Stephen Keith Koester


February 11, 1946 - January 23, 2012


Stephen Keith Koester was born February 11th 1946 in Willmar, MN. to Henry and Elsie (Strom) Koester. Stephen graduated from Kerkhoven High School, Kerkhoven, MN, in 1964 and spent four years studying at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

He married Bernadette (Bunny) Surprenant on June 14th 1969 in Currie, MN. They began their life together in West St. Paul, MN as Steve began his career as a cattle buyer at Central Livestock (formerly Central Order Buyers). After six years in the Twin City area Steve’s work moved them to Sioux Falls, SD. In 1977 he left Central Livestock and became partners in Kistler and Koester Livestock that, in 1980, became Koester Cattle Company. In 1981, Steve and Bunny settled in Mitchell, SD.

He enjoyed the outdoors and experienced it by hunting, fishing, and traveling. Steve loved to spend time with his grandsons. Also, he would seldom miss an opportunity to discuss the cattle market. He was a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church and was a strong supporter of 4H and the local beef industry.

He is survived by his wife, Bernadette; daughter Sarah Olinger and husband John of Woonsocket, SD; son Jacob and wife, Krista (Vigil) of Albuquerque, NM; sister Patricia Davis of Tucson, AZ; brother Gerald (Carmen) of Kerkhoven, MN; brother John of Cresco, IA; sisters-in-law Doris (Floyd) Peterson of Plymouth, MN, Louise Gervais of Currie, MN, Phyllis (Vern) Ahrndt of Plymouth, MN, Mary Steffen of Waconia, MN, Joan Surprenant of North Mankato, MN, Mary Jo Surprenant of Mankato, MN; brother-in-laws Ralph (Myrna) Surprenant of Tracy, MN, Jim (Barb) Surprenant of Slayton, MN, Leo Surprenant of Redwood Falls, MN, Fr. Paul Surprenant of Byron, MN, Mike Surprenant of Currie, MN; three grandchildren, Drew, Clay, and Kade Olinger and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers-in-law Fr. John Surprenant, Jim Steffen, Hugh Gervais, and Kenneth Surprenant and nephew Philip Steffen.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Scripture Service ~ 7:00 PM
1401 West Cedar
Mitchell, South Dakota


Thursday, January 26, 2012
10:30 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
1401 West Cedar
Mitchell, South Dakota


