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Ellen (Sterk) Dickman
March 25, 1951 ~ November 26, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Ellen Susan Sterk Dickman, 72, passed away on Sunday, November 26, 2023 at Senior Star
Elmore Place with family at her side.
Per her request, cremation rites have been accorded and a celebration of life will be held in
March of 2024, on her birthday.
Ellen was born on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951 in Maquoketa, Iowa, to Edward and Ethel
(Scott) Sterk. She grew up on the family farm near Lost Nation. Attending Lost Nation
Community High School she received the D.A.R. Good Citizenship Award, and the Outstanding
Teenagers of America Award. Following high school graduation in May 1969, she attended Iowa
State University in Ames, Iowa, earning a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Applied Art, Major in
Ellen‘s true love has always been art and the outdoors. She shared her love and creativity by
teaching adult art classes at Iowa State University, San Diego State University, and the
Scottsdale YMCA, Arizona. She was a professional artist for more than 40 years, selling her
pottery, fused glass, and jewelry at her art studio, and various art fairs in Arizona and California.
She often received special recognition for her unique pottery designs.
In 2001, Ellen returned to college at California State University- San Marcos to earn a teaching
certificate. She started her primary teaching career at Borrego Springs, California, where she
taught 5th grade for 5 years and then, at the request of the district superintendent, moved to
teaching art full-time at the middle-high school level. In 2011, Ellen was one of seven teachers
in the county recognized for outstanding achievement.
Ellen’s special love of the outdoors led to gardening, many camping trips in California and
Montana, and visits to Alaska and Costa Rica. She had a special interest in Native American
culture and had many friends. Her pottery and fused glass often depicted the culture.
Ellen retired from teaching in 2016 and decided to move back to Iowa in 2018. She resided in
Lost Nation for a period of time. Due to health issues she moved to assisted-living in Eldridge,
Iowa and then to Senior Star at Elmore Place in March 2021. Throughout this time Ellen
continued to enjoy her art. While at Senior Star, Ellen created a painting, titled “Ocean Waves”.
It was selected by the Alzheimer’s Association for their Memories in the Making live auction.
Her painting raised $1350 for the event.
Those left to honor her memory are her daughter Emily Dickman Geisler from Idaho Falls,
Idaho, grandchildren Sydni, and Jaycob, Uncle Larry (Rose) Scott of Alaska and numerous
cousins. And special friends of 40 years, Marilyn Streed and Johanna Shick, both of California.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Emmett, numerous aunts and uncles,
and several cousins.
Special thanks to the nursing staff at Senior Star, especially Monica, Emalee and her favorite
Care Partner Daisy, who provided excellent care. Also want to thank the staff of
ProMedica/Heartland Hospice, especially Zuri, Jenny, Kristen and Jody for their compassionate
care in Ellen’s final days.
Memorials may be directed to the Lost Nation Volunteer Fire Department in her honor. Cards
of condolences may be sent to Dawson Funeral Services Attn: Ellen Sterk Dickman Family PO
Box 258 Wyoming, Iowa 52362. Online condolences may be left at www.dawsonfuneral.com.