Tom's Funeral Service can be viewed below:
Thomas (Tom) Dale Steele, 70, of Fargo, ND peacefully passed away Thursday, November 11, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at Sanford Hospital, Fargo, ND. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, November 19, 2021, at 2:30 PM at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cando, ND with Fr. Daniel Musgrave celebrating mass. Visitation in Fargo, ND will be held Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a 7:00 PM Prayer Service at the Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo, ND. Visitation in Cando, ND will continue one hour prior to the Mass on Friday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Burial will be held at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cando, ND following the Funeral Mass. Tom was born August 29, 1951, to John and LaVonne (Welch) Steele in Cando, ND. He was raised one of six children. Tom graduated from Cando High School in 1969 and also attended Ball Horticultural School, in Chicago, IL, graduating in 1970. On August 15, 1975, Tom was united in marriage to Victoria Ann Eggl at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cando, ND. They are the parents of two children and two grandchildren. Many people knew Tom as a truly exceptional horticulturist. He worked initially at Morris Floral in Cando, ND in high school, and following graduation, was a greenhouse builder and grower in Reedsburg, WI, at J.R. Johnson in Austin, MN, and ultimately for 47 years at Shotwell Floral and Greenhouse in Fargo, ND. Tom loved his job, his numerous customers who loved him in return, and co-workers that worked side-by-side with him over the years. He was a mentor for many employees and owners of other greenhouses and floral shops; he shared his vast knowledge of horticulture and love of growing plants and flowers. He truly appreciated working with Jake and Jean Shotwell, John and Annette Shotwell, and JD and Elaine Shotwell, three generations of owners of Shotwell Floral and Greenhouses over the years. He was widely known and admired for his growing expertise by greenhouse and floral shop owners throughout ND, and portions of SD, MN, and MT. He excelled at growing any variety of commercial greenhouse crops, tropical green plants, and many plants from seeds, cuttings, bulbs, etc. Tom worked with many youth programs, personally serving as a mentor to provide them with the opportunity to learn the greenhouse trade, including youth with special needs. Additionally, you could find Tom leading greenhouse tours, sharing knowledge with youth from pre-school through college. He mentored many young people through their formative years and was proud to learn that they had become high-level professionals, such as doctors and lawyers. When the greenhouse became very busy during spring/summer bedding plant season, and during the Easter and Christmas seasons, Tom was known for rounding up not only his family members, but also his friends to help him during those seasons, and everyone truly enjoyed being part of the “team” he managed and mentored. He was known for resurrecting plants considered to be on their last legs. Perhaps one of Tom’s most memorable achievements in that regard, was bringing back to life a Christmas Cactus that had been in a relative’s family for over 100+ years. He truly was a gifted horticulturist. As a loving husband, Tom supported his wife, Vicki, as she taught piano lessons for over 40 students each week in their home, helped haul band equipment and listened to the music Vicki, and her two sisters, Cynthia Eggl and Jill Eggl performed over many years as the Satin Sounds. Tom and Vicki joked about having a shirt printed with the words, “Yes, I’m Proud” that he could wear while listening to the Satin Sounds’ performances, and later, his daughters’ performances, as many people would find him and talk about his daughters, wife and sisters-in-law. Tom was a very proud parent to his two daughters, Melissa Steele St. Michaels and Betsy Steele, attending nearly every music concert, contest, festival, audition, and performance in which they participated. He was also very supportive of his daughters as they participated in skating lessons over many years, in Fargo South High School’s Pizzazz vocal group, and the Trollwood Performing Arts School, while they were in high school. He, along with his brothers, absolutely loved to hunt waterfowl and deer in high school and throughout his adult life. He also bowled with his brothers in men’s league, and with Vicki, in mixed league over his lifetime. He loved playing cards with his sister, brothers, and wife having completed several nights of double Pinochle just the week prior to his passing. If you ever had a math question to solve, Tom was the one to ask. He loved playing chess, checkers, and many different board games with his family. Tom was also a voracious reader, dedicated to the Western genre, and the Fargo Forum. His preference was to hold a book or the newspaper in his hands, but in later years, his Nook was always by his side. Tom was an avid Minnesota Vikings fan, traveling to Minneapolis for home games with Vicki for many years as season ticketholders. He also never missed an NDSU Bison Football Game if it was being televised, and if not, he listened to the radio broadcast. Another love of Tom’s was watching or listening to the Minnesota Twins Baseball games. His love of baseball was passed on to his grandson, Logan St. Michaels and granddaughter, Allison St. Michaels, who both excelled at the game throughout their childhoods and through high school. If he could not be in attendance at their games, he watched them through a streaming opportunity, so they knew he was always watching. He had a love of classic muscle cars and was a very proud owner of a restored 1970 Corvette Stingray, which he owned prior to marrying Vicki. He went so far as to use the money he had saved for new headers to purchase her engagement ring. Tom and his siblings were car aficionados. Many of the summer gatherings were held at the St. Paul Fairgrounds during the annual MSRA Back to the Fifties Car Show. Over the past 14+ months, Tom endured many grueling health ordeals. He fought back and defied the odds through his strong faith, sheer will, guts, determination, courage and more times than not, a sense of humor, all so he could live his life with quality, and more importantly, love for his family and friends. He was an inspiration to many people around him, having changed some of his physicians’ opinions about their long-held medical beliefs on how a patient can recover from significant health challenges. