Steven R. Trost, 69, a lifelong St. Paulite, passed away surrounded by his family on January 22, 2023 from COVID with preexisting conditions. Steve is preceded in death by father, Walter, mother, Hilda Donahue, brother, Patrick, and nephew, Nick. He is survived by the love of his life - Nancy, son Bryan (Jen), daughter Jennifer (Tim Sheehey), and the other loves of his life - grandchildren: Dominic, Sheldon, Caroline, and Landon plus his siblings: Mike, Barb Tobler, Shelley, Craig, and Lisa (Mark) Dochniak, plus his wonderful in-laws: Cheryl (Jim) Hagen, Gary (Katie) Winkler, Kelly (Amy) Winkler, and Cindy (Rick) Wriskey and all of his fun, loving, and amazing nieces and nephews, with special love to LeeAnn Dochniak and Laura Medema.
Steve grew up on the East Side of St. Paul down the street from Nancy, attended Hazel Park Junior High and graduated from Harding High School in 1972, where many lifelong friendships began. He then pursued horticulture at 916 vo-tech college before landing a position at the College of St. Thomas. Steve spent over 30 years as the Greenhouse Manager and horticulturist for the University, where he met his crew, The Lost Boys, and the years of adventures in Boundary Waters camping and canoeing began (LBBWCA). These friends continued to show up through his medical ups and downs of the past years, gathering over a good cup of coffee (Steve loved coffee especially in the afternoon) and these weekly laughing dates with The Lost Boys were treasured.
As a young couple, Steve and Nancy dreamed of traveling, so once Steve was diagnosed in his late 20s with a degenerative eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), leading to complete blindness they sped up their dreams and visited as many places as they could traveling via plane, trains, or automobiles. Some of the most memorable include: a 28-day tour of Europe, Hawaii, Cannon Beach, OR, New England, Fort Myers, FL, Outer Banks, NC, Wild game trips, Guelph, ON, and the many trips with their children and grandchildren.
"Papa" as his grandchildren affectionately called him was the perfect grandparent: loving, funny, indulgent, and always up for a hug and a willingness to play. He made magic for the grandkids with Easter egg hunts, costume parties, dress-up games, providing lots of treats and always slipping them a little cash on his way out. He is gone way too soon for all of us, but especially for them.
Steve cultivated relationships just like he cultivated plants, he took the time needed to tend to the relationships. He knew when to listen, when to act, and when to lead. Many would call Steve a friend. Steve loved a festival and the MN State Fair and he extended the invite to many. One of his favorite festival partners and fairgoers was his beloved sister, Lisa, and her husband, Mark.
If you knew Steve, you loved him and could count on him to keep it light and focus on the positive. He enjoyed a good "gab session" and check-in on the phone, was always willing to provide directions to your destination, engaged in deep and thoughtful political analysis, had recommendations for just about anything, and still made time for the always groan-worthy/borderline inappropriate jokes to keep you laughing.
He will be deeply missed as an amazing husband, loving father and father-in-law, doting grandfather, and all-around great human. If you want to celebrate Steve, kiss your loved ones, raise a glass with the beverage of your choice (his favorite was a nice, cold beer), take those trips, eat good food, and make sure you take time to play.
Mass at Assumption Church on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 10 am. Visitation one hour before. Luncheon at Degidios to follow. In lieu of flowers, please honor Steve by donating to Foundation Fighting Blindness.
We appreciate the focused care of United Hospital's Unit 3940 these past weeks.