Steve B. Dirks, age 71, of Olivia, died Saturday, June 10, 2023, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 17, 2023, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia with Rev. George Schmit officiating. Interment will follow in the Olivia Cemetery. Visitation is 3-5 p.m. on Friday, June 16th at the church and will continue one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Mary’s Catholic School, Bird Island, St. Aloysius Catholic Church or a charity of your choice. Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.
Steven Benjamin Dirks was born October 1, 1951, in Quantico, Virginia, to Benjamin and Shirley “Pam” (Palmlund) Dirks. He grew up in Olivia and graduated from Olivia High School in 1969, where he excelled in football and basketball. Steve attended Hamline University where he played football and was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, graduating in 1973. Steve was united in marriage to Judy Wittwer on June 2, 1973, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island. Steve worked for Federated Insurance from 1974-1988. They returned to Olivia where he joined his father in the family business, Dirks Furniture, which he still owned and operated. Steve was a proud and fierce advocate for the Olivia business community, especially promoting the downtown environment. He was a longtime member of the Olivia Business Association, now the E.D.A., and served several terms as President of the Chamber of Commerce. Steve was awarded the “Olivia Business of the Year” in both 2005 and 2017.
In their early years, Steve and Judy embarked on world travels and shared a love for exploration. He was an avid reader, continually pursuing knowledge and was an exceptional conversationalist. Steve loved attending his men’s weekly Bible study group, writing poetry and birding. Dogs have been a mainstay in Steve and Judy’s home, spanning 46 of their 50 years together, and he adored training his four Black Labradors. To know Steve is to understand his appreciation and enthusiasm for the great outdoors; especially fishing, duck hunting and time spent at “The Getaway” with his family. Steve had one last gift of being outdoors on a Canadian fishing trip with his family when he suddenly became ill and passed away.
Steve was preceded in death by his father, Benjamin Dirks; father-in-law and mother-in-law Kenneth and Delores Wittwer; and sister-in-law Susie Boyum. Steve is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy Dirks; mother, Pam Dirks; six brothers, Jeff (Eileen), Alan (Karen), Brian (Nancy), Gregg (Terri), Peter (Margie), and Wayne (Kris); brothers-in-law, Steven (Susan) Wittwer, Jon (Tina) Wittwer, and Dean Boyum; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Pallbearers are Jeff Dirks, Alan Dirks, Brian Dirks, Gregg Dirks, Peter Dirks, Wayne Dirks, and Blake Dirks.