Wayne Nattress

Wayne Allen Nattress, brother, friend, beloved teacher and agriculturist, passed from this life on August 17, 2022.

Wayne was first embraced in the loving arms of his parents, Woodrow and Angeline (VanDerWilt) Nattress, in Sibley, IA, on December 14, 1938. He later helped welcome siblings Larry and Angela.
Wayne lived on a farm and started his education at a rural school east of Sibley before moving to Rushmore and then Worthingon, MN, where he graduated from high school in 1957. Wayne was a loving big brother and is remembered for being both genuinely caring and true-to-form as a big brother, an incessant teaser. His siblings recall his good-natured humor and it became a characteristic Wayne held his whole life. Wayne enjoyed helping on the farm and was known as an accomplished accordion player.

He went on to earn both a B.S. and M.S. in vocational agriculture from Iowa State University. His early career included a position as a vocational agriculture instructor and FFA advisor in Palmer, IA, for 3 years and then Buffalo Center, IA, for 16 years. His time in Buffalo Center was dear to his heart and he curated a collection of bison art over many years. Wayne was a consummate example of the positive and lasting difference that teachers can make in the lives of their students. Wayne often quipped that “FFA is the center of Buffalo Center.” Many former students continue to hold Wayne as their favorite and most impactful teacher. 
Wayne then served as the Iowa FFA State Advisor and as the agricultural education consultant for the Iowa Department of Education from 1982-1991. In 1986, Wayne boldly started the Iowa FFA Foundation to encourage youth to pursue careers and leadership roles in the agricultural industry. Upon his retirement in 2010 he was recognized by the State of Iowa for his long and impactful career.

Wayne cherished his American FFA Degree. He also received the Friend of GROWMARK award, Distinguished Service Award by the National FFA Organization, Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators, and FFA Alumni Outstanding Service and Outstanding Achievement awards.

Wayne, or Mr. Nattress, as he's known to thousands of students and FFA members, left a legacy that is impossible to put into words. Despite his own propensity to work long hours, he offered stern warnings of not allowing work to interfere with caring for and spending time with family. Wayne adored children. He always asked how people’s kids were doing and if you didn’t yet have kids, he’d ask when you’re going to have them. Kids loved him too and they couldn’t help but smile whenever they saw him. Wayne experienced joy in taking friends out to dinner and always picking up the tab, writing letters, giving gifts, playing his organ, and collecting Native American and buffalo artwork, John Wayne memorabilia and bald eagle sculptures. Wayne was a faithful believer in Jesus Christ and in his last years his bible was the only book he would read.

Wayne is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, Henry and Katie VanDerWilt and William and Lily Nattress. Wayne is survived by his siblings, Larry (Roberta) of Summerset, SD, and Angela (Marcus) DeBoer of Sibley, IA, nieces and nephews, Blair Nattress of LaVerne, MN, Sonya Nini of New Castle, PA, Jarod Nattress of Avon, IN, Larry DeBoer of Sibley, IA, and Daren Nattress of Sturgis, SD, as well as many great nieces and nephews. Also left to cherish his memory are a host of dear friends and FFA colleagues, especially Dale and Dawn Gruis, Scott and Alyssa Johnson, and Steven and Isabelle Brockshus. Wayne will most be remembered for genuinely living out the FFA motto of “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.” Wayne’s family and friends extend their gratitude to the staff of Bickford of Urbandale Assisted Living and UnityPoint Hospice for their compassionate care.

A celebration of life service is planned for Sunday, September 11 at 3:00 PM at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, IA, with social time following.

According to Wayne’s wishes, memorial contributions may be directed to the Iowa FFA Foundation for the Wayne Nattress Memorial to be used for FFA Leadership Conferences at the FFA Enrichment Center.


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