Ethel R. Steven, 90
Ethel R. Steven, age 90 of New Hampton, died Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 3, 2022, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in North Washington with the Rev. Jim Goerend celebrating the Mass.
Interment will be held in St. Mary’s Cemetery, North Washington with Jarad Steven, Tanner Sorensen, Jordan Sorensen, Robb Steven, Matt Steven, Riley Siemers, Ryan McLaughlin, Zayden Steven, and Connor Steven serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in Crematory in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church in North Washington on Saturday.
Ethel’s long, fulfilling life began on Sept. 14, 1932, the day her parents, Bernard and Ella (Ahrendson) Lampe, welcomed her into the world near the small north-central Iowa town of Bancroft.
She grew up with her three siblings in Kossuth County, where she received her education, graduating from Burt High School. She then headed to Cedar Falls to what was then known as Iowa State Teacher’s College and earned her teaching certificate.
Ethel taught in a one-room schoolhouse, but she found the love of her life one day when a young Navy veteran named Jim Steven was horseback riding on her family’s farm. She had found, as she put it, her knight in shining armor, and the rest is history. They began dating, fell in love, and were married on Dec. 26, 1951, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bancroft.
The couple began their married life on a farm near Titonka, and in the early 1960s, they purchased land near North Washington, where they spent their lives farming, taking care of their animals, and raising their eight children together.
Jerry, Gary, Ron, Sheryl, Laurie, Cindy, Russ, and Craig had a mother who taught them the difference between right and wrong, and they learned that if they really wanted to do something, they probably should go to Dad and ask him! But seriously, Ethel provided a loving, nurturing home for her children. She was the best baker, known for her pies, caramel rolls, and cinnamon bread. Ethel was also a great cook, and her fried chicken was perfect, as were her homemade noodles.
She also loved her gardens; they were the places she would escape to for a little solitude. She grew a bountiful amount of vegetables and her flowers were simply beautiful.
Ethel was blessed with 22 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, five step-great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
She loved everything — from teaching them her cooking and baking secrets to attending their sporting events to playing “Grandma, May I” — about being a grandmother.
She enjoyed camping, and she also loved taking pictures. Later in life, Ethel took up bicycling, and over the years, she biked thousands of miles. She had a group of ladies she biked with, the “hot biking grandmas.” She loved seeing nature as she pedaled around trails throughout the area, and she and her bike were companions late into her life.
Jim and Ethel enjoyed traveling later in life when the children grew up and traveled a lot with their good friends Barb and Vince Miller. They saw many remarkable things around the United States together.
Ethel and Jim remained on the farm until 2014 when they purchased a home in New Hampton. Jim passed away in 2016, and as hard as the loss was for her, she persevered.
She was an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in North Washington, where she was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America. Ethel could often be found cleaning the church, and she loved to decorate Immaculate Conception for Christmas.
Ethel lived a remarkable life, one that was filled with love for her family and her church. She touched so many lives and will be dearly missed by all of us.
She is survived by four sons, Gary (Linda) Steven of New Hampton, Ron (Lana) Steven of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Russ (Lisa) Steven of Cedar Rapids, and Craig (Shilo) Steven of Peosta; three daughters, Sheryl McLaughlin of Fredericksburg, Laurie (Ted) Sorensen of New Hampton, and Cindy (Jack) Siemers of Waverly; one daughter-in-law, Patty Steven of Elma; 22 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jim in 2016; one son, Jerry in 2020; and her three brothers.