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Fort Dodge remembers Steve Springer

Local businessman, volunteer dies Sunday after battle with cancer

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Friends and family of the late Steve Springer left candles in front of Springer’s home on North 19th Street on Sunday, following Springer’s passing.

Fort Dodge lost a leader, a volunteer and a friend this weekend.

Steve Springer, a 1979 graduate of St. Edmond High School, passed away at his home on Sunday. Springer, 59, was diagnosed in March with stage four esophageal cancer, which had metastasized to his stomach, liver, adrenal glands, blood and bones.

Springer was well-known in the Fort Dodge community. He was a long-time member of the Fort Dodge Athletic Booster Club and volunteered at many Dodger sporting events, often manning the concession stand. Springer helped found the Fort Dodge Baseball Association and establish the “Bat Cave.” Since 2017, Springer has owned and operated the Snack Shack Treats N Eats.

For the past seven years, Springer has been a member of the Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education. He served on the Shellabration board for many years and was an active member of the Sertoma Sundowners and Noon Lions clubs.

In addition to running the Snack Shack, Springer has also worked at Availa Bank for the past several years.

-Photo courtesy of Hans Madsen
Steve Springer, of Fort Dodge, waves during a parade showing support for him on May 17. Springer was fighting esophageal cancer. He died Sunday at age 59.

Springer leaves behind his wife, Juli, and three sons, Sean, Shea and Sawyer.

Over the past several weeks, members of the Fort Dodge community have shown their support for Springer and his family in a myriad of ways.

At the Snack Shack, customers can purchase #SpringerStrong bracelets.

During its May 18 meeting, the FDCSD school board dedicated a school bell in Springer’s honor — a tradition usually reserved for retiring school board members.

The day before, on May 17, Springer’s 1979 St. Edmond Catholic School classmates organized a parade of cars to drive by his residence on North 19th Street to show their support. Family, friends and co-workers cruised by with signs and honks of encouragement.

After Springer’s passing on Sunday, community leaders and friends of Springer shared their memories of him and the impact Springer had on them and the community.

•••

“Steve was a great guy. He had a wonderful smile that just would kind of light up the room and a sense of humor that I thought was always just right on point. A very kind individual. He and his wife and his whole family are always kind and compassionate people that I think have given a lot back to our community through their time and talent, and my heart goes out to his family.”

–Matt Bemrich, Mayor of Fort Dodge

•••

“On behalf of the Fort Dodge Community School District’s Board of Education, staff and students, we are saddened at the passing of Steve Springer. Steve was everything we could hope for out of a Dodger. He gave of himself time and time again to serve others. He was a member of the Board of Education, served on multiple volunteer organizations, and was active in every way to make our school a better place for kids. Our thoughts and prayers are with Juli and his family during this difficult time. Together we mourn the loss of a true Dodger.”

–Dr. Jesse Ulrich, FDCSD superintendent

•••

“I knew Steve before he knew me … It was hard not to know Steve with all of his involvement in the community. When I got involved in the FDBA, that was the beginning of an amazing friendship. We spent untold hours and trips to Des Moines putting Fort Dodge on the map for youth baseball. We were also fellow Sertomans (even though he was a Sundowner and I was a Nooner). About six years ago we had the opportunity to hire Steve at the bank. I’ve been so blessed to get the opportunity to work daily with my friend, and in so many ways, my mentor. We both served on the FDCSD board and I am proud of the work we have done. He will be missed certainly for all of his contributions to Fort Dodge and so many organizations, but he will be missed even more for being a genuine hero to so many.”

–Matt Wagner, FDCSD board member

•••

“It’s certainly a big loss for the community. Steve was always community-minded. He was certainly a family man. He loved his wife and his boys and spoke of them very proudly. He was a distant cousin of mine and when we hired him at the bank, we’d call each other ‘cousin’ and that was always fun. He was very personable and knew a lot of people. We’re going to miss him. At his age, he’s too young to go.”

–Dave Flattery, Fort Dodge city councilman

•••

“Steve never treated time as his own. He wasn’t just a champion of Fort Dodge — he was an archetype for servant leadership. In a day and age where our society takes and expects more than ever before, he gave and assumed nothing until the job was done.”

–Eric Pratt, The Messenger sports editor

•••

“Steve was a person that gave endlessly of his time and passions. He was a part of our community that can be difficult to replace. I can’t figure out how he did it all — he just endlessly gave. He will be sadly missed.”

–Lori Branderhorst, Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry director

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