Steven LeRoy Blaue was born on December 24, 1953 to Robert “Bob” and Bonnie (Goyette) Blaue in Spencer, IA. Bob was stationed at an army base in Missouri and hitch hiked to Spencer to be there in time for Steve's birth. Steve was raised on the family farm near Royal, IA until age 15 when his family moved into Spencer. It was there in the saxophone section of the band he met Debbie Schlichtemeier and as they say, "the rest is history." Steve graduated from Spencer High School in 1972. After 1 year at Wayne State College in Wayne, NE he transferred to University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion, SD where he completed his undergraduate degrees in nursing and psychology on May 14, 1977. Steve and Debbie were married on June 29, 1974. They moved to Sioux Falls, SD on December 23, 1977. Steve worked as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit at Avera McKennan Hospital until he began his next step of becoming a CNRA at USD School of Medicine in Sioux Falls. He worked hard as a nurse and student, graduating on July 30, 1981. By then, son, Ryan and daughter, Stephanie, were born and with the adventure of a new career, he moved his family to Keokuk, IA in September of 1981. In October of 1984, their daughter, Nichole was born in Keokuk. Steve found the practice of anesthesia to be his hobby as well as his career and was totally dedicated to this specialty of medicine for the next 24 years. In December of 1986 they had the opportunity to move closer to their extended families in NW Iowa. So they moved to Pipestone, MN where he started his company, Anesthesia Services of Pipestone, and began providing care to 10 area hospitals. Central to Steve's life was his faith in Jesus, and belief in the power of prayer. He often prayed with his patients before surgery and offered a sympathetic ear.
Steve balanced his life as a sought-after medical professional with his family and home life. His children were the light of his life and despite his busy schedule he played a central role in their upbringing, volunteering as their baseball coach, teaching them to water ski and taking them on many family camping trips.
Steve was an active member in his community. He served on the Pipestone Airport Commission, was a member of Kiwanis, and taught ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) courses to other medical professionals. He was also very involved in his church, Christ the King Free Lutheran Church, volunteering as the youth director in the 80's. A highlight was taking the youth group to the annual Sonshine Festival in Wilmar, MN.
Steve always had a love of music and played his guitar with the local "Singing Doctors." They were a hit at the hospital Christmas party! He played bass and his 12 string guitars with the praise and worship band at Christ the King for many years, until MS interfered with that ability. Steve shared his love of guitar and piano with his children. Other hobbies included running, water skiing at Okoboji, he got his pilot license and enjoyed flying, camping with his family, and racquet ball. As a young man he helped his grandparents with their bait shop on Lake Minnewashta, a part of the Okoboji Iowa chain of lakes. Summers at Okoboji were a highlight to him. Steve was an avid MN Twins fan and cheered them on for many years.
As much as all these things were important to Steve, his walk of faith in Jesus Christ was most important. His steadfast beliefs in Jesus Christ, his life and ministry were paramount. He passed on this passion to his children and to many he encountered. He enjoyed Men's Bible Studies, hosting one of his church’s small groups, attending Promise Keepers, and led a group during the Walk to Emmaus.
In April of 1991 Steve was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He became a warrior in his fight to maintain his strength and health. He carried the burden of autoimmune disease with perseverance and bravery. In August 2005 he retired from anesthesia and broadened his scope of helping people. He became a student at Sioux Falls Seminary where he studied marriage and family counseling. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May 2010. To that he added a drug and alcohol certification. Steve loved his work at New Life Treatment Center and then at Atlas for Life and his jail ministry. Steve was a chaplain for Pipestone County Hospice at the time of his death.
Steve's life is celebrated and lovingly remembered by his wife, Deb; children, Ryan (Rachel) Blaue of Pipestone, MN, Stephanie (Glenn) Conrad of Denver, CO and Nichole (Jason) Balt of Winter Garden, FL; grandchildren, Isaiah Thompson, Tarynn Blaue, Jaysin Blaue, Joshua Blaue, Iris Kuphal, Lazarus Kuphal, Sebastian Balt and Saylor Balt; sisters, Janalee (Charlie) Wakefield of New Brighton, MN and Nadine (Jerry) Peterson of Appleton, WI. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Bonnie Blaue.
Memorials may be directed to Pipestone County Hospice or to the family for college funds for grandchildren.