Conservation Officer Steve Reighard
Steve Reighard knew after graduating high school that entering the state Department of Natural Resources wouldn’t be easy; it would require four to six years of schooling and seasonal posts before landing his desired career position.
Since 2011, he has served as President and CEO of MUST Ministries. Under his watchful eye, this charity has opened one of the country’s most innovative homeless shelters as well as launched their Mobile Pantry service.
Early Life and Education
After graduating Park City High School, he embarked upon his postsecondary journey by enrolling at an elite Massachusetts college, experiencing firsthand how PCEF’s funding made an impactful difference during his three years spent studying percussion with its program.
He also assisted Iowa DNR fisheries before, upon graduating, beginning his career as a park ranger at Gull Point State Park. By 2012 he had been promoted to conservation officer status and transferred to Dickinson County.
Reighard passed away early 2020 after contracting COVID-19 through presumed exposure on duty, leaving behind his wife and son to mourn his passing. To honor his memory, family and friends created a memorial scholarship fund at Iowa Lakes Community College; this will assist students pursuing criminal justice or environmental stewardship studies at this educational institute.
Conservation Officer Steve Reighard dedicated much of his life to serving others, yet found great fulfillment hunting, fishing and trapping in nature where he felt most at one with God and nature.
Reighard completed Iowa Lakes Community College’s environmental studies program before going on to earn his bachelor of biology from South Dakota State University. He started with the DNR as a park ranger at Gull Point State Park before transitioning into their Law Enforcement Bureau serving Dickinson County in 2012.
Reighard also serves on the advisory boards for Iowa Lakes Community College’s criminal justice and environmental studies programs as an advisor. In addition, he mentors young hunters and fishermen. Reighard volunteers his services with both Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.
Achievement and Honors
Apart from his work at MUST Ministries, Mark is also a member of Piedmont Church and regularly volunteers his services at school chaplain programs. Known for his generosity and selflessness acts, Mark was recently awarded with the Cobb Chamber’s Marietta Citizen of the Year Award.
Reighard was awarded this honor for his contributions to MUST Ministries, an organization serving over 60,000 people living in poverty every year.
Reighard began working for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as a park ranger at Gull Point State Park before being promoted to conservation officer and assigned to Dickinson County. According to KCCI News, Reighard passed away Friday due to complications from COVID-19.
Reighard was deeply connected to his family and enjoyed spending time outdoors where he could connect to himself, God and nature. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping and watching the Denver Broncos play football; in addition he loved making others smile with his sense of humor and helping them laugh.
As part of MUST Ministries’ work, he was also involved with correctional facilities throughout the U.S. for over three decades, serving as chaplain for correctional Ministries Institute, Marsh Center for Chaplaincy Studies and Every Youth-Every Facility organizations as chaplain.
Reighard was diagnosed with COVID-19 due to work duties and died on Friday in Sioux Falls from complications of it at age 59, leaving behind his wife and son as his legacy. Reighard’s tragic passing served as a sobering reminder of its true cost for first responders like Reighard who have contracted it due to their work responsibilities.