Steven Wayne Trangsrud

steven wayne trangsrud
Steven passed away in his West Fargo home on November 23, 2021 from a sudden cardiac arrest. Steve was born on March 2, 1959 in Fargo, North Dakota and graduated from Kindred High School in 1977. He was a prolific scholar, having graduated from North Dakota State University in 1981 with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a computer option; a BA in Drawing and Painting from California State Northridge; and pursued continuing education in Data Base Management. Steve’s career reflected his diverse interests. He was employed as an engineer at the naval base in Port Hueneme in Oxnard CA; freelanced in computer graphics and mural painting; and served as a well-loved substitute math teacher in the Los Angeles and West Fargo school districts. Steve had a passionate interest in genetics/genetic-genealogy and became an administrator for the FamilyTreeDNA yDNA II Project. After researching his family’s yDNA (from the father’s side) and mtDNA (from the mother’s side) he shared his expertise to other families through his association with the Project. Although humble in nature, Steve was an accomplished individual. In addition to his work as a muralist and artist, Steve was an enthusiastic musician and amateur musicologist. As a guitarist and song-writer, he was a member of several bands, including the Kindred-based BLT rock band, and several Los Angeles-based swing and country bands. He loved and respected the outdoors and was fond of hiking and camping in the desert and river tubing with his friends. Steve’s devotion to conservation was evident by his commitment to trail maintenance as a member of the Dakota Prairie Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. In the summer, he was often found nurturing his vegetable garden and generously sharing its abundant produce. Steve had a curious mind, was an avid reader, a deep and critical thinker and a walking encyclopedia on a diversity of topics. He was very interested in his Norwegian heritage, was a member of Sons of Norway and had been mastering Norwegian language skills to support his genealogy research. Steve was known as a gentle, understated, decent person who deeply cared about his family and friends. He was held with great affection by his nieces and nephews who were often the beneficiaries of his unexpected, silly sense of humor. His quiet intelligent presence will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Steve is survived by his parents, Henry and Joyce Trangsrud; his siblings, Rikka, Kristin and John; his nephews, Jakob and Dylan; and his nieces, Ann-Maj, Tori, Eva and Lian.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. I had the pleasure of getting to know Steve while he was a substitute teacher at West Fargo High School the last few years. We both enjoy the outdoors, hiking in particular and had many conversations about great places we visited. I will certainly miss seeing Steve at WFHS. May peace be with you.

  2. Hank, Joyce, and family.
    Our deepest sympathies in your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Mike and Lois

  3. Thoughts and prayers to Steve’s family during this truly difficult time. Steve subbed for my Biology class many times over the years at WFHS. I greatly appreciated his dependability, the respectful classroom atmosphere he created with the students, and his love for science. Steve will be greatly missed by students and teachers alike.

  4. Steven had such a calm presence, something that my students and I appreciated. He was a gentleman and a gentle soul. He subbed for my classes many times including an extended time when I had CoVid last year. It was so reassuring knowing my students were in good hands. He will be greatly missed at West Fargo High School. He had the gift of conversation and lit up many a lunch hours with his stories and interest in languages and cultures. God speed Steven.

  5. Henry, Joyce & family, I am sorry to hear of Steve’s passing! Wow, it sounds like he had a very active & full life! I hope you can find peace in your memories!

    Susan Engen

  6. KHS Class of ‘77

    Such sad news!
    We are so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing.
    We celebrated our 40th class reunion four years ago and had
    the pleasure to visit and catch up with Steve.
    Our sincere condolences to the Trangsrud family.
    Rob & Colleen Rude

  7. Henry, Joyce and Rikka—We’re so sorry to hear about Steve. He was a great friend throughout our high school years. Lots of fun memories of band practices and hanging out at your house. I hope all of you are doing well. Keith and Lisa Leatherbury

  8. Hank, Joyce and Family, So saddened and heart-broken to hear of Steve’s death. So happy to have reconnected at our 40th class reunion. He was so talented, intelligent, and an all around awesome guy. Hoping all the good memories you had with Steve will bring you peace at this difficult time. Jodi (Johnson) Norman

  9. I am holding all of you in my heart as you say goodbye to Steve. So sorry for the occasion that brings you together. I remember Steve very fondly.

  10. I wanted to extend my deepest condolences to Steven’s family during this challenging time. Steven subbed in my English classroom many times over the years at WFHS. It was always reassuring when he subbed because I knew my students were in great hands. He always maintained a calm, structured, and respectful atmosphere for students. As an avid reader, he was frequently curious about what students were reading and would ask to read these books on his own time. May all the wonderful memories of Steven provide you comfort during this time.

  11. What a lovely memorial and great tribute! Steve was the oldest male cousin in our family and was very much loved by all of his cousins. He was a godson to our mother Audrey, who was crazy about him, and they always had a very loving and playful relationship. Steve was often the first to notice trends and to turn us on to things that eventually became very important to us. Like conservation, which he got from his grandfather, Ole. And music, which is a passion he shared with his sisters, Kristen and Rikka and brother John. And his love of mashed potatoes and lefse, which he got from his grandmother, Beatrice.And his geneology work, which we all have benefited from. Steve was always very playful and liked to joke around, but never at anyone else’s expense. His humor was first and foremost, kind. And so was he. Always. Without exception.

