Steve had a passion for learning and wanted so much to study on the college and seminary level. He was a great student, earning high marks. He earned a Bachelor of Theology from Minnesota Bible College (no longer in existence) and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College) in 1968. Following that, we moved to Lincoln, Illinois, where he pursued his Master of Divinity at Lincoln Christian Seminary. They had a special program for students to take concentrated classes every Tuesday/Wednesday for three years, which allowed them to work in other places to help pay their way. He proudly graduated with his M. Div. in 1971. During that time he had been hired to be the youth pastor, followed by the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Joliet, Illinois. [All three of our kids, Hans (1970), Peder (1973) and Heidi (1977) were born in Joliet.] It didn't take Steve long before he began studying for his Doctor of Ministry degree at Trinity, which he earned in 1987. We lived and worked in Joliet until June 1978, upon which we moved back to Minnesota where Steve became professor of Christian Education and Church History at Crossroads College, formerly called Minnesota Bible College. We lived in Austin rather than Rochester where the college was located due to the lower cost of housing Austin afforded.
Life was busy with raising three kids. Steve had to take time for studying, but also fit in time for his love of running—often training to run marathons. The family followed him to cheer him on at the Twin Cities Marathons, Grandma's Marathons and on his 40th birthday we even went to Chicago where he ran in their big marathon. The older our kids became, the more activities grew. Once Heidi started kindergarten, I began working part-time at a local bakery. After a year and a half, I got a job working at Hormel Foods. And then life got complicated and our marriage was in trouble and eventually it ended in divorce.
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Fast forward to Friday, January 12, 2018. Hans phoned me to let me know his dad had been found dead. Apparently Steve had missed a lunch date and when his brother David had been called to ask if he knew of his whereabouts, he sent Donna over to Steve's house to investigate. In all likelihood, Steve died of a heart attack in his sleep, for it was later reported to us he had complained of a sore left shoulder and arm, but passed it off as nothing.
Steve's funeral was held Thursday, January 18, at the Austin Church of Christ where he had been the minister for several years. His nephew, Tim, officiated. It would have pleased Steve to see the sanctuary filled—all the way to the back pews. For me the best part was the speech Hans gave to honor his dad.
|Chad, Heidi, Rachel, Hans, Peder, Sarah, yours truly|
|Felix, William, Josiah, Anni, Relie|
|Tim, Lauren, Andrea, Heidi, Rachel, Hans, Peder, Devin, Sarah, Phillip, Montana, Amy, Ricky, Cece|
|Tim, Andrea, Heidi, Hans, Amy, Peder|
|Heidi and Hans chilling out in my cottage|