Neil Longseth was born on June 7, 1941 in Waterloo, Iowa to Arthur and Violet (Glew) Longseth, he tee’d up with the Angels on January 7, 2022.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 57 years, Mary Ann (Steffens) Longseth and his two beautiful daughters Debbie (Jerry Jones) Longseth of West Des Moines and Marcy (Jeff Cagle) Longseth Wagner of Tuscon, AZ. His memory will be treasured by his two grandsons Quentin of Florence, Kentucky and Dietrich of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
He will be greatly missed by his brother Lynn (Jackie) Longseth of St. Louis; niece, Pam (Kevin) Heath; and nephew, Chad (Emily) Longseth. His absence will be sincerely felt at the Steffens family Thanksgiving by his sister-in-laws Wanda Skeries, Irma (Wayne) Slack, Annie (Harry) Munson, Billie (Doran) Zumbach, and his brother-in-law John (Gwen) Steffens. His nieces and nephews Robyn (Julien) Santana, Cotta Jean (Doug) Ungerer, Colette (Charlie) Farner, Owen Steffens, Chris (Scott) Warner, Kim Arndt, Mitch (Deb) Zumbach, and Nikki (Matt) Harken will undoubtedly miss his gruff, opinionated Hawkeye fan banter and his hearty laugh.
He will be joined on the heavenly course by those who went before him: his parents, his brothers Stuart and Kenneth, and his brother-in-law David Skeries.
Neil graduated from Manchester High School in 1959 where he excelled in wrestling, football, and baseball. He enlisted in the United States Navy upon graduation and had many great adventures to share with friends and family. He spent time sailing the Pacific Ocean serving as the Quartermaster where he was in charge of the navigation, maintenance, correction, and preparation of nautical charts. He was noted as having incredible skill in navigating spaces for large Naval vessels. In fact, while in Hong Kong the ship was located in a very narrow harbor. One particularly foggy night as Neil was asleep in his rack; the Captain called for “Longseth, he’s the only person who can get us out of here - and could probably do it drunk!” This was certainly the beginning of a lifetime of service in helping keep his family, friends, communities, cities, and state safe.
When he returned stateside he began his career with the Iowa State Patrol in Post One, based in Story City, Iowa. He was well-known and respected for his calm demeanor and attention to detail. While a state Trooper he always worked the Iowa State Fair and RAGBRAI, keeping others safe in the most raucous of crowds. He served as a Trooper until 1980.
He finished his career as the Executive Director of the Iowa Illinois Safety Council where he retired in 2006.
Neil was a member of the Lions Club, Rotary International, and was a well-decorated member of Toastmasters where he took his family on speaking engagements all over the United States and Canada and disguised them as “vacations.”
Above all, Neil was an avid sports fan, attending many NCAA Wrestling Tournaments with his brother-in-law, John. He was a stubborn Iowa Hawkeye fan and devout golfer. As a member of the Urbandale Golf and Country Club, his dedication to the sport rewarded him with at least two ‘hole-in-one’ shots. His love of golf took him to play at Pebble Beach, Doral, and other courses throughout the United States.
We will never know the full impact of a life devoted to reducing harm and keeping others safe; but we know that his focus and life was spent in service to others and for that, we are ever grateful.
Neil’s family would like to thank the staff at Fresenius Kidney Care for taking care of Neil the last four years while receiving dialysis treatment. And, a special thanks to Kara, our family friend, for helping to care for him in his last weeks of life.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Iowa State Troopers Association, 2611 240th St. Dewitt, IA 52742 or www.iowatoopers.com/product/donation.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. where the family hopes to play a final round, toast his memory, and share a last bowl of popcorn in his honor at the Urbandale Golf & Country Club (4000 86th St, Urbandale, IA 50322). There will be a lunch to follow the service.