July 11, 1949 – August 24, 2017
Born in Norton, KS
Resided in Palmyra, NE, formerly of Gibbon, NE
Steve M. Van Meter
Steve was born in Norton, Kansas to Dale and Dorothy (Knutson) Van Meter. As a child, Steve’s parents and two sisters moved to Oakley, Kansas then Bakersfield, California, before settling in Arapahoe, Nebraska. Steve graduated from Arapahoe High School, where he met the love of his life, Julia Monter. Steve went on to earn a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education and a Masters of Elementary Administration from Kearney State Teacher’s College.
Steve taught elementary school at Shelton, Nebraska, before becoming the Principal at Gibbon Elementary, a position he held for 30 years until his retirement. However, his first attempt at retirement did not last long, and he became the Superintendent for the Buffalo County Consolidated School and as a Student-Teacher Supervisor for UNK. He also kept busy working on “projects” for anyone that asked – he was an excellent woodworker and general fix-it man.
Anyone who knew Steve was aware that he had a few passions. First, he deeply loved his family. Steve married Julia on June 6, 1970, and together they had three sons; Kris, Nate and Jon. Whether coaching a little league baseball team, teaching them to hunt and fish, or just giving general advice, Steve was a hands- on -dad. His truck was always ready to drive to Lincoln to help one of “the boys”. Steve found grandparenting to be even more fun than parenting, and loved spending time with the grandkids at their ball games and school events, and of course fishing.
This leads us to Steve’s other passions – fishing and hunting. It was impossible to know Steve and not know this. He and his boat headed all over the Plains, looking for walleye and whatever else might be biting. During the fall and winter, Steve was chasing the elusive pheasant, fat goose, or big buck. His sons were frequent partners on these adventures. And when successful, Steve enjoyed processing game meat and sharing his work with family and friends. His fried fish, deer breakfast sausage, and Christmas Eve prime rib are legendary.
Steve was a founding member of the Sons of the American Legion in Gibbon, and was instrumental in putting together care packages to be shipped to the troops. He liked to include his home-made jerky in these packages. He helped organize their fish-fry fundraisers and served on their color guard. Steve was also a long-time hunter safety instructor. One of his most recent do-gooder activities was delivering tomatoes he and his granddaughters grew, to the senior centers in Bennet and Palmyra.
Steve is survived by his wife, Julia; his sons and daughters-in-law Kris and Kathy (Lortz), Nate and Julie (Miller), and Jon and Kristin (Sasso); eight grandchildren Karlie, Brayan, Averie and Pallmer Van Meter, Emily and Lydia Van Meter, and Landon and Preston Van Meter. He is also survived by his two sisters and brothers-in-law, Janice and Roger Pollat and Mary and Marlow Westerbeck; his sister-in-law Elaine (Vorderstrauss) Monter, and his much-loved extended family.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, his father- and mother-in-law Martin and Emma (Wendland) Monter; his brother-in-law Marvin Monter, and his very special long-time friend and fishing buddy Mick Ross.
A celebration of Steve’s life will be held on August 28th, 2017 at 11:00 am, at Faith United Methodist Church in Gibbon, Nebraska. A reception will be held immediately following at the Gibbon American Legion Post #310. Memorials may be sent in Steve’s honor to either the Gibbon Education Association Scholarship fund or the Gibbon American Legion Post #310.
We love you, Dad, and we will miss you, your laugh, your compassion, and your love.
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