Steve Bixler Story
Steve Bixler Story, 87, of Hawkeye, Iowa, died Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at his home.
Steve was born Dec. 3, 1932, in 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 on June
7, 1953, in the Methodist Church in 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 athletics coach and social studies teacher in Clarence, Iowa, from 1954 to 1958. He taught social studies and was athletics coach at North Fayette High School from 1958 to 1966. He was high school principal and athletics 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. In October 1990, he met and shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II at 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; and president of the West Union Chamber of Commerce. He was the Fayette County Democratic Party chairman and delegate to the 1964 national convention. He was a board member of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union and 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 more than 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 more than 25 full-length musical programs featuring local musicians and performed on the historic 1896 Kimball pneumatic organ at the Union Sunday School in Clermont, Iowa. He was an organist at the United Methodist Church in West Union. 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 to 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 had been 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; sister-in-law, Bonnie Smola; niece, Beth Seelie (Michael); great-nephews, Christopher (Caitlin) and Garrett Seelie; nephew, James Smola (Lisa); great-nieces, Jennifer and Emily Smola; and his grandchildren, Kristina Lynn Doscher Cotterman (Jesse), David Michael Doscher (Lindsey), Theodore James Doscher (Clarissa), Faithe Elizabeth Doscher Keomanivong (Jamie), Laura Jeane Story Schlapkohl Johnson (Shawn), Paul David Story Schlapkohl (Sarah), Jane Donna Story Schlapkohl Vanheuvelen (Tom), Steven Lee Story Hein, Sarah Jeane Story Hein Stolp (Eric), Kaitlin Marika Story Hein (Vince) and Thomas Dillon Story (Victoria). Steve is survived by 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous good friends.
Because of COVID-19, a private family graveside service was held in Olin, Iowa, on July 15, 2020. A mobile memorial for the community will be held Sunday, July 26, outside of North Fayette Valley High School in West Union (from 2 to 4:30 p.m.) and a celebration of Steve's life will be held as soon as it is safe to do so.