John Steer, 70, of Brandon, MN and long-time resident of Euclid and Crookston, MN died on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. In lieu of gifts, the family asks you to make a charitable donation in John’s name to an organization of your choice.
John Edward Steer was born on October 7th, 1952, in Crookston, MN, to Henry and Helen Steer. He was raised with his six siblings, Henry Jr. (Butch), Lois, Jim, Mary, Jeanette, and Joanne, on the family farm near Euclid, MN. Growing up, John developed a talent for resourcefulness and mischief, encouraged by his brothers and sisters. Their early misadventures include building a homemade zipline, attempting to dig an inground swimming pool, and painting the head of a brand-new rocking horse like Black Beauty. These experiences, and many others like them, formed unbreakable bonds of love and laughter between John and his family.
John began his education at what he described as a “two-room” country school. When the country school closed, he continued to attend school in Crookston, graduating from Crookston High School in 1970. After graduation, John worked on the family farm until being inducted into the U.S. Army on October 24th, 1972. He spent six months in the service before being recalled home on a hardship discharge. John farmed in Brandt township until 1989, when he moved to Crookston, MN. He also worked for American Crystal, Dahlgren’s, Crookston School District, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Following his move to Brandon, MN in 2012, John was employed by the Care Campus in Evansville and Holiday Inn in Alexandria.
John met his to-be wife Candi in 1983. He was instantly charmed by her assessment of his approach to wheat harvesting. It didn’t take long for John to realize he had met his match, and they married one year later, on October 27th, 1984. Throughout their lives together, John demonstrated dutiful patience, persistence, and know-how to check-off tasks on Candi’s DIY list. He approached a precarious, roof-top transport of tables and chairs at the beginning of their marriage with the same begrudging enthusiasm as a never-ending pavers project in more recent years. John got revenge by expanding his collection of antique hand drills and lawnmowers that only he could start.
In 1986, John became a doting father, welcoming his daughter Jami. Two years later, his daughter Erin was born. John spent every moment he could trying to make his two girls happy. Even when working nights, he tolerated their habit of peeling back his eyelids to wake him to watch cartoons. John invented the character Dr. Possum to dry their eyes and evoke a giggle when they were hurt. As they grew, he was a devoted fan at their sporting and music events. Never missing a game or concert, despite requiring an obscenely early start to his workday. His affection for Jami and Erin did not diminish as they became adults. From sending daily dad jokes to rescuing them from automotive annoyances, John found ways to express his unconditional love. In 2017, he delighted in the formal addition of his son-in-law and kindred spirit, Barry, to the family.
Overjoyed to become a grandpa, John cherished every moment with his grandchildren, Katherine and Henry. “Yampa” loved to play Candyland with Katherine. Somehow, he managed to prevent his competitiveness from interfering with her winning streak. Excited that Katherine seemed to inherit his green thumb, John was proud to help her pick vegetables in the summer. He also happily gave up retirement to provide part-time daycare to Henry.
In addition to being a beloved family man, John was exceptionally committed to his church and community. He served on the Brandt township board during his years farming near Euclid. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Crookston – acting as an elder, deacon, and Sunday school teacher. Always eager to lend a helping hand, John went on mission trips as part of his church community to Costa Rica and West Virginia. Most recently, he utilized his skills as a jack-of-all-trades to support the Evansville Historical Foundation’s mission to make history accessible and engaging.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at Faith Lutheran Church in Evansville, MN on February 21st at 11:00 AM, with a visitation starting at 10:00 AM. John’s family invites you to join them in worship and the exchange of cherished memories. Funeral arrangements were with the Glende-Nilson Funeral Home of Evansville
In sad, but loving memory of our dear husband, dad, and grandpa, John Steer.
Just one short week ago today
God took our husband, dad, and grandpa away
He left us with loved ones near and far
And yet, how terribly lonesome we are.
We loved you so and always will
There’s a place in our hearts no one can fill.
So now we wait for that great day,
Pray, dear God, not far away,
When together again we can always be,
Up there with God, through eternity