It is with great sadness that we remember Dee Schutte, the Conservancy’s former lead staffer, who passed away on Friday, April 9, 2021, at her home in Minnetonka, Minn. Dee was 69 years old and was born in Iola, Kansas.

Dee was employed at several Chamber of Commerce offices in the Twin Cities, most notably the Litchfield Chamber. For the last five years of her professional life, Dee worked with Larry Dowell at Dowell Management. While at Dowell, Dee was the Park Conservancy’s lead account executive. During that time, Dee helped the Conservancy grow and she managed several successful campaigns for the Conservancy, including the Rice Park Revitalization and Sepak Takra projects.

According to her obituary in the Iola Register, Dee “had an amazing sense of adventure and loved to laugh and enjoy her family and friends. She also had friends in Minnesota that became family. She was well-thought of by her colleagues and friends in the Twin Cities.

We are heartbroken by Dee’s passing. Dee brought a sense style and grace to her work at the Conservancy, and she made SPPC a stronger organization. “I think it’s safe to say Dee really left her mark on the Conservancy,” said former board President Garth Morrisette. “She helped push our organization to a new level and she did it with a smile and a warm heart.”

Dee is survived by: sons, Dustin Stuart (Christine), Daren Stuart; step-daughter Amy Valasco (Todd) and step-son Dan Schutte (Alison); her mother Janie Paxton of Pittsburg; sisters Cathy Paxton Spangler and Susan Paxton Powers (George). Dee also had seven grandchildren: Christian Stuart, Payton Stuart, Hailee Stuart, Mason Stuart, Anna Valasco, Reid Valasco and Abbie Schutte.