Steven P. Virnig, 67
Granite Falls/Blue Earth Steven “Steve” Virnig, age 67, passed away on Sept. 30, 2020 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Funeral services were held at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Granite Falls on Thursday, Oct. 8.
Steve was born April 13, 1953 in Blue Earth, to his loving parents, Melvin and Maxine Virnig. Steve was their first child, but soon he was surrounded by more love from three brothers and three sisters, Mike, Pat, Mary Jane, Susan, John and Anne. Steve was also blessed with the love from long-time Virnig family friend and godmother, Mary Steinbach, and aunts, uncles and grandparents. Steve had a great early family life playing games and cards, fishing, bowling, serving in church, camping, picnicking, squabbling and taking a family vacation “up north” once a summer. Steve attended school at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School and then Blue Earth High School, graduating in 1971.
It’s hard to believe he could leave all that love, and so soon after graduation, but in the fall of ’71 he moved to southern California with a few friends. Steve enjoyed the new independent lifestyle and especially the great weather, but he really hit it big when he met his beautiful and beloved wife of 40 years, Linda, and her two young children, Kevin and Heather. When Linda decided to move to Florida to be near her ailing mother, Steve knew he couldn’t let her get away. They married in Florida on Thanksgiving Day, 1979. Steve spent the next 26 years in Orlando, Florida living a great family life with Linda, Kevin and Heather and working for Hewlett-Packard (formerly Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq). Steve rose through the ranks at HP and eventually was a Director in its Global Logistics Operations Division, responsible for the southeastern USA and the Caribbean territory. Steve was especially proud to be on HP’s Board for Diversity to seek out opportunities to create a more diverse workforce.
In 2006 the love of his Minnesota family finally pulled Steve and Linda back to Minnesota. Steve and Linda moved to Granite Falls and Steve became manager and part owner of F&M Insurance Agency with offices in Granite Falls, Clarkfield and Olivia. Here he was able to work closely with some family and many friends, and visit with his mom and siblings much more frequently. Steve was very active volunteering in the Granite Falls community. He was a founding member and long-time chair of the Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization organization, helped salvage and repurpose the K.K. Berge building, served Pioneer PBS as a member of their capital campaign and advisory committees and by participating in live pledge events, worked the popcorn stand and rodeo as a member of Kiwanis, and was the driving force in developing Granite Falls’ first disc golf course, River’s Edge Disc Golf Course in Rice Park.
Steve was a huge fan of the Minnesota Twins. He inherited this affliction from his grandfather, Frank Virnig. While living in Florida, Steve attended spring training games. Here in Minnesota he was able to attend many regular season games. He watched every game he could on TV, following the Twins from the pitchers reporting in February to their annual early exit from the postseason in October. He was able to live the thrill of their ’87 and ’91 world championships, but he otherwise loyally endured the heartbreak of so many seasons before and after. He exited this life just as the Twins were making another early exit from the postseason. Love for the Vikings kills most in Minnesota, but in this case it may have been love for the Twins.
Steve was preceded in death by his father, Melvin; his mother-in-law, Pearl Wade; his grandparents, Frank and Susan Virnig and Wesley and Mary Jane Schwen, step-grandmother Verna Schwen; and his godmother, Mary. Steve is survived by his mother, Maxine Virnig; his wife, Linda; son, Kevin Woodman; daughter, Heather Woodman (Scott Arnett), of Florida; siblings, Mike (Lorilee) Virnig, of Shorewood, Pat (Karen) Virnig, of Rice, Mary Jane (Steve) Lindholm, of Clarkfield, Susan (Mike) McManus, of Apple Valley, John Virnig, of Granite Falls, and Anne Richardson, of Spring Park; brother-in-law, Cecil (Amy) Wade, of Connecticut; and many nieces and nephews.
Steve lived this life quietly with humility and kindness. He loved his family, especially the love of his life, Linda. They were best friends for 43 years. He loved the many friends he made at work, while volunteering, and at play. Those of us fortunate enough to be counted among his family and friends are greatly saddened by Steve’s passing, but are grateful for the years he was with us Godspeed Steven Paul Virnig.
Arrangements are with the Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls. For online guestbook, please visit www.wingbain.com.