Steven Lynn Nissen
February 25, 1951 - January 29, 2023

Steven  Lynn Nissen

Steven Lynn Nissen
Feb 25, 1951 - Jan 29, 2023

Steven  Lynn Nissen
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Steven Lynn Nissen age, 71 of Ames, died Sunday January 29, 2023, at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames. A gathering of friends and family will be 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday February 9, 2023, at Prairie Moon Winery, 3801 W. 190 th Street Ames, Iowa. Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 10, 2023, at Gilbert Lutheran Church, 135 School Street Gilbert, Iowa. Burial will take place at Amsterdam Township Cemetery, Kanawha, Iowa.

Steven was born February 25, 1951, in Mason City, Iowa the son of Richard "Bud" and Audre (Muhlenbruck) Nissen. He graduated from Meservey-Thornton High School in 1969. He met Holyce Jan Friedow on July 4, 1968, at the Independence Day carnival in Clear Lake, Iowa, introduced by a mutual friend. They reconnected later that summer at the Surf Ballroom, and their romance began. They were married on June 13, 1970, at Kanawha Lutheran Church in Kanawha, Iowa. He attended Iowa State University, studying animal science and receiving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1976, a Master's in animal science in 1977, and PhD. in 1981. Following his time at Iowa State, he traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to complete postdoctoral research in pediatric endocrinology. After returning to Ames in 1982, Steve joined the faculty in the ISU Department of Animal Science. During his tenure at Iowa State, he conducted extensive research, taught graduate-level courses in animal surgery and nutrition, and served as a lab director. Steve's relationships with his students were some of his most cherished, frequently inviting them to his home for meals and social gatherings. The impact of his academic and research achievements, along with those of students under his supervision, is still felt throughout the scientific community. Steve, along with Dr. Naji Abumrad founded Metabolic Technologies Inc. (MTI) in 1990 at the Iowa State University Research Park. Ultimately, their research led to the discovery of beta-hydroxy beta methylbutyrate (HMB) and its effects on health and performance. HMB remains a cornerstone supplement in high-performance athletic and medical nutrition. After founding MTI, Steve recognized an opportunity and served a vital role in developing the Agricultural Entrepreneurship program at ISU. Even with all his academic and career achievements, Steve's vast ambition led him in another direction and in 2000 he began planting grape vines. He experimented with wine making and Prairie Moon Winery was established in 2006. His dreams for Prairie Moon were to create a space for the community to gather for music, wine and events and it serves that purpose to this day.

Steven had a stroke in 2008, which left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak. Despite his handicap, he designed and directed the building of a studio in the family's backyard and the Alluvial Brewing Company's taproom. His daughter Lyndsay introduced him to painting, which was a true blessing for all involved. He managed to create hundreds of beautiful pieces that he lovingly dispersed among his friends and family. Steve stayed continuously supportive and interested in many people's passions and pursuits, consistently checking up on the winery, brewery, Root to Rise Farm, Reliable Street, and Lockwood Cafe. He will be remembered blowing those kisses and giving his enthusiastic thumbs up.

Steve loved expedition fishing in Canada, as well as spending time with friends and family at his cabin on Cass Lake. Steve was the perpetual goofball of the family, always up for making mischief or a mess (or buying someone else's at auction). His many cherished nieces and nephews refer to him as their "FUNcle".

Steven is survived by Holyce "Holly" Nissen, his children, Matthew (Janet) Nissen and their son Hudson, Lyndsay Nissen, and Kat (Tai) Nissen-Maag, his brother Brian (Ivonne) Nissen, sister Kristi (Charlie) Phillips, mother-in-law Audrey Friedow Christiansen, sisters-in-law Donyce (Pete) Eekhoff and Joslyn (Gordy) Lubbers, brother-in-law Kyle (Jill) Friedow, Liz (Steve) Hofer, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, fathers-in-law Doyce Friedow and Paul Christiansen, brother-in-law, Monty Friedow, nephew Ian Nissen, and his dear friend and business partner Ron Wilhelm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Steven L Nissen Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, Iowa State University Foundation, PO Box 2230, Ames, IA 50010-2230

Online condolences can be made to:

Rod Toftey on Feb 17, 2023

Hello Holyce. I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband Steve. My sympathies and prayers to you and your family. From reading the information regarding Steve, you have had a wonderful and rewarding life together. Stay strong and may the Lord Jesus always be with you and your family.
Rod Toftey

Rama Sridhar on Feb 9, 2023

So sorry for the loss. Lyndsay, Holly and family, thinking of you all. Although I did not know Steve personally but knowing Lyndsay, his amazing daughter, I can only imagine what a wonderful human being he was. Nothing but love to the Nissen family. RAMA SRIDHAR

Rowan Minnion on Feb 6, 2023

I would not be the person I am, with the life I have if it wasn't for Steve. He took me on as an undergraduate scientist and turned me into an entrepreneur. In the kindest way possible he pushed me outside my comfort zone and challenged me, and at the same time made me feel at home and loved while thousands of miles away from my family. I owe so much to him and live much of my life in his honour.

Terri Dermody on Feb 5, 2023

We knew Steve best when he had just completed his veterinary medicine degree and was finishing up his masters in the ISU Animal Science Department with Dr Trenkle.

He was obviously brilliant and destined for success, but what we loved most about him was his great personality, his penchant for having fun, and his LAUGH. It is absolutely amazing that he accomplished so much in his lifetime, considering the hardships he eventually faced.

Holly, we are thinking of and praying for you and your family. You are the best!

Terri Dermody and Dave Sanders

Sue and Greg Lamont on Feb 5, 2023

I always enjoyed interacting with Steve as a colleague on the Animal Science faculty. He was one of the most creative and "out-of-the-box" thinkers that I have every known. He didn't see barriers; he saw opportunities to approach things in new ways. He contributed so much to our department and science in general. We are grateful for his legacy. Our condolences to the family. -- Sue and Greg Lamont

Piotr Ostaszewski on Feb 4, 2023

Steve, me great mentor and my great friend. I owe him so much. He will stay forever in my minds.
Unforgetable person! Piotr Ostaszewski

Gail Kuhlman on Feb 3, 2023

My coach, my mentor, my friend. As my major professor, Steve helped me to become the scientist I am today and for this I will always be grateful. With love & respect, Gail Kuhlman
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” - Idinia Menzel

John Fuller on Feb 1, 2023

CandleSteve was so amazing in so many ways. He taught you so much in his own style, I will be forever grateful. Love John Fuller



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Prairie Moon Winery
3801 W. 190th Street
Ames, IA, United States 50014
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Gilbert Lutheran Church
135 School St
Gilbert, IA 50105
10:30 AM

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