    Our family in particular was very lucky in that while Steve was in California we often got to spend holidays with him. One of our favorite things every year was to get Steve’s Christmas card. They were always playful and memorable. We looked forward to it. And for those couple of years that he did not send them out, we were crushed. Something was missing in our holiday season!

    Steve got his great intellect and kindness from his parents. Steve was crazy about his family and we noticed that during these last 5-6 years, Steve seemed more content and happy than ever before. We think it was because he got to see his family more often. He had a great garden at the cabin in Detroit Lakes, and we could tell he loved tending it. And two summers ago, we saw again first hand what a great uncle he was – Lian was crazy about him. And he was crazy about her, as well as all of his nieces and nephews.

    So, Steve, thank you for wonderful times together and the love you showed for your family. And for putting up with your three older female cousins, and your annoying younger cousins. You always made us feel welcome and loved. But more importantly, you always let us play and be playful with you. We will miss you very much.

    Andrew, Bev, Nick and Dave

  12. Hank, Joyce, Rikka, Kristen and John,
    I was so happy to reconnect with Steve, if only for an evening, at our class reunion. I remember thinking here is someone that has actually followed his passion(s)! I was so happy that he continued his guitar playing and added art. I also remember how modest he was in talking about his accomplishments. He did light up when talking about family though! And all the family adventures!
    He is a reminder to me to make time for the things that are important.
    Sending loving thoughts your way.

  13. So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. It was so great to chat with him at our 40th class reunion in 2017. And, I’m proud to have been a member of the BLT band, with Steve as our leader, in high school. Many fond memories.
    My condolences to the Trangsrud family.

  14. So sorry to hear about Steve’s passing. Many fond memories of coming out to the farm to practice with BLT.
    The band would not have existed without Steve’s leadership! He was a man of many talents and will not be forgotten. My deepest condolences to the family.
    John and Angie Brayton

  15. I am so sorry and saddened to hear of this loss. Steve was a part of our Los Angeles friends group from the time we came to LA in 1993 until when he returned to North Dakota a few years ago. I have SO many memories of parties and projects and trips! One that stands out is a drive to Baja California probably in the late 90s in the little gray Toyota truck I later sold to him and that he drove for many years. Or the time he came with us to Sespe Hot Springs on that grueling downhill hike when Tanya was 7-months pregnant and he brought a case of beer in his backpack, or the song he wrote for the Silver Lake art group we had…so many memories. I have the inner tubes in my garage! There is so much more to say, but wanted the family to begin to hear from the LA crowd. He will be very, very much missed!!

  16. I was one of Steve’s “artist” friends in Los Angeles. I have so many incredible memories with Steve. Including hanging out around a campfire at an early Burning Man in 1993. Tubing down the Kern River north of LA. He was the tubing king. His Uber Tuber website declared tubing was the lazy person’s path to enlightenment. He often had his guitar at camp outs and would play and sing all night. I once made a music video and had him play guitar in it. He was great. I cherish the wooden carving he gave me that he brought back from Kenya. Plus all his hilarious Christmas postcards with him usually dressed as a creepy Santa. One of my favorite paintings is one he did of a goat with its hooves up on a table smoking a cigarette. So multitalented. Too many memories to list but suffice it to say he was an integral part of the LA art scene in the 90s and early 2000s and will be greatly missed.

  17. Am really sorry to hear about Steve. For decades he was an integral part of what I remember best about living in LA. Always friendly and funny with a great deadpan sense of humor. Sometimes it took a moment to realize he was making a joke, which is my favorite kind of joke. I have many memories of him sitting around all sorts of camp fires, often with a stringed instrument in hand and sometimes singing. I doubt there is anyone who has anything bad to say about him, he was beloved by all.

  18. To the Transgrud family,
    I am saddened to hear or Steve’s passing. I have not connected with Steve (we affectionately called him Tranny) since graduating from Kindred in 1977, but I still have very fond memories of all the fun times we shared at KHS. What a great obituary. He spent his time on earth wisely and fully. RIP Tranny
    Brenda Motacek Johnson

  19. My deepest condolences for Steve’s family and friends- I met Steve in LA and we shared many great moments talking about science nature and all the simple beauties of living…I think we shared a teacher’s heart and connected through our desire to serve young people in an authentic, enthusiastic way. Steve was a terrific human and I’m grateful to have known him ♥️🙏🏾✌🏾🦋

  20. This is sad news. I’ve known Steve for over 30 years and he always amazed me with his intelligence and talent.

    I will miss him.

  21. I’m so sorry to learn that Steve is no longer with us. I knew Steve in the Los Angeles artist and music community for many decades, going back to the early 90s. I remember Steve as kind, sweet, and inclusive – he always invited everyone to join him in activities, including tubing at the Kern River, an invite I never accepted! I have so many memories of Steve from art happenings, parties and music performances. I know that he is at peace now, as he was so peaceful in life. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  22. My thoughts and prayers to the family. Steven subbed in my English classroom many times over the years, and he was my go to choice of subs. He was kind, efficient, and a student favorite. He will be truly missed. Also, my husband knew him from Kindred High School.

