Steve Schmillen was born in Le Mars on March 29, 1947, to Ray and Marian (Stowater) Schmillen. He grew up in Marcus, where he was active in football, track, fishing, hunting, and helping on the family farm.
He was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church, and attended Marcus Community Schools, graduating in 1965. During his Middle School years he met his future wife, Ina Irwin, and they were married on June 24, 1967, at the Meadow Star Church in rural Washta. Steve attended Ellsworth Junior College, where he played football, and after two years, he transferred to Westmar College in Le Mars, where he received his degree in physical education and science in 1969.
After graduation from college, Steve accepted a job at Dunlap, Iowa and he became a well-respected coach in football and track, and also taught science and physical education, from 1969 to 1978. He could often be found hunting and fishing in the local hills and ponds of the surrounding area. After eight years of teaching, he accepted a job as an insurance agent in Omaha, Neb., working with firms which included New York Life, INA, and CNA.
In recent years, Steve enjoyed doing laser etching, and also continued his passion for the outdoors, with hunting and fishing trips to Canada and Alaska. He enjoyed all of these hobbies, but most of all he loved entertaining a captive audience with his jokes and storytelling.
Steve was a man of faith who was active at Bethany Lutheran Church. His faith and leadership grew stronger through the fellowship and bonding of the M.O.B. (Men of Bethany). He was an active member of the West Omaha Cosmopolitan Club.
Steve was preceded in death by his daughter, Sue Ann; his father, Ray,; and his nephew, Cory Schmillen. He is survived by his wife, Ina; daughters and sons-in-law Michelle Clinton of Sarasota, Fla., Cyndi and Josh Robirds of Lakewood, Colo., Sherry and Jim Minge of Omaha, Neb.; grandchildren Cordell Schmillen, Nigel and Ava Clinton, Stella and Vivian Minge; mother Marian Schmillen of Marcus; brothers Mikel (Gloria) Schmillen of Spencer, and Kent (Kathy) Schmillen of Cherokee, and many nieces and nephews.