Calvary Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

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Posted by grace on October 27, 2012
Im so sorry for your lost Bunny. He was a wonderful man.
Posted by Dee Schuldies--Sharon Bagley on September 14, 2012
To the family of Steve
So sorry to hear of your loss.Steve was a special man and a very special friend.We looked forward to fall runs and visiting with all the cattle buyers.We worked at American West Steakhouse.Steve was our heads-up that the fall run had started.When I worked at salebarns,he was always a smiling face in the crowd.HE WILL BE MISSED!!!
Posted by cylie on February 7, 2012
I'm so sorry for your loss koester family I hope your life will be happy always
Posted by Dave Belling on January 29, 2012
Bunny & Family - Teri & I are were so sorry to hear of Stephens passing, our sympathy and prayers go out to you all. Lots of great memories of you both in South Mlps, and the 12th Avenue
Posted by David & Jolene VanMetre on January 28, 2012
Sincere sympathy to all of Steve's family. Steve was one to the good guys and a good friend to us. It was our pleasure to do business with Steve at the Burke sale barn. He will be missed by all of us.
Posted by Neil and Brenda Duxbury on January 26, 2012
Our sympathy to Steve's family. We got to know Steve through my dad, Wally Johnson. They solved a lot of world problems in those sale barns-the stories they could tell!! Dad said Steve was the first to welcome him to the business of order buying.
Posted by Brittany Fitzgerald Smith on January 26, 2012
I am saddened to hear of Steve's passing... I knew him from the Philip Sale Barn where my dad, Greg Fitzgerald, worked for many years with Steve, and my mom, Bonnie Fitzgerald, ran the cafe. I had the privilege of waiting on him many times over the years in the cafe and will never forget his smile and up beet attitude. What a great guy! My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Posted by jeanie full on January 26, 2012
I'm so saddened to hear of Stephen's death. He was a great guy - funny, kind and caring - and that smile of his, followed by a wink, endeared him to everyone he met. I have fond rememberances from our high school and college years.
Bunny, I hope you and your children will find comfort in memories of happier times and peace from your strong faith. God bless.
Posted by Gary and Julie Nixon on January 26, 2012
This is so very hard to write. We have been friends with Steve since the very early 1970's at Philip Livestock. He was a joy to be around. Bunny it was also nice that you got to come once in a while so we could meet the wonderful woman who shared his life. Steve was always upbeat and had a smile I don't care what the market was. He always had a joke or story and I know he was not one to complain but you could see how hard these last few months were for him. He loved his pie and there was so much he could no longer enjoy. He was missed on Tuesday and for sure everytime I walk by his chair I will think of him and his smile and wink. What an amazing guy. We feel your loss for sure. We were honored to call him a friend.
Posted by Cindy Nuzum on January 26, 2012
I met Steve while working at Philip Livestock...he always had a way of making you smile. What a great guy...he will be missed by all who knew him.
Posted by Vonda Hamill-Milesville SD on January 25, 2012
I worked for a brief time at the Philip Livestock Auction and got to know Steve through the salebarn. He was always good for a laugh, and I appreciated his patience as I was learning the ropes and how to deal with the buyers and sellers. I am sorry to hear of his passing, at such a young age. Bless all his family in the days and weeks ahead.
Posted by Karen and Tim Martin on January 25, 2012
Our thoughts are with you, Steve was a great guy and it was a pleasure to know him. He was a good friend to us and my family at Burke Livestock. God Bless
Posted by Wayne & Peg Winckler on January 25, 2012
We are so sorry to hear about Steve. He has been our order buyer for many years. We had many good times together at sales and when he would stop out at our farm for a visit. He will be dearly missed! Our sympathy to all his family.
Posted by Mary Ann and Craig Heieren on January 25, 2012
Bunny .. So sorry to learn of Steve's death. It is hard for the whole family as you lose someone to cancer. May you have many fond memories of better days in your past to sustain you and your family in your loss. Mary and Craig of your old 12th Avenue Neighborhood and Currie of course.
Posted by Angela Rusten on January 25, 2012
Bunny, Sarah and Jacob, your family had been such a big part of my childhood as neighbors in Sioux Falls. I am deeply saddened to hear of your loss. My prayers go with you along with those prayers of my family. I remember Steve to be a nice, gentle, firm and loving husband and father. My you find comfort in family and your faith.
Deepest sympathies,
The Rustens
Lowell, Kenneth and Angela
Posted by David Nelson on January 25, 2012
I have fond memories of the whole Koester family.
Posted by Carol Kirk on January 24, 2012
To the family of Steve ,
My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your families. I have worked with Steve for many years at Belle Fourche, Sturgis and St. Onge sale barns. I will miss his wonderful smile and his mischevious laugh. He never missed saying hello when he was out west. He will be missed by all.
Posted by Dan & Gayla Piroutek on January 24, 2012
We both knew Steve, and Dan worked with Steve on many cattle sales, especially at the Philip Sale Barn. Today at the Philip Sale Barn, just before the sale began, they retired his bidder's card number # 50, and marked his chair. He will not be forgotten. What a special guy. We are so sorry that Steve's time on earth was up. He still had roads to travel and friends to make.
Posted by BRUCE AND DIANE HANSON on January 24, 2012
Posted by Marlene Reuman on January 24, 2012
I am Delmer Volmer's daughter and I grew up knowing Steve. Steve was always kind to me, in fact I just had a nice visit with him last winter when my Dad was sick. Sorry to hear of his passing. God Bless his family
Posted by Charlie and Nyla McIntyre on January 24, 2012
Steve was a good guy, always a smile and always greeted folks in a warm and friendly way. Gods blessings to Bunny and the family.

Posted by Steve and Peggy Ling on January 24, 2012
Our sympathy and prayers go out to you Bunny and Family, even though I have barely seen Steve since high school I miss him already. He was one of my best friends and a neighbor and we kind of grew up together after I went to "town" school. We ran around together lot. May the Lord be with through these difficult times.
Posted by Jim and Eleanor Christenson on January 24, 2012
Our sympathy and prayers go out to you in your loss. We have many good recollections of school years with Stephen.
Posted by Ruth Ann Ashburn on January 24, 2012
Bunny and family, I was saddened to learn of Stephens passing. He was a wonderful classmate and we always enjoyed his humor and twinkle in his eye. I'm so happy you made it to our last class reunion...I know how much fun we had on the float we made!! May God bless you through your grief and keep you always in His ever loving, caring and healing arms!
Posted by Val & Dawn Luckett on January 24, 2012
To the Family of Steve,
Our thoughts and Prayers to you all. We known Steve for many years thru the Sale Barns. Always enjoyed Steve He will be very much missed

Deepest Sympathies
The Luckett's
Val, Dawn, Mace, Kyndal, Josh, Vance, Courtney & Dusty
Posted by Clint and Julie Goodman on January 23, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We were very sad to hear of Steve's passing and will treasure the many memories we have of his quick wit and smile.
Posted by Alice Barrett Seiler on January 23, 2012
Our sypathy to you in this time of grief. I have many fun memories of Stephen in our school years. He will be missed.
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