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Dana Karl Straw, 72

New Hampton Tribune and Nashua Reporter - Staff Photo - Create Article

Dana Karl Straw, age 72 of Las Vegas, died unexpectedly from a heart attack on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at Centennial Hills Medical Center in Las Vegas.

A prayer service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2023, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton, with Pastor Kevin Frey Presiding.

Interment with military honors will follow in the New Hampton City Cemetery.

Friends may greet the family from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2023, at the funeral home.

Online condolences for the Straw family may be left at

Dana was born on Nov. 13, 1950, in New Hampton, Iowa, the son of Earl and Sarah (Steadman) Straw. Dana’s life was marked by his strong work ethic, commitment to service and love for his family and friends.

Dana’s early years were spent in Iowa, where he attended Lawler Public School and later graduated from Turkey Valley High School in 1969.

He married Denise Wickman and the couple welcomed their daughter, Tracy. The couple later divorced.

Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the US Army on May 7, 1970.  Dana proudly served his country as a radio teletype operator before receiving an honorable discharge on Jan. 19, 1972. His time in the military instilled in him a deep sense of duty and patriotism, which he carried with him throughout his life.

Upon returning to civilian life, Dana continued to work hard and contribute to his community. He initially found employment at Kohlmeyer and also Blazek Sand and Gravel, both in Lawler. Eventually, he began working for John Deere Component Works in Waterloo, where he gained valuable skills that would serve him well in his future endeavors.

In 1985, Dana made the decision to move to Colorado to attend Colorado Aero Tech’s mechanics program. This decision proved to be a pivotal moment in his life, as it led to a long and fulfilling career with United Airlines.

After completing the program, Dana was hired by United Airlines to work on jet engines in San Francisco, a position he held until his retirement in 2007.

While living in San Francisco, Dana met Michiko Hodges. The two quickly became inseparable and remained together for the rest of Dana’s life. Their partnership was marked by love, laughter, and a shared sense of adventure that saw them travel the world together.

Following his retirement, Dana and Michiko moved to Las Vegas, where Dana continued to stay active and engaged in his community. He owned several properties, which he managed and maintained himself, always taking pride in his work and ensuring that his tenants had a comfortable place to call home.

Throughout his life, Dana remained connected to his roots in Iowa and was a proud member of the Lawler, Iowa American Legion Post No. 279. He always felt a connection to his fellow veterans.

Dana Karl Straw will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to his loved ones, his strong work ethic, and his dedication to service. His passing leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved him, but his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched and the many memories he created.

In honoring Dana’s life, let us remember and celebrate the many ways he made a difference in the world.

Through his service to his country, his dedication to his work, and his love for his family and friends, Dana leaves behind a lasting impact that will not be forgotten.

He is survived by his life partner, Michiko Hodges of Las Vegas, a daughter, Tracy Straw of River Falls, Wisconsin; one brother, A.J. (Janelle) Straw of Protivin; five sisters, Karen (Rick) Huber of Lawler, Vickie (Randy) Mracek of Protivin, and Paula Kout, Diane (Bill) Gebel, Deb Straw, all of Lawler; and sister-in-law, Karen Straw of Lawler.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers — Danny Straw in 1968, Eddie Straw in 2004, David “Smokey” Straw in 2022.

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