Laurie A. Garms

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Laurie A. Garms, M.D., 58, of Dubuque, passed away Thursday, April 6, 2023, at Mercy Medical Center. 


Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22, at Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home and Crematory, Dubuque. Condolences and memories may be shared at 


Laurie was born April 12, 1964, in Postville, the daughter of LaVerne and Ivanelle (Lenth) Garms. She was raised on a farm outside of Monona, and graduated from MFL High School. From a young age, Laurie loved to read, and always had her nose in a book. She attended Iowa State University for a year, and then transferred to Luther College, graduating a year early. Laurie was accepted early into the University of Iowa Medical School and chose to concentrate on neurology. It was at the University of Iowa where she met Phil Steffen, and they married on Aug. 1, 1987, in Monona. Laurie completed her internship at Michigan State University and completed her residency in neurology at University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City. 


On July 18, 1994, Laurie joined the Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque, where she practiced as a board certified neurologist for 29 years, until health problems forced her to retire. Laurie loved her work and patients, and was known to be a top neurologist, not only in Iowa but in the United States. She served as president and CEO of the Mercy Health Board, was a member of the Medical Associates Health Board for 25 years and administered the board exams for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 


Laurie was a major fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, and along with Phil, was a member of the Kinnick Club with the University of Iowa Athletic Department. She was also a fan of the Cubs and Vikings. Laurie enjoyed reading, knitting, cross stitch and gardening. She loved to cook and bake. Heaven is going to gain the best sugar cookies ever! Laurie and Phil enjoyed traveling to tropical islands together to escape the winter. She was a loving cat owner and adored Nutty, Spooky, Gizmo, Bobbi and Buddy. 


Laurie is survived by her husband, Phil Steffen, of Dubuque; her siblings, Wayne (Lois) Garms, of Monona, Judy (Rex) Carlson, of Woodbury, Minn., Keith (Kathy) Garms, of Elkader, and Kristy (Joey) Rigdon, of Fairbank; her in-laws, Howard (Darlene) Steffen, of Luxemburg, Chris (Chuck) Korte, of West Des Moines, Linda Steffen, of Chicago, Ill., and Sheila (Steve) Rock, of St. Louis, Mo.; and 15 nieces and nephews. 


She was preceded in death by her parents and her parents-in-law, Raymond and Francis Steffen. 


Memorials may be made to the Dubuque County Humane Society or the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. 


Laurie’s family would like to thank the staff and doctors at Mercy Medical Center. 

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