Lyle Stegen, 80, of Decorah, died Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Northgate Care Center in Waukon. Services were at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 20, at Big Canoe Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Kathy Wicks officiating. Organist was Kathryn Thompson. Humns were “Amazing Grace,” “Borning Cry” and “Beautiful Savior.” Interment was at Iowa River Cemetery in Decorah, with military rites at the graveside by  the Decorah Veteran’s Group, Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah. Honorary casketbearers were Lyle’s awesome caregivers: Sue Schulte, Cindy Johnson, Liz Sanness and Lyle’s grandchildren: Joseph, Jeremiah and Daniel. Casketbearers were Lee Stegen, Lloyd Stegen, Chris Stegen, Jim Forde, Dave Christen and Dave Bell.

Lyle Merlin Stegen was born March 7, 1934, the son of Arnold and Mabel (Evanson) Stegen on the family farm near Decorah. Lyle attended rural country schools and took over the family farm at the age of 14. Lyle helped to raise his own siblings, as well as his own children and then his grandchildren. Lyle served in the U.S. Navy from 1956-58. He was united in marriage to Helen Forde Sept. 13, 1959, in Postville. In 1964, they purchased the family farm and Lyle farmed there for 50 years. Lyle was a good caretaker of the land and loved his land. He often left the land better than it was when he started farming it, by using good soil conservation practices. Lyle also had a good heart, by helping out neighbors and friends when they were in need. He was a man of the land, enjoyed horses and riding them. Lyle loved his children and, above all, his grandchildren. In later years, Lyle enjoyed collecting wood furniture and antiques. He was a member of the Big Canoe Lutheran Church.

Lyle is survived by his wife, Helen Stegen, Decorah; two sons, Lee (Jenny) Stegen, Waukon and Lloyd (special friend, Amanda Winters) Stegen, Dorchester; eight grandchildren: Joseph Stegen, Daniel Hanson, Jeremiah Stegen, Christopher Stegen, Connor Stegen, Grace Stegen, Dylan Stegen and Vaughn Stegen; one great-granddaughter, Annabel Stegen; three sisters: LaVonne Bussey, Sacramento, Calif.; Dorothy (Dave) Christen, Wadena; and Arla Schmitt, Independence; one brother, Arlan (Lois) Stegen, Cedar Rapids; one sister-in-law, Marlene (Denis) Welch, Waukon; one brother-in-law, Dr. James “Jim” (Jerilyn) Forde, Moorhead, Minn.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Mabel (Evanson) Stegen; one daughter, Lila Stegen in 1997; one granddaughter, Sena Hanson, in 2009; two brothers, Kenneth in 1939 and Ron in 1998; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Lloyd and Harriet Forde; two brothers-in-law, Jim Kingsley and Jack Bussey.