Deb Nortmann Tyer’s Howdy

Howdy from the rolling hills of beautiful northeast Iowa! Doesn’t seem that long ago that we were fresh faced teenagers ready to go out and make our mark on the world. Steve and I started dating in high school and married in December of 1973. He had enlisted in the Air Force and being young and in love we couldn’t fathom being apart. Our son, Tyson, was born in Tacoma, Washington and our daughter, Alyssa, was born in Colorado Springs. We returned to Iowa in 1979 and settled in North Liberty to raise our family. 

In 1994 we purchased 73 acres of mostly timber in Clayton County, Iowa and Steve had his own happy hunting ground. Also on the property was an abandoned 4 square farmhouse that we decided to restore. In 1998 with our kids grown and on their own we headed north. We were looking for a kinder, gentler America and we certainly found it here. We could possibly be the only county left in Iowa in 2023 that still has no red/yellow/green stoplights and not a single fast food restaurant. 

I left my job at the College of Dentistry and went to work at a rural medical clinic in Strawberry Point. Steve continued on as a ceramic tile contractor. When the medical clinic closed in 2004 I accepted a position at the Clayton County Courthouse in Elkader as a Deputy Recorder. I remained in this position until my retirement in January of 2022.

 Retirement soon looked different than what I had envisioned when I lost Steve 3 months later. He had retired at 60 due to health reasons and endured 2 open heart surgeries before losing his battle with heart disease. I miss him everyday but have learned that I am a lot stronger than I ever would have believed. Our daughter and her husband now reside in West Virginia and our son and his wife are nearby in Elkader. They each blessed us with 2 grandchildren. The older 3 are now adults and the youngest will be a junior in high school. Friday nights in the fall are spent under the lights watching him play football. I manage to keep busy with my needlework projects, my obsession with doll collecting, DIY home improvement projects, visiting family and friends, and coffee or drinks with the neighbors. I also sub at Central Community School in Elkader which is a far cry from West High. It encompasses 1 city block and houses Pre-K through 12th grade. The average graduating class is 35 seniors. I love small town life! 

Diane Rhoades Meyer, Karen Villhauer Michalec, and Deb Nortmann Tyer

Last October I went on a retirement trip with my dear friends,Karen Villhauer Michalec and Diane Rhoades Meyer (Regina 1973)to Cabo where we had a week of fun in the sun and more than our share of fruity drinks! My favorite place to be will always be with my toes in the sand with a beach view. I’m hoping there will be more beaches in my future!         

Overall, I would say life has been good. I feel content, blessed, and most of all, happy. Wishing you all the same.