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Age 64, of St. Paul, passed away unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, 2023.
Steven Leonard Wirtz was born on July 21st 1959 to Ernest and Ida Mae Wirtz. Steve was born in St. Paul at St. Lukes Hospital. He was a welcomed addition to a family of 14 children. Three years later his brother Michael was born making it an even 16. Steve's family resided on Raymond Avenue. Steve attended grade school at St. Anthony Elementary School and graduated from Murray High School in 1977. After graduation Steve enlisted in the Marine Corps. Steve was stationed at Paris Island for basic training. After basic training Steve served as a Military Police Officer in the Marine Reserves.
Steve worked as a pressman at RockTenn for 25 years along with his brothers Ernie and David. Prior to his passing Steve worked for the United States Postal Service in the building maintenance custodial department. He worked at the Barnett Station in Bloomington then transferred to Minneapolis. Steve enjoyed working in a historical building, the view of St. Anthony Falls, and the people he worked with. Steve was a strong man in body, of mind, of his opinions, and his spirituality. He was a protector, was not afraid to fight against wrong doings towards his family, friends, or even a stranger. His heart was warm, loving, kind, and generous. If he could help in anyway he would. Steve was quick witted and had a great sense of humor. He never let a chance to make a joke or make someone smile pass him by. People either loved or disliked Steve, and he was perfectly ok with the latter. He would often say "I am not here to blow sunshine..."
Steve was a social, outgoing person, he would talk to just about anybody about anything.
Steve met Laurel-lee on Wednesday April 1st 1987. There was an instant connection between them. Many years passed by and they married on Saturday September 8th 2018. People would ask Steve, "What took so long?" he'd reply, "We didn't believe in short engagements."
Steve loved dogs, and an occasional cat now and then. He was particularly fond of the German Shepherds and Shih Tzu breeds. Steve never liked a quiet house - there had to be the sounds of scampering paws. A favorite sign hangs on the wall of their deck where Steve, Laurel-lee, and their four legged loves enjoyed time together: Love is a wet nose, a wagging tail, and sloppy kisses.
Gunther was a beautiful, strong willed, wonderfully goofy, and smarter then anticipated critter. Gunther lived for harassing Laurel-lee. He enjoyed stealing things to get her to chase him or trade the item for a treat. He was her kitchen, laundry, and bathroom supervisor. Gunther insisted he go first down the stairs of their basement to chase away the "booger man," but his actual mission was to seek out and steal dirty or clean laundry. Gunther was her shadow, followed her everywhere, he never left her side.
I would like to send a special Thank You to:
My nephew Brian Poppoff, nieces Patty Nelson, and Laura Martin for organizing the candle light vigil. To my sister-in-law Louise Wirtz for bravely reading the 4 candle poem in front of everyone and the press. To all my family, friends, and dear neighbors for attending, sharing their support, love, and prayers for Steve and Gunther.
To the St. Paul Police Department for their respectful, professional, and care that tragic fatal night, and to the officers who took the time to attend the vigil to show their respects as well. Especially K9 officer Smokey.
To MN Pets for their loving care of Gunther and their heart felt generosity.
To my Genevive family who have supported me throughout this, and to Mandi and Elizabeth of Simple Traditions.
God has sent so many good people my way to help me during the most difficult time in my life for this I am beyond grateful.
A Celebration of Steve's life will take place Saturday, January 20 at 11am at Simple Traditions by Bradshaw, 671 South Snelling Ave., Saint Paul, 55116. Visitation one hour prior.