Steven Padgitt
April 7, 1943 - October 27, 2023

Steven Padgitt

Steven Padgitt
Apr 7, 1943 - Oct 27, 2023

Steven Padgitt
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Steven C. Padgitt, 80, died on October 27, 2023, at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa. He was the son of Burbin and Viola Padgitt of Kellerton, Iowa. Steve was an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and and Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology at Iowa State University.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on November 1, 2023, at the Ames United Church of Christ. A light luncheon will be served following the service, and the family will greet visitors at that time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Food at First ( 611 Clark Ave, Ames, IA 50010) or another charity of your choice.

Steven Charles Padgitt was born in a farmhouse which had no electricity and no running water on April 7th, 1943, to Burbin Padgitt and Viola (Asman) Padgitt. The third of four brothers, he was raised on a dairy farm 3 miles southeast of Kellerton, Iowa. The Padgitt family worked hard every day to sustain the family farm. The boys were taught to consider God first, others second, and themselves third. He embraced these values throughout his life. Steve attended a one room school until 4th grade. When he was in second grade, his parents bought him an accordion, and he enjoyed playing at school and church events.

Steve graduated from Grand Valley high school in 1961. After graduating from Iowa State (B.S., 1965), he spent two years at the University of Missouri (M.S.,1967), then returned to Iowa State to work on a doctoral degree in Sociology. He met Janet Barfels through the course of completing his PhD research, and they were married on May 28, 1971.

Steve joined the faculty at University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where he taught for 9 years and attained the rank of Associate Professor. He and Janet built a house and started their family in Eau Claire, with Courtney born in 1975 and Noelle in 1978. Janet and Steve returned to Ames in 1980, and Steve was offered a tenure-track position with the Iowa State University Extension Service in the Sociology department in 1983. His career at Iowa State included travel all over the state of Iowa, conducting research, leading workshops and guiding training, as well as on-campus teaching, advising, and administrative roles. He was promoted to full professor in 1994. He was respected by his fellow faculty members, and his mentoring of graduate students and advisees often evolved into life-long friendship. Steve enjoyed family vacations, ski trips to Colorado, and cruising around in his 1958 Edsel Pacer convertible, purchased in 1994 in an extremely rare act of self-indulgence. "Padgitts are resourceful", he told his family, and he enjoyed building, fixing, and tinkering throughout his life.

Upon retirement in 2012, Steve turned his attention to addressing hunger (and food waste) in his local community. What started out as an occasional excursion with Abbie the golden retriever to "glean" day-old bread from Hy-Vee and leftover pizza from Pizza Ranch evolved over time into an integral role with Food at First. Steve not only volunteered, he served on the board and participated in grant writing. Steve was an ordained Elder and Deacon, but most enjoyed his role as a "church basement lady" on the funeral committee. Steve accompanied youth group mission trips to Kentucky, Minneapolis, and Missouri. He also served on the board at Home for a While, ensuring access to transitional housing for families in need. He and Janet traveled extensively in Europe and most of the United States. A highlight of their travels was a trip with their children and grandchildren to Alaska in 2022 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Steve enjoyed frequent trips to Minneapolis to visit his grandchildren, Alexi, Andrew, and Simon. Family visits to grandma and grandpa's house often included Edsel rides and home-made, hand-cranked ice cream.

Steve is survived by his wife Janet, his children Courtney (Jenny) Padgitt, and Noelle (Shaun) Morrell, and his grandchildren, Alexi Joan Padgitt, Andrew Graham Padgitt, and Simon Gerald Morrell, his brothers Merritt (Chloe) Padgitt and Dennis (Janice) Padgitt, as well as his nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jack Padgitt.

Rhonda Padgitt on Nov 1, 2023

A life well lived and loved by many! ❤️ Rhonda Padgitt

Dawn Reece on Nov 1, 2023

Steve was such a kind and steady presence. I worked with Steve at CD-DIAL as part of Iowa State Extension. He was easy to work with and a joy be around. Just an all-around good person! The world could use more of what Steve embodied. My sympathy to Noelle and the rest of his family.
Dawn Reece

Suzanne Brown on Oct 31, 2023

I have known Steve since grade school, even though he was in the class ahead of me. We were in a lot of music activities together. My husband, Wayne Brown, a Grand River guy, met Steve in his senior year. As a result, I have been very lucky to keep up with Steve and his family during their class reunions. Steve will surely be missed for being a good friend to many and a good instructor to many students.

