Lora P. Steil, 51, of Decorah, died Sunday morning, May 25, 2014, at her home in Decorah after a courageous battle with cancer. Memorial services are at 1 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Center for Faith and Life (CFL) on the Luther College campus, with Rev. Laura Arnold officiating. Visitation begins at noon Friday, one hour before the service, at the Center for Faith and Life. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com.
Lora Patrikus Steil was born June 20, 1962, in Cold Spring, Minn., the daughter of Marcus and Agnes (Kuechle) Steil. She graduated from Rocori High School in Cold Spring with the class of 1980. Lora then graduated from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with the class of 1984. Lora was united in marriage to John Patrikus Aug. 9, 1986, in St. Paul, Minn. This union was blessed with three children: Mitch, Eli and Kiley. Lora, John and their family lived in St. Paul until 2003, when they relocated to Northfield, Minn. Lora worked in human resources at Augsburg College and then at St. Olaf College. Lora and the family moved to Decorah in 2012 when she was hired to take the director of human resources position at Luther College. Most of her professional career was in the nonprofit sector. Lora's greatest interest was higher education, but she also worked for the Minnesota Orchestra and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Lora was a passionate knitter. She often was found with knitting needles in her hands at home and even when she was watching the kids' activities. She made many beautiful knitting projects for herself, friends and family. Lora's favorite place on earth was the family cabin located on Big Fish Lake just outside of Cold Spring.
Lora is survived by her husband, John Patrikus; two sons, Mitchell and Eli, one daughter, Kiley; her mother, Agnes Steil of Cold Spring, Minn.; six brothers: David (Kaa) Steil of Yardley, Pa., Paul (Elizabeth) Steil of Cold Spring, Minn., Ken (Emily) Steil of Duluth, Minn., Dan (Mary) Steil of Cold Spring, Minn., Owen (Kristi) Steil of Bondurant and Mark Steil of Worthington, Minn.; two sisters, Mary Steil of Faribault, Minn. and Brenda (Jeff) Scharping of Milwaukee, Wis.; and by numerous nieces and nephews.  
She was preceded in death by her father Marcus in 1996; and by a brother-in-law, Curt Pecore. 
The family wishes to thank Dr. Amy Jackson, Mayo Clinic, Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice, Pastor Laura Arnold, Decorah Congregational United Church of Christ, the Luther College community, and many family and friends for their loving care throughout. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.