  23. I am grateful to have known Steve. He made a positive impact on my life. The tubing trips that he organized on the Kern River were some of the most blissful times in my memory. Floating down the river in tubes inflated
    by Steve, surrounded by nature and L.A. art & music scenesters, instantly became my favorite summertime activity in the early 2000’s. I loved the campfire sing alongs – I always requested that he play the Lime in the Coconut.
    In 2003, Steve participated in a community art show inspired by my pet goat, Clark. Steve’s portrait of Clark was brilliant, in my humble opinion. He painted it from a candid snapshot of Clark, taken at a party. Clark had propped himself up with his front legs, onto a table topped with scattered beer bottles. Steve painted the photo as it was in reality, only using darker hues and subtly added a cigarette between the split of Clark’s right cloven hoof, making it look as if he was sitting at a bar having a beer. He titled it “Another cold one Mr. Clark?” I bought the piece from Steve, it is one of my personal favorite works of art. Steve made the world a better, more fun place. I am glad to have known him. Sending heartfelt condolences to all of his family and friends.

  24. Sending condolences to the family. Steve was such a nice guy. Loved his Christmas cards. He will be missed by many. Tina

  25. I was so saddened to hear the news about Steve. He was such an important part of our lives here in Los Angeles. He was not just a great friend, but he was a leader in our group who never minded taking on the extra work of wrangling people together or making something fun happen. He organized epic tubing trips down the river, threw great parties, loved to go camping in the mountains, was an amazing musician (he could play by ear!), artist, etc. He was part of everything fun here in Los Angeles for so many years and was very missed when he left. (Of course when he moved back to Fargo, we had a huge sendoff and a cake with mini-chocolate donuts meandering down a river of frosting, to represent his tubing legacy. He loved it). Steve stayed with me (and others) during his summer visits to LA, which was great and a wonderful chance to catch up with him (I was happy to know he was doing well and enjoying teaching and being close to his family again. Steve was funny and kind and patient. He truly was loved here and will be missed all over again by his many, many friends.

  26. My sympathy to Steve’s family, I am so sorry for your loss. Steve was always the humble star, picking, strumming, humming and singing at so many gatherings. Wise, talented and kind. May his memory be a blessing.

  27. I met Steve in the late 90s. One of my first memories of him was being at a holiday party in Echo Park at my future wife’s (Mona Cedar’s) house. We were all making merry, and Steve mad the mistake of falling asleep in a chair. We decorated him as festively as possible – he was lovely! I’m sure there are photos somewhere….
    Of course, Steve was legendary as the ÜberTuber. It was on my very first tubing trip that I had an epiphany about marrying Mona, and it was one of the greatest moments of clarity in my life. Part of me was always grateful to Steve for that. Steve had a way of making those trips run smoothly while being calm and saying little, and it was really one of the Zen aspects of those experiences. Those trips are some of the fondest experiences and memories of my life. I learned a lot about life watching Steve handle himself – with his kindness, patience, calmness. It has always stayed with me and made me better.
    I’m honored to have Steve as a house guest on one of his most recent trips back to Los Angeles. I was quite sad that he had to leave us for North Dakota, and of course, even sadder that he had to leave us for the next realm. What a fine human he was.

  28. Steve was such a kind and gentle soul. He had a wonderful dry sense of humor and was always a joy to be around. I will miss him very much. My heart goes out to his family.

  29. Steve and I shared many adventures hiking, camping, inner-tubing, and barbequing in and around Los Angeles. He was always a kind and patient person with a great sense of humor. I am so sad to hear of his passing, but so happy to reflect on the time we spent together.

  30. Dear Hank, Joyce, John, Rijeka, and Kristin,

    We’re so sorry to hear of your loss. You will all be in our thoughts and we wish you comfort and solace in your memories and in the loving company of family and friends. Love Jeff, Laura, Alma and Jan Knutson

  31. I especially think of Steve around holiday time. Especially the ever-humorous Christmas cards he’d send via snail mail, picturing him garbed in a Santa suit or another equally smile-inducing image with chosen with just a tad of irony. At holiday gatherings he would often bring lutefisk, proudly asserting his Norwegian heritage (and how!). Partygoers would view the tray of fisk squares on the table with a mix of curiosity and confusion at the unfamiliar snack. It became a tradition over time that grew on me, much like Steve himself!

    Given his clear motivation to respect and uphold traditions in unexpected ways, I feel especially privileged to have had the opportunity to visit Steve and his family in Fargo in the summer of 2017, and experience with him the people, places, and history he came from.

    It’s very sad to say farewell to Steve, The generosity, laughs, and friendship he brought to this world are memories I’ll always recall and treasure.

  32. Steve was a very special friend to Genetic Genealogy DNA administrators. He is sorely missed. RIP Steve.

  33. I just found out about Steve’s passing. I was thinking that I hadn’t heard from him in a while and sent him a text about an upcoming social event. I decided to do a quick online search and found this site. This is bad. He was a decent and smart guy.

    Well, at least I know about it, now.

    My condolences to all family and friends.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle