August 29, 1931 - November 5, 2023
On November 5, 2023 Arlene Steege quietly passed away. She was surrounded by her loving family when her life journey ended. She left us at 8:30 p.m. because always punctual the next day she had somewhere she needed to be…in heaven with her “dream man” husband Don to celebrate his birthday.
Her love served is an example of devotion to all who knew her.
Born in Sumner, Iowa on August 29, 1931. She was the third of three daughters raised by Felix and Etta Morf. On April 15, 1951 Arlene married the love of her life Don Steege, also of Sumner. Over the years they lived in Sumer, Waverly, Iowa City, and settled in Council, Bluffs, Iowa. They retired to Bella Vista, Arkansas and then in 2001 moved to The Villages, Florida. Their marriage lasted 62 years until Don's sudden passing in 2013. Their marriage was a true partnership and they were devoted to each other. Fond memories include the two of them dancing on the square at Sumter Landing while the band played "What a Wonderful World" when the entire family and droves of friends helped them celebrate their 60th anniversary. Together, they raised three children.
Arlene was a very kind and supportive mother, mother-in law, grandmother, and greatgrandmother who imbued all of us with strong values, a commitment to those we love, high personal standards, and compassion for those less fortunate. She steadfastly provided her family with a lifetime of unconditional love and devotion. In the words of her daughters and son- in-law: "She was by far the best mother-in-law ever!".
In addition to being a loving and devoted spouse and mother, Arlene enjoyed a rewarding professional career. She attended Iowa State Teachers College and in 1950 began her teaching career in Excelsior School, a one room school house in Sumner, Iowa. In those days her responsibilities not only included teaching grades K-8 but also “banking the coal stove” and prepping snacks and treats for her adoring students. In later years she taught Kindergarten, second, and third grades in Council Bluffs, Iowa schools. She ended her professional career by dipping into politics where she served four terms as the first woman to be elected to the Pottawattamie County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors.
Arlene was an ardent golfer who only needed to yell “Fore” if another golfer errantly wandered onto her fairway. She aced four par threes (i.e., 4 holes-in one). She even had a rare double-eagle when her second shot on a par five found the hole! Arlene was also a disciplined walker and while short in stature, she maintained a steady and brisk pace. She also had a real knack for gathering four leaf clovers, a trait she inherited from her father and passed on to grandson, Dan.
She was a life-time member of PEO (a philanthropic organization where women celebrate and educate young women through scholarships and grants). She was a life-long member of Lutheran churches in Iowa and The Villages, Florida.
Arlene was the consummate hostess. She absolutely loved to plan menus and prepare scrumptious appetizers and meals. Her sour cherry pies were legendary. As kids we rarely had store bought treats as mom made all our snacks including chocolate cup cakes with cream filling and chocolate frosting. No Hostess products or us. In addition to family Arlene had a vast network of friends. When her friends described Arlene, they used one word: “gracious.” And, can any of us ever think of a time when she complained about anything or criticized anyone? She always saw the wine glass as “half-full” and emphasized the positives. Simply put, she was “sweet as tupelo honey and an angel of the first degree.”
In the fall of 2016, Arlene moved to Kansas to be closer to family where she joined her new extended family at Aberdeen Village in Olathe Kansas.
Her life was a testament to her commitment to her family. She leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and cherished memories. She is survived by three children John and Chris Steege (Lenexa, KS), Mark and Lisa Steege (Gorham, ME), and Ann and Paul McKay (Olathe, KS), five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.
Arlene’s family will be traveling to Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida where her ashes will be reunited with the love of her life, Don.
The family wishes to pass our heartfelt thanks to the direct care staff and administration of Aberdeen Village for consistently providing Arlene with compassionate care and support over the years.
We ask that in lieu of flowers please send contributions to The PMMA Employee Scholarship Program in care of Aberdeen Village, 17500 W. 119th St, Olathe, KS 66061.
Or at: Donate - PMMA Department of Giving (presbyterianmanors.org)
Friend ,Cape Elizabeth ,Maine
What a full & impactful life she led! Enjoyed reading the obituary & smiled at the Van Morrison reference. Condolences to the families.
Paul McKay mother ,Bella Vista ,Arkansas
Prayers to all in this time of sorrow. May God be with you.