Stephen Keith Koester

Stephen Koester, 65, Mitchell, SD, died Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell, of pancreatic cancer.

Stephen Keith Koester was born Feb. 11, 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 14, 1969 in Currie, MN. They began their life together in West St. Paul, MN, as Steve began his career as a cattle buyer for 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.

Steve 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 4-H and the local beef industry.

He is survived by his wife, Bernadette; daughter Sarah (John) Olinger of Woonsocket, SD; son Jacob (Krista) 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.