John Steen

Obituary of John David Steen

The story of the life and times of John David Steen began on Tuesday, April 21, 1970, when he was born to Ron and ChrisAnn Steen in Minot, North Dakota.  His story came to an end, way too soon, on August 19, 2023, at Memorial Hospital-North in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  John was doing exactly what he loved to do-going on an adventure!  Unfortunately, that adventure on his electric bike ended in an accident that left him with injuries from which he was unable to recover.  John was 53 years young. 

John was born with an adventuresome, bold, curious, fearless, and zest for life nature.  He was always ready to try something new, go somewhere unknown to him, test his physical prowess, question the status quo, and blaze his own trail.  John was a large personality with a soft and quiet side.  He loved strongly and cared gently for all the people and creatures in his life.  John was a presence in any room or gathering!  He always had opinions to share, usually with his own brand of humor.  He loved to tease and joke and look at life from a lighter side. 

As a boy, John, like his dad, Ron, loved anything with wheels and a motor.  He was happy to get around town on his motorcycles, his BMX bike, or his Kitty Cat snowmobile.  If the family was ever around water, John was in it!  Stories continue to be told of John and his water antics and mishaps.  As a teenager, he excelled at water skiing; and for one glorious summer he performed in water shows with the Club de Skinautique at Lake Metigoshe in North Dakota. 

John attended school in Minot, North Dakota, and graduated from Minot High School with the class of 1989.  He was a multiple sport letter winner in high school, but his favorite sport was wrestling.  John was state runner-up in his weight class in his senior year of high school.

John attended the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks after graduation.  True to his social nature, he joined Kappa Sigma fraternity and immediately formed strong bonds with his brothers while living on campus in the fraternity house.  He maintained many of those friendships for the remainder of his life.  Besides enjoying fraternity life, John was a member of the cheer team, wrestling team, and was active in the Army National Guard while he was a student.  He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation and Leisure Services in 1993. 

John would tell you that the most significant event that happened while he was a student at UND, was meeting his best friend and wife, Karla.  In March of 1993, John met Karla in the entryway of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.  A few days later, John asked Karla to go on a first date…to see the movie, “Groundhog Day.”  That was the beginning of their love story.  In December 1995, John and Karla were married on a beautiful, cold, snowy evening in Virginia, MN. 

John attended Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Bloomington, MN and Karla started her teaching career in the Twin Cities.  John graduated in 1999 with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.  He worked as a Chiropractor for ten years, was an Adjunct Professor for Kaplan University, and went on to work in sleep medicine, most recently for Kaiser Permanente.

In June of 2000, John and Karla welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Abigail…John was smitten by his daughter, who looked a lot like him.  Abby filled their life with so much joy, new learning opportunities, and adventures.  The years flew by as they became involved in and supported Abby in all her academic and athletic endeavors.  They proudly watched her graduate from high school in 2018 and from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 2022.  During all those years they had many adventures together including downhill skiing, hiking, fishing, traveling, and enjoying the beauty of the mountains and the state of Colorado.  John and Abby loved to kayak and raft together on the rivers in the area. 

Throughout the years John’s interests included: woodworking, gardening, cooking, watching movies and sports (especially the Chicago Bears and the UND Fighting Sioux), playing cards (few could beat him at Cribbage), and telling Dad jokes with Abby.  John was a family man.  He always enjoyed hanging out and visiting with all family members.  He was especially happy when his mom relocated to Colorado Springs. 


John was a warm-hearted and humorous person.  He was patient, kind, generous, and loving.  He was a wonderful husband and devoted father.  He was a cherished son, brother, nephew, cousin, and loyal friend. 

John is survived by his wife of 27 years, Karla Steen; daughter, Abigail Steen; mother, ChrisAnn Sund; parents-in-law, Carey and Hazel Appleby; stepmother, Nancy Steen; siblings, Mark (Sarah) Steen, Suzi (Jim) Klundt, Paul (Deanne) Sund, Sandra Sund, Fred Sund, Pam (Mark Herslip) Sund, Chuck (Nancy) Sund, Rueben (Elisha) Gates, Daniel Gates; brother-in-law, Ryan (Lauri) Appleby; and sister-in-law Tammi (Jaret) Wilkins; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. 

John is preceded in death by his father, Julius Ronald Steen; his stepfather, Lloyd Sund; maternal grandparents, Dorothy and Harry Carlstad; paternal grandparents Fern and Butch Steen; and siblings Monica Wieland, and Rachel Gates.

Celebration of Life, 11:00AM, Saturday, September 16, 2023, Bethel Lutheran Church, 4925 Farmingdale Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917.

Luncheon to follow. 

Cremation and arrangements by The Springs Funeral Services.

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Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Bethel Lutheran Church
4925 Farmingdale Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
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