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Urban Steffes&nbsp(Paul)

Urban Paul Steffes Jr. was born in Traverse City, Michigan in 1936 to Urban Paul Steffes Sr. and Helen Mileski. The eldest of five children, Paul exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, with his first venture being “Paul and Chuck’s Bait Shop” selling worms. After high school, he ventured towards the great Alaskan frontier, but only made it as far as Montana when his funds ran dry.

It was there he found work in the forestry industry, where seasoned foresters encouraged him to pursue further education. Paul headed back to Ann Arbour and bought and sold guns to pay his tuition. He earned a forestry degree from the University of Michigan before returning to work for the US Forest Service in Montana. It was on a frosty winter day in Missoula that he met Ann, the love of his life, as she waited for a bus. They married in autumn of 1962.

Throughout the 1960’s, Paul served in the US National Guard, doing his basic training in California. He received an honourable discharge, and retained stories of pulling pranks on superior officers from his time in service to his country.

In 1965, Ann and Paul’s first child Sabina Elizabeth passed at a few months old in Plains, Montana. In 1966, their son Nick was born in Missoula, Montana. Shortly afterward, Paul relocated his family to Grande Prairie to serve in the Alberta Forest Service before settling in Edson, where Paul and Ann lived for the next 55 years. It was here their second son, Patrick, was born in 1969.

Leaving his government position behind, Paul started “Wolf Creek Oil Consultant Services”, specializing in right-of-way timber assessment and forest management. However, his true passion lay in the art of the deal, buying and selling anything of value. He sold cross-country ski equipment from his home for many years and was a familiar face at auctions within a 200-mile radius. Paul’s collection wasn’t just varied; it was a treasure trove of the unexpected, revealing hundreds of items you never knew you needed until you explored his back room.

An avid sustenance hunter and fisherman, Paul cherished the quiet solitude of nature. He and Ann frequently camped in remote locations, typically 25 miles down a logging road, devoid of human presence but rich with secret fishing holes. While Ann enjoyed reading (with a firearm conveniently located nearby in case of emergency), Paul would disappear into the woods with a fishing pole.

Paul’s infectious smile and knack for storytelling were his strengths. Frugal yet generous, he was always ready to lend a hand, offering his skills instead of handouts. Paul was predeceased by his beloved wife Ann, and his brothers Bill and Chuck. He is survived by his sons, Pat (Joanne) and Nick, and three grandchildren.

The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the University of Alberta hospital surgery team, ICU, and unit 3E2 staff for their attentive care during Paul’s surgery and recovery. Immense thanks also to Dr. Joanne Robinson and the Edson Hospital staff for their empathy and compassionate care in Paul’s final days.

A service will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 4803 6th Avenue, Edson, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Edson Community Care Foundation towards a new CT scanner for the Edson hospital, or offering a helping hand to a stranger or neighbour in Paul’s memory.

“Blessed are the collectors, for they shall inherit the clutter. And Paul? He became a king among them.” – Proverbs 18:11

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