Steven M. Slifka, age 65, of Cresco, Iowa, passed away peacefully on May 24, 2022, at home surrounded by his family.
“Professional workmanship with a personal touch.” These are the words that Steve Slifka chose to promote his business - Steve Slifka Construction. For those who knew Steve, they knew he lived out that motto. Steve strove for excellence in every project of his career, and for anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him, Steve left a lasting personal touch.
Steven Max Slifka was born to Max and Grace (Lukes) Slifka on February 9, 1957 in Cresco, Iowa. He was the oldest sibling to three rambunctious brothers, Scott, Sam, and T.J. Raised by his parents to value his Catholic faith, Steve received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation at St. Joseph Church in Cresco. Steve graduated from Crestwood High School in 1975. Throughout his high school years, Steve was an avid participant in football, wrestling, and baseball. His love of sports never left him.
He became involved in bowling league, town baseball, men’s fast pitch softball, men’s flag football, broomball, and golfing. He enjoyed NASCAR and NHRA racing. His Green Bay Packers flag flew on every game day and his loyalty to the Iowa State Cyclones was displayed on his license plate. Steve wanted others in Cresco to have the opportunity to share his love of sports. He was a regular table worker at Crestwood wrestling meets, supported the Cresco races, and was an active member of Crestwood Cadets All Sports Booster Club.
Following graduation from high school, Steve began his career path in carpentry, learning the trade from Stan Buchholtz, Harold Bengfort of Bengfort Builders, Cresco Masonry, and Ross Gooder. In 1984, he launched his own construction business - Steve Slifka Construction. Whether he was installing new or replacement windows, remodeling a home or building a new one, Steve’s customers knew that they could trust him for his professional, immaculate work. Some of the highlights of his building career were building the Nature Center, log homes, and intricate custom work in various homes and businesses in the surrounding community.
In December of 1983, the wheels on a bus brought Steve face to face with the love of his life, Sheila. Both were scheduled to fly out of Rochester, MN airport when a non-functioning plane required the travelers to go by shuttle to the Minneapolis airport. On the bus shuttle to Minneapolis, there was one seat remaining when Sheila boarded, and that was next to Steve. Following that bus ride, Steve and Sheila wrote letters to each other through the long winter, and the following April they had their first date at Godfather's Pizza. A year later they were married. Every year following, to celebrate Sheila’s birthday, Steve would request ‘that’ Kenny Roger’s song, “Crazy '' be broadcast on the radio. He remained “crazy” for her to the very end of his life, “the dream that finally came true.” When their family grew to four children and three grandchildren, it was clear that he was a great family man. Steve will always be lovingly known by his three grandchildren as “Grandpa Shark”, “Papa Steve,” and “BaPa”.
Steve also left his personal touch with those he met in community organizations. He was a member of the Cresco Country Club; Cresco Chamber of Commerce; board of directors for the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame; Noon Kiwanis; Notre Dame Parish; and the Turkey River Pheasant Forever organization as a dedicated member, significant contributor and member of the Hall of Fame. He dedicated many hours to the Notre Dame Catholic School while his children attended and right up to the time of his illness.
In his free time, Steve loved hunting with his Brittany Spaniels, fishing with Max, Harley Davidson rides to the Mississippi and the Appalachians, demolition derbys, boating on Clear Lake, and Yogi Bear camping with his family. A highlight of each year was when he could hand out candy to over 400 trick-or-treaters who visited the Slifka home on North Elm Street. Without question, the biggest highlight of his free time was attending his children’s events as they grew and most recently, playing with his young grandchildren.
Steve battled glioblastoma cancer courageously for 8 months. Throughout those eight months, Steve’s biggest concern was the welfare of his family, and he shared this concern with them each day. Steve passed away peacefully in his home on May 24, 2022 surrounded by his loving family.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Sheila, of 36 years; children, Kyle (Stephannie) Slifka of West Des Moines Iowa; Shannon Slifka of Mason City, Iowa; Megan (Kyle) Michelsen of Altoona, Iowa; and Brandon (Tori) Slifka of Urbandale, Iowa; three grandchildren, Weston Slifka, Brayden and Brylee Michelsen; father, Max Slifka of Cresco; brothers Scott (Annette) Slifka of Center Point Iowa; Sam (Sharon) Slifka of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and T.J. (Kris) Slifka of Lime Springs, Iowa; sisters-in-law Diane (Dick) VanGrunsven; Denise Newton; Mary Pat (Ron) Hestbeck; Maureen (Dave) Winfrey; brothers-in-law Don Newton; Steve Newton; Jerry Newton; Mike Newton; Patrick Newton; nieces and nephews; and great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his loyal companion, Zoie the dog.
Steve is preceded in death by his mother, Grace Slifka, mother and father-in-law, Walter and Mary Eileen Newton and brothers-in-law Terry Newton and Tim Newton.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Notre Dame Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. with Father Steve Newton officiating. Burial will be in the New Oregon Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Notre Dame Catholic Church on Monday, May 30 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. followed by a prayer service. Visitation will continue at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service on Tuesday.
Online condolences may be left at www.hindtfuneralhomes.com