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In Memory of John Steen


Visitation will be held beginning at 1:00pm until the time of the service.

Funeral Services

Funeral Services will take place at 3:00pm on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 1010 Newton Street in Baldwin WI.

John William Steen, age 80, of Glenwood City, WI, formerly of St. Paul, MN, died at Western Wisconsin Health Facility on March 28, 2017 from complications of congestive heart failure as he was preparing to go home.
John was born on November 11, 1936 in Warren, MN to Paul Ture Steen and Dorice Carolyn Charlotte (Swenson) Steen.  He graduated from St. Peter High School in 1954, the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1958 and  a Masters of Social Work in 1966.  He first worked for R.R. Donnelly’s in Chicago as an engineer, later moving to Fergus Falls where he met many lifetime friends, including his wife.  He was in the Army Reserve unit there while he worked as a clinical social worker at the Fergus Falls State Hospital for several years before moving to St. Paul and working at Catholic Charities for 30 years, retiring in 1999.  He married LaVerne Alice Novak on June 26, 1965 and they raised two daughters, Charlotte and Kristina.
John was an avid horse man, woodsman, gardener, beekeeper and hunter; enjoying these pursuits throughout his life with his family.  He was a faithful friend, great storyteller, and a very compassionate man who took joy in helping those around him, both professionally and in his personal life.  He greatly enjoyed his morning coffee and breakfasts with his Wisconsin neighbors and friends.  John enjoyed good cooking, cooking with Catholic Charities co-workers and sharing Chinese New Year’s dinners with high school friends.  He also loved sailing and sharing time with family and friends at “the lake.”  He was a voracious reader with a long memory, often quoting passages to support his words of wisdom and stories.  He loved traveling, skiing, and camping with his wife and daughters; as well as visiting with extended family and dear friends from Fergus Falls.
Preceded in death by parents, step-mother Lorene (Matthwig), father-in-law Henry Novak, mother-in-law Alice Novak, brother David Paul, and sister-in-law Ina Marie. 
Survived by wife, LaVerne; daughters Charlotte Steen and Kristina Steen of St. Paul, MN; sister Carolyn (Gary) Noehl of New London, MN; brothers Peter Steen of LeGrange, KY and Dr. Mark (Ruth) Steen of Springfield, IL; nieces and nephews, Steen and Swenson cousins, and many loving family and friends.
Funeral Services will take place at 3:00pm on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 1010 Newton Street in Baldwin WI, with Pastor Paul Backstrom officiating.  Visitation will be held beginning at 1:00pm. 

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John's Tribute Wall

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    • To the Family,

      We are very saddened by your loss and pray God’s peace and comfort to each of you. John always had a smile and a good word to say. He was a great addition to the Novack family. He will be missed by all.