Linda JOYCE Newton Smith on Oct 31, 2023

Steve was always a good guy. I remember him before he was my classmte as we attended same church. I enjoyed an was fascinated with his playing his accordion. Howard he always hit right buttons on that one side. I asked him several years ago did he still play it an he said was stored in his basement. You may rest assured to see Steve in future driving Jesus in that Edsel. I Will miss steve.

Linda JOYCE Newton Smith on Oct 31, 2023

Steve was one of the good guys. Him n his brothers went to same church when we little kids before Steve came into kellerton school from country school. I always enjoyed his playing of that accordion. I asked him several times if he still played an he laughed an said was down in basement stored. I was fascinated with his fingers hitting those many buttons on the one side when he played. His family will surely miss his smiling face an worthy comments in future. May they find peace in knowing he has went to the hid lord an is no longer sick or hurting an you will see him again. He will be driving an Edsel and smiling.

Bob Kindred on Oct 31, 2023

Ever civic minded, Steve helped establish the City of Ames' Resident Satisfaction Surveys in the early 1980's. That tool has helped us provide and improve upon the City's services now for over four decades. His caring expertise continues to bless the Ames community and many others.

Don E Allen on Oct 30, 2023

I had the privilege of knowing Steve since the elementary grades and enjoyed a lot of debates. We were able to distract the teacher in 8th grade by getting him started on politics in general and the class schedule would be forgotten. We had some great debates with the Kennedy-Nixon election. You can guess who Steve supported. I got the leftovers to support. His love of Edsel's emerged when the new Edsel emerged. He lobbied his Dad continuously for an Edsel and was heartbroken when his Dad came home with a new Ford 500. He was a good friend and consented to be in our wedding party when I got married in 1968. We didn't see a lot of each other at Iowa State as he lived off-campus and I lived in Friley Hall. He was intent on teaching them and he surely succeeded. He was a good friend. I am sure he touched many, many lives in a positive way. I ran across the following a few days ago and it fits Steve in my mind, so I would like to share it s follows:
We Remember Them
In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them
In the warmth of the sun and the peace of summer, we remember them
In the rustling wo the leaves and the beauty of autumn, we remember them
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them
So, long as we live, they too shall live, fir they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

Heather L. Duncan on Oct 30, 2023

Steve was a reliable, warm smile and wise mentor during my time at Iowa State. His classes were thought provoking; I still return to those discussions in my work now. Steve genuinely cared for those he interacted with. I enjoyed catching up with him when our paths crossed in Ames. My sincere sympathies to his family, colleagues, and friends.

Kaitlyn Bartling on Oct 30, 2023

Dr. Padgitt was my advisor as an undergraduate at ISU. His encouragement helped me to finish my degree when I had doubts about finishing. When I applied for graduate school, his encouragement and letter of recommendation were things that I kept and re read when I worried that I had bitten off more than I could handle. He was a kind and compassionate educator and mentor. I’m sad he’s no longer here, but grateful for his role in my educational achievements. I’m deeply sorry for your family’s loss. Kaitlyn Bartling, BS- PSA ‘98 and MS Ag Ed ‘19

Anne Barton on Oct 29, 2023

We have lost a good man. I'm sending heartfelt condolences to the whole family. Steve and I were of the same political persuasions during our senior year in high school so we had to stick together out of self-preservation! That unity established our long-lasting friendship! I know he was a wonderful role model for many of his students. He will live on through that impressive influence!

Paul Lasley on Oct 29, 2023

Steve was kind, compassionate, and generous; qualities that all of us should strive for. A great colleague and friend for my entire career at ISU. Hold fast to the memories and qualities that Steve displayed. My condolences to Jan, Noelle and Courtney.



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217 6th Street
Ames, Iowa 50010
10:30 AM

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