Funeral services for Neoma Steen, 90, will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church in Elk Horn. Rev. Keith Menter and Rev. Paul Reynolds officiating. Visitation and Open House will be Friday, June 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church. Honorary casket bearers will be Cayden Coven, Emily Bricker, Lily Bricker, Isabel Steen, Ashton Fincham, Garret Fincham, Gavin Finchem and Amelia Steen.
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Neoma Louise, daughter of Lewis and Minna (Rasmussen) Larsen was born June 9, 1925 near Fiscus. Her mother was born in Graven, Denmark and came to America in 1912. Neoma's father was born the year after his parents came to America from Denmark. She was one of six children born to Lewis and Minna. She grew up on an 80-acre farm near Fiscus. It is safe to say she came from a family of high achievers, among them four doctors and two nurses. Neoma attended country school during her elementary years; at age 12 she started high school in Audubon and graduated at age 16. She then attended Grand View College for one year.
On Dec. 15, 1943, she was united in marriage to Hans 'Emmert' Steen when he was on a short furlough from the Air Force. Neoma worked as a soda jerk and as a tailor's assistant at the PX in Hondo, Texas, where Emmert was stationed.
After the service Emmert and Neoma returned to the Audubon area where they farmed. He started and managed the Farm Service Co-op in Audubon for four years. They moved to Spencer where he was District Field Representative for Farm Bureau. In 1953, they moved to Elk Horn where Emmert co-owned the Steen Produce and Feed Store. Emmert and Neoma were always thankful that they were able to raise their family in this community.
In the mid 1960's, they purchased the Elim Children's Home and acreage in Elk Horn. Emmert and Neoma's home was a great gathering place for 4-H, Luther League, Class parties, reunions and wedding receptions. They purchased a smaller home 16 years later in town.
Neoma worked at the Salem Nursing Homes as a Nurse Aide for 12 years, at age 45 she attended LPN school in Harlan where she graduated as Valedictorian. She worked for Cass County Hospital for two years and then 13 years at the Salem Homes until her retirement in 1989.
She was active in the Elk Horn Lutheran Church, 4-H Leader, library board, Danish Immigrant Museum volunteer, served on the Myrtue Memorial Auxiliary board and was a PTA chairwoman for two years as well as other local organizations. The Steen family was honored as being Farm Family of the week. In 2000 they were elected Tivoli Fest King and Queen.
Neoma was a resident at Salem Lutheran Home from August 2014 to June 2015. She entered the Myrtue Medical Center on June 3, 2015 where she died on June 9, 2015 at the age of 90 years on her birthday. Neoma requested that upon her death her body be donated for scientific study to the University of Iowa, where her brother and brother-in-law earned their medical degrees. Her cremated remains will be interred at a later date.
She is preceded in death by her parents; husband in 2006; brother Dr. Lawrence Larsen; brothers-in-law Dr. Richard Berge, Cameron Steen, Edward Steen, Arthur Steen, Leonard Steen; sisters-in-law Ethel Steen, Ester Steen Keyes, Naomi Steen, Elna Steen and Jane Larsen.
Neoma is survived by her children Alan (Susan) Steen of Elk Horn; Daniel (Tricia) Steen of Garretson, S.D.; Jo Nell Steen Block; John Steen of; Lisa (Mike) Riggs, all of Elk Horn; grandchildren Teckla (Ramon) Coven, Nikki (John) Bricker, Nathan (Elizabeth) Steen, Mindi (1st Sgt. Clifford) Fincham, Sarah (Davin Alto) Steen, Andrew (Kristen) Steen, Megan (Justin Logsdon) Riggs, Katrina (Ryan Parker) Riggs; eight great-grandchildren; brothers Dr. Arnold (Dorothy Ann) Larsen, Rev. Dr. Peter (Inetta) Larsen, Dr. Philip (Sandra) Larsen; sister Anna Berge; sisters-in-law Betty Larsen and Sharlot Steen and nieces, nephews and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 19 to June 26, 2015