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Mardelle Harris


Mardelle M. Harris, 85, of Atlantic passed away Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at Panora Nursing and Rehab in Panora.

Mardelle Mae Steffens was born June 16, 1931, on the family farm west of Wiota, the daughter of Ernest and Mae (Templeman) Steffens. She graduated from Wiota High School in 1949. Following graduation, she worked for one year as a secretary in the superintendent’s office for Wiota School District, and then went on to receive nurse’s training at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.  

Throughout her nursing career, she worked as a Registered Nurse for the Atlantic Hospital, Anita Nursing Home, Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, and Mount Airy Psychiatric Center in Denver, Colorado. When Mardelle returned to Iowa, she lived in Creston and worked for Greater Community Hospital on and off from 1983 to 2003.

Mardelle loved to travel, and wouldn’t hesitate to load the kids up in the car and drive them across country. In recent years, she enjoyed trips to Colorado and Missouri, and it was always a dream to visit Africa. She loved her flowers, and delighted in planting her roses and marigolds. In her quieter moments, she read, knitted, quilted and watched the birds. Mardelle was an avid sports fan cheering for the Chicago Cubs, Denver Broncos, Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers. She was so excited the year she got season tickets for the Broncos. Mardelle definitely knew her way around the kitchen when it came to baking and canning. Her family’s mouths watered when they knew she was whipping up a batch of baked apples, scalloped corn or homemade ice cream. During the holidays, she made endless batches of Christmas candy which included heath toffee and cherry mash bars. This may sound a bit strange to some, but her family all know there are a lot of things that you can put on a peanut butter sandwich; one of Mardelle’s favorites was peanut butter and pickles.  

Family was dear to Mardelle’s heart and she will be deeply missed by her sister, Betty Pettinger of Aurora, Colorado; children, Corrine (Rick) Burk of Hallsville, Missouri, David (Twila) Harris of Marne, Julie McKenny of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Tom Harris of Pleasant Hill; grandchildren, Amanda Gerling, Nathan (Michelle) Burk, Alex Burk, Jackie (Brian) Andis, David (Tammy) Harris, Zachary (Amber) Helms, Jacob Harris, Natalie Harris, Haley Harris, Brittany (Joel) Smith, Michaela Morgan, Ryan McKenny, Sarah (James) Young, Laura (Josh) Newhouse, Adam Harris and Lisa (Jerod) VanGenderen; 23 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; grandson Daniel Duane Burk and brothers and sisters-in-law, Don (Janet) Steffens, Gail (Delores) Steffens and Larry Steffens.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at Roland Funeral Home, 204 E. Fifth St., in Atlantic. Burial will be in Atlantic Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be held beginning at 10 a.m Saturday, one hour prior to the funeral. Memorials may be made to the family for the establishment of the Mardelle M. Harris Nursing Scholarship. Roland Funeral Service is caring for Mardelle’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at

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