Steven Leslie Wannebo, 61, died February 24, 2014, following a two-month battle with lung cancer. Steve was born to Guy and Mary Ann Wannebo on January 4, 1953, in Brainerd.
Growing up in Manhattan Beach, he graduated from Pine River High School, where he was captain of the football team. He followed in his father’s footsteps as owner of Wannebo Excavating that has now been passed on to Steve’s son for its third generation ownership. As a teenager in the company, Steve started with a long-handled #2 shovel installing sewer systems, followed by driving heavy equipment and trucks.
Steve is survived by son, Isaac Wannebo of Manhattan Beach; daughter, Stephanie Wannebo of Brainerd; brothers: Douglas (Gail) and Larry (Marilyn) all of Manhattan Beach. He is also survived by former wives: Joan Wannebo of Pine River, Barbara Hanson Wannebo of Manhattan Beach; stepsons: Luke (Ashley) Hanson and Zachery Hanson of Pequot Lakes. Survivors also include his uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, many cousins and employees.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Guy and Mary Ann Wannebo; and his grandparents: Vitalis and Ann Dougherty and Otto and Myrle Wannebo.
His blue-heel dog, Buck, will miss riding in the back of Steve’s pick-up.
Steve found help, support and many close friends in AA. They say that he was an inspiration to them.
Thanks to Joan, his many close friends, Good Samaritan Society Hospice and St. Joseph’s Hospital that cared for him in his final weeks and days.
Steve liked to watch the old black and white western TV movies that rarely depicted gray positions on life’s issues. Things were either black or white to Steven. He said that “On the day we’re born our days are numbered. The end of life is not a time to hold grudges or to make judgment on other people. We each live our lives the best way that we can.”
His dad, Guy, always said that Steve should have been born 100 years earlier. Steve started trapping as a teenager and became an excellent trapper. He tromped the wilds of Minnesota, Arizona, Arkansas and Nebraska. He was a Life Member of the Minnesota Trapper’s Association. A few years ago, Steve, Isaac and their friends built a rustic man-cabin in his woods. He enjoyed feeding deer, wild turkeys and observing all wildlife.
Services will be 11 AM on Friday, February 28, at Crosslake Lutheran Church in downtown Crosslake, with Pastor Greg Larsen officiating. Friends will have an opportunity to speak. Visitation will be 5 to 7 PM on Thursday at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Steven’s ashes will be distributed on the land he loved in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the donor’s choice.