Nathan Thomas Peterka, 35, of Paola, Kansas left this world on June 13, 2021. You may have known him as “Turkey”, “Nater”, “Nateman,” “Nate”, or “Nae Nae.” If you knew Nathan, you know the world will not be the same without him.
Nathan was born June 21, 1985,in Hays, Kansas to Tom Peterka and Galene (Brown) Steckel. Throughout his childhood, he was always on the move. If something were going to be wrecked, spilled, or disassembled, he was the one who would do it. No snow globe was safe around Nathan. You would likely find him in the spotlight, showing off his karate moves, and always with a big smile. He had a special and long-lasting connection with everyone he crossed paths with. Each person holds memories close to their heart that lead to laughter and comfort when shared.
Nathan married Lindsy (Harders) Peterka on September 13, 2013, by the river, one of his favorite places. He loved their dogs, Stella and Cali, tremendously. So much, in fact, Nathan and Lindsy took their dogs to the river or lake several times a week. It was their family’s happy place. From cooking to canning, Nathan was game, as long as it was food related. He could make a gourmet meal out of a bologna sandwich. All his nieces can attest to this.
Nathan loved outdoor adventures such as kayaking, camping, riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and of course, shooting, because he learned from the best: his stepfather, Rod Steckel. It was not uncommon to find him in the backyard in his hammock under the stars. He was frequently found (involuntarily) working on projects with his dad who lived next door — kinda hard to hide from. On the contrary, his mom was always hearing, “We will get it done, mom”. His brothers and sisters will never forget the nicknames he had for them and the distinct way he answered their phone calls.
Nathan will be fondly remembered for his sarcastic sense of humor, his bubbly spirit, and outgoing personality. His quick-wit and ability to turn on the charm made him a stranger to nobody and a friend to all. His family often describes him as being a pain in the butt, but ultimately, they loved him for it. They will miss his teasing and poking fun because nobody can quite “tell it like it is” the way Nathan could.
Surviving to honor his memory are his wife, Lindsy, Paola, KS; his mother Galene Steckel, Russell, KS; his father Tom Peterka, Paola, KS; step-father Rod Steckel, Russell, KS; sisters Nicole Barrera, Russell, KS; Haley Chavez and husband, Luis, Grandview, MO; Heather Steckel, Russell, KS; Crystal Miner and husband, Dan, Hays, KS; one brother, Jerod Steckel, Russell, KS; and many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and cousins, all who he loved very much.
Nathan is preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard and Bertha Brown; Eugene and Lorene Peterka; Clarence and Irene Steckel; two uncles, Roger Brown; Pat Widows; two aunts, Sharon Brown; Lerama Peterka; cousin Clayton Brown; and a brother-in-law Greg Bitter.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 AM, Thursday, June 24, 2021 at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell. Burial of ashes will follow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell, with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. A Memorial has been established with American Kidney Foundation. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary who is in charge of these arrangements.