Steve passed away peacefully on Monday, August 22, 2022, at Care Initiatives in Chariton, Iowa under Hospice Care.
His funeral will be on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 11:00am and a luncheon will follow at noon at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. Burial will be alongside his mother, father and brother Phillip at the Richland Memorial Cemetery near Jamaica, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to New Hope Village, P.O. Box 887, Carroll, Iowa 51401 or Chariton Specialty Care, 1214 N 7th Street, Chariton, Iowa 50049.
The service will be livestreamed at the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/steven-towne
Steve was born on June 2, 1940, at home in Jamaica, Iowa to Bruce and Mildred (Allen) Towne joining his older brother, Ethan Allen in completing the Towne family.
Steve grew up in Jamaica and attended elementary school for a few years. However, being born with cerebral palsy and other disabilities made learning difficult for Steve. His brother, Ethan learned sign language and tried teaching the method to Steve when he was younger as he could not speak very well. As a youth, Steve was able to help his dad in the family grocery store at times, and he had many friends on main street he could visit with to keep him occupied while his mother taught elementary classes at school. Steve also had a paper route when he was a teenager and was a good reliable paperboy earning several awards for his exemplary service to his customers.
In the summertime, Steve would come to Lucas, Iowa to visit and stay with his Uncle Edwin and Aunt Frances Allen and cousins, Dan, Sue and Joyce on the Allen Century farm. He loved helping with the animals and putting up hay and hanging out with Uncle Edwin. Homemade cooking was always high on Steve’s list of “wants” and he delighted in Frances spoiling him during his stays with wonderful meals and those homemade pies. Fried chicken with all the sides (except those darned vegetables) was always one of Steve’s favorite meals.
When Steve’s father, Bruce, passed away in 1970 leaving Mildred with his care for many years she realized that she needed to secure a forever home for Steve where he could continue to grow as a person and be safe. In the early 1970’s, Mildred worked tirelessly to help raise the awareness and funding for a new facility in Carroll, Iowa. The facility was named New Hope Village, where people with disabilities could live and receive therapies they needed as well as socialization skills. Steve was one of the first clients to move into New Hope when it opened in 1976. Steve lived on campus with other men and women in his Evergreen Cottage for several years. He worked at crushing pop cans, separating nuts and bolts, folding silverware napkins for the Lutheran Church in Carroll and other various jobs secured in the community by New Hope for their clients.
Steve received physical therapy for his back, hips and legs as well as speech therapy to better vocalize his wants and needs. Even though Steve could not talk well, it didn’t take long before he was able to express himself using his picture book so others could understand his thoughts and needs.
He participated in bowling and softball throwing and other events and he also assisted with both indoor and outdoor duties. Special Olympics games was an exciting time for Steve and others at New Hope who were able to participate. All of these different activities helped to develop courage, confidence and most of all self-esteem as to a handicap person – participating far outweighed the importance of winning. He also loved attending Camp Sunnyside near Des Moines. Horseback riding was all new to him, but it helped him with his balance and strengthening his core muscles by helping him keep his balance with his heavy leg brace. Bowling with the assist ramp was his very favorite sport and he looked forward to bowling every chance he could get to go.
Steve finally retired at the age of 72 and attended day hab daily for several years thereafter participating in therapy as well as arts and crafts. As New Hope continued to evolve in its services and expansion, Steve was able to move off campus and live in three different community homes with usually four other male roommates over the last 10 years or so. He flourished as an individual with his newfound independence of making decisions with others in the household on meal planning, shopping and making decisions with the guys for trips and errands and other necessities of their lives. Steve was a good-natured person and always smiling and looking for unexpected fun of some kind. He was very well mannered and sincere with his feelings in his heart of hearts. He was always like a little boy living in a man’s body and loved watching children playing and he really liked puppies and kittens which he loved to hold.
Steve contracted Covid early in 2022 after which he was no longer able to use his walker for mobility and relied on his wheelchair. After leaving the hospital again on August 8th this year, he came to Chariton to live closer to his family as Steve was the last living member of the Towne family from Jamaica.
Steve is survived by his sister-in-law, Donna (Thierry) Amice of Chariton, Iowa; niece, Kellie (Tony) Sinclair of Melrose, Iowa and their children: Kolby, Luke, Cole and Wyatt; nephew, Michael Curran and fiancée Erin Weber of Woodburn and children Cierra, Sydney, Sage, Shawn and their Grandson, Adrian; and many cousins and friends. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Bruce and Mildred Towne; his baby brother, Phillip; his older brother, Ethan Allen; his grandparents; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Steven S Towne, please visit our flower store