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1943 Stephen 2021

Stephen Thoele

March 22, 1943 — February 5, 2021

Stephen Thoele, 77, of Fergus Falls, died Friday, February 5, 2021, at LB Broen Home in Fergus Falls.

On the morning of February 5th Steve passed away at the age of 77. He like many of us was a quirky person but a kind and gentle soul (mostly). He knew how he liked things to be done and was not always so gentle in how he told you that. Some of this can be blamed on the stroke he had in 2002, and some just came from life. Now that I’ve said that, let me tell you about the Steve I knew.

He was born and raised in St. Cloud, MN. He talked about where he lived and his time at the family lake cabin. Hunting and fishing were his life back then. Later, during his high school years, he worked for Del-Tone Kennels in St. Cloud where he helped train dogs. I’m not sure how long he worked there but I believe it was quite a while. During his time there he helped train a black Lab named, Cork-of Oakwood Lane, that went on to become a national champion. Somewhere in this time frame trap shooting became an interest of his. Apparently, it came naturally for him. The time frame here is a little sketchy, but I think this was around 1962.

About this time, he entered the Army and was trained to be a dental tech since that was his family’s business, which he had also worked at. Somewhere along the way his commanding officer found out that he liked trap shooting and got him together with the officer in charge of the Army trap team. Steve made the team and traveled around the US, Canada, and Europe. He also had the chance to try out for the Olympic trap team.

After the service, he came back to St Cloud and took a job selling printing and copying machines. He worked hard at this, and was successful. He continued to travel the competitive trap circuit and won his share of events. His biggest win came at an event called “The Grand”, the national championship for trap shooters. I’m not sure which year but he won his bracket. A significant accomplishment. During this time Steve also enjoyed waterfowl hunting, much of it was done in the Fergus Falls area. Many stories, shooting Bluebills, the Saint Paul Pass, etc.

Here things are a little blurry again, but I know he continued to shoot trap till a stroke in 2002 took away his hand and eye coordination. After rehab, he was left with a limp and it took longer to process what was being said.

Around that time, he started selling art and guns. He loved both. He had a “trap line” of stops he made and was always looking for the next deal.
I really got to know Steve about the time his cancer started. He was a medical worrier. We spent many hours talking about cancer and his ability to beat it. He won that battle many times thanks to many excellent doctors and nurses.

Steve became a close friend to me and my dog Jake. We would spend time at the Broen visiting, Steve and Jake always got saltines before we left. Steve’s last few weeks were rough. He was incredibly weak, ate very little, but his mind and sense of humor were still good. I was very thankful he was able to go to bed and not wake up. Just peacefully died.
I lost a good friend, but his memories are mine forever. Rest well old friend!

Steve Schultz

At this time no service is being planned.

Assistance provided by the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
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