Stephen Fenske

Born: Tue., Sep. 27, 1949
Died: Mon., Sep. 16, 2013


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., Sep. 20, 2013
Location: Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Sat., Sep. 21, 2013
Location: Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

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Stephen (Steve) Michael Fenske, husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, and friend to many, passed away in the evening on Monday, September 16, 2013 with his wife, two daughters, two son-in-laws, and his best friend/”son”, (Mike Brooks) by his side. Steve had a lengthy illness and beat every odd the Doctors gave him for the past six and a half years.
Steve and Joyce owned Fenske’s Suburban Sanitation in Byron, MN and kept the recycling portion of the business after selling the company after 28 years of being in business. Steve has driven bobcat and trucks for 40+ years and loved every minute of it. He was a very hard working man with little time of rest. His main job the past 10 years was picking up large cardboard bales with the bobcat from different businesses, making friends at each stop.
Steve gave everyone and everything he loved a nickname. His immediate loving family consists of his wife of 44 years,  Joyce (Gage) “Little Fluffer”, who always supported and took care of him. She would drive class B trucks, haul garbage, and kept him in line as best she could with an unruly man like himself.
His oldest daughter, Christy Buchan “Monster” who was always underfoot wanting to do/see whatever dad was doing. Her husband, Brent Buchan was always referred to as “Big Guy” and helped with many things at their home and shop. Their children, Alexander “Porky”, and Lauren “Moo-Nut” loved to play down in the shop by grandpa while he was working.  They loved crawling on the cardboard bales in the shop and following him around like their mom always did. Grandpa would make a fort for them with cardboard bales and they would play for hours.
His youngest daughter, Shelly Buchanan “Poopy-Doo” who was his biggest confidant and guardian angel. She lives across the road so was incessantly called to come up and help for “five minutes” which always ended up being an hour. Shelly left her Nursing job of 15 years to help her dad with his business while his health was failing. She drove bobcat, Class B truck, and learned everything he wanted to teach her in his last months of life. Shelly’s husband, Dr. Todd Buchanan “Dudley” was always getting grief from Steve for “messing something up”, or for borrowing his tools. They enjoyed spending time together and picking on each other. Their children,
Raquel “Bozo”, and Nash (“Tank”),  saw him every day and worshipped everything he said and did. They rode on the bobcat, drove it, helped with the business, and loved to ride in the big blue truck. They climbed on the cardboard bales and even had grandpa lift them up with the bobcat as high as they could go.
Mike Brooks “Son”, Steve’s best friend, got Steve out of his shell and took him on his first fishing trip, Twins game, to comedy shows, and concerts. They loved to have shrimp at Whistle Binkie’s and no doubt caused a lot of trouble wherever they went. Mike was a very good friend not only to Steve but to the whole family. Mike would come up to help at the drop of a hat when we needed him most. He has become a part of the family, and will likely  miss dad slapping his hand as he reaches to take food off his plate.
Mike Brooks, Brent Buchan and Todd Buchanan promised to take good care of Steve’s two daughters and wife for him.
The things Steve loved most were taking a drive in his bright yellow corvette with his wife Joyce to the casino where he could shut down a black jack table. He was a man who loved numbers and figuring out how things worked and ways of fixing things with duct tape and zip ties that would blow your mind! He loved telling stories in his animated fashion. Of all the things Steve loved, his grandchildren took the cake. He melted with a simple hug, smile, or kiss from any of them!
Steve was preceded in death by his mother, Irene (Lica)Fenske, and father, Albert (Swede) Fenske, and two infant siblings.
Steve is survived by his wife, Joyce (Gage), daughter Christy (Brent Buchan) daughter Shelly (Dr. Todd Buchanan), Four grandchildren, Raquel and Nash (Buchanan), Alexander and Lauren (Buchan); Siblings, Karen (Dan Jeno)of Faribault, Bob Fenske of Dexter, Dan Fenske of Rochester, Kathy (Dave Hilliard) of Hawaii, Pam Fenske of Rochester, Laurene (Rick Miller) and Randy (Roxanne) Fenske of Rochester.
To celebrate Steve’s life and share stories of his quick wit, outrageous one-liners, and wonderful sense of humor, please join his family and friends for a visitation from 4-7 p.m. Friday evening at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes and also one hr prior to the service Saturday at the funeral home.  Funeral service held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 21 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes.   Burial will take place at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester.

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Karen Fenske-Jeno
   Posted Tue September 17, 2013
Stephen will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Becky Reiland
   Posted Wed September 18, 2013
Reading this obituary, I see the love you all had for your husband, father, grandfather. The Reilands are praying for you to have comfort and peace in these difficult days ahead. A quote I read made me think of you: We never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.

Love to you all,
Gary and Becky Reiland

Chris Kujath
   Posted Wed September 18, 2013
My thoughts and prayers to all of you. I will miss Steve and I always enjoyed talking to him. He always made me laugh!

Lizzi Clobes
   Posted Thu September 19, 2013
I send energy, love & laughter in this time of celebration for a man that made such a huge footprint in the lives of so many. His life force & light has brought so much to so many! This leaves me to pause in my own mortality & how I affect the world around me. From this man, whom I never had the sincere pleasure of meeting, I can take away for me, that family & friends are truly a life source that only those who love unconditionally get a little bit of. Sending prayers & joy to your hearts in his blessing & all he brought to those he loved.

Ellen Lawson
   Posted Thu September 19, 2013
Prayers go out to Shelly and Todd Buchanan as well as the rest of the family.
I did not know Steve, however I have known Shelly and Todd for sometime.
Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy to all

Ellen & Don Lawson

Kim McPhee
   Posted Thu September 19, 2013
We're so very sorry for your loss, he was one in a million and your wonderful obit just proved that!
God Bless you all,
Kim & Phil McPhee

Debra (Mahnke) Wallace
   Posted Sun October 06, 2013
Steve looked like Swede. I saw very little of the Fenskes' as we only returned to Minnesota twice in my life but I always remember how welcome Swede and Irene family made us feel. It is had to lose our loved ones but their memories live on in our heart's forever. Steve's memories show's what a great person he was and how he touched the hearts and lives of everyone around him. May you all be bless during your times of sorrow as we send you our prayers and thoughts.

Image: Julie A. Wenskoski /