nubs” Steffes in 2006; son, Randy Lee Steffes who was tragically killed in an auto accident on April 6, 1988;  brothers-in-law, Lawrence Steffes, Bay Galloway, Leo Ertz, Florian Wittrock, Lawrence Kokenge, Herb Irlmeier, and Leo Wernimont; sisters-in-law, Darlene Steffes, Hilda Schroeder, Lucille Galloway, Irene Ertz, Elizabeth Wittrock, Florence Kokenge, Bernice Irlmeier and Coletta Wernimont; and many other relatives and friends.

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