Steven K. Staker
Steven K. Staker, 76, of Lisbon, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, after a short battle with cancer. The eldest of seven, Steve was born May 28, 1943, to Burdell and Jean (Henry) Staker, in Waterloo, Iowa. Steve was a graduate of North Tama High School in Traer, Iowa. He excelled in music, sports and helped on the family farm.
With a passion for sports, Steve attended UNI and then Upper Iowa University, where he met his wife, Linda (King). A proud Peacock, Steve played fullback for the football team and still holds the longest touchdown run from scrimmage. He graduated in 1968 and was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame in 2001.
Steve began his coaching career at Fredericksburg High School in 1968. With a friendly personality and strong work ethic, Steve quickly became a pillar of the Fredericksburg community, where for 36 years he coached football, basketball, track and baseball, taught P.E. and served as the A.D. His "unofficial duties" included team bus driver, groundskeeper and trainer. Steve was actively involved with the Special Olympics. He also ran summer youth baseball, managed the city pool and organized summer "Street Sports."
A strong Christian, Steve taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. Steve and Linda raised four boys and a daughter who were blessed to have their father as a coach and mentor. Among his many coaching achievements was a state track title in 1992, a state football championship in 2001 and membership into the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994. The Fredericksburg football field was named Steve Staker Field in 2012.
Upon "retiring" at age 61, Steve began coaching football at Coe College in 2004 as defensive coordinator, and then as head coach in 2008. Known affectionately as "Papa Stake," Steve compiled a 55-29 record - third most wins in school history. In 2009, he led the Kohawks to an NCAA playoff victory and was named Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year. All five children attended Coe. Youngest son, Tyler, currently serves as head football coach.
With an infectious smile and a quick sense of humor, Steve lit up a room with his presence and lifted everyone's spirits. He was kind, generous with his time and took joy in making real and genuine connections with everyone he met. Steve was grounded in his faith and devoted to his family. He made the world a better place and he will be dearly missed by everyone who had the privilege to know him.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Burdell and Jean Staker; and his beloved niece, Liesel Casto.
Steve is survived by his wife, Linda; five children, Cody (Evelyn) Staker, Lance (Julie) Staker, Shane (Kelly) Staker, Shannon (Steve) Cook and Tyler (Kristy) Staker; and 19 grandchildren, Callie, Aidan, Jaela, Tate, Sadie, Chase, Karley, Nolan, Ty, Cash, Callie, Shelby, Lilly, Maggie, Lucy, Elsie, Avery, Cade and Ellie; six siblings, Bryce (Cindy) Staker, Robert (Dr. Kim Houlding) Staker, Mariel (Randy) Brubaker, Gene Staker, Gloria (Michael) Whisner and Joie (Josh) Casto; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Private services with burial at Mount Vernon Memorial Cemetery were held for Steve's family. A public Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Mount Vernon.
Since we are unable to gather together at this time, please share your love and support with Steve's family on his tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.