Steve James, age 66, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at his home on Lake Madison.

Funeral service will be 2 PM on Saturday, September 19th at Rustand-Weiland Funeral Chapel with visitation starting at 12 noon.  Inurnment will be in Schaller Cemetery near Schaller, IA at a later date.  While attending, it is requested that facemasks are worn.  Online condolences can be sent at

Stephen Francis James was born on October 4, 1953 in Sioux City, IA, to Ken & Patricia (Stansbury) James.  He was a graduate of West Monona High School.  Katie found the love of her life when she met Steve in Sioux City.  Steve worked at Iowa Beef, starting as a supervisor on the line and advancing to Personal Director.  His position with Iowa Beef prompted a move to Garden City, Kansas, then to Lexington, NE to head the construction of a new plant there.  In 1985, he went to work for National Beef in Liberal, KS.  He was part of the original management team at the time of the merger of National Beef and Hyplains Beef in 1993.  His leadership helped shape the success of not only Liberal, but National Beef as we know it today.  Steve worked his way to Executive Vice President/General Manager, which is the position he held until his retirement in 2007.

In 2000, Steve & Katie purchased their retirement home on Lake Madison.  Steve loved the lake and all that went with it.  You would see him fishing in early spring and late fall.  He enjoyed boating around the lake in the pontoon.  His most favorite part of the lake was sharing it with his granddaughter, Kaylee.  She loved riding the tube and he loved watching her do so.

Steve is survived by his wife-Katie of Madison; son- BJ (Ginny) and granddaughter, Kaylee of Lincoln, NE; his four-legged friend, Barney the Beagle and numerous extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Burley & Edna Grove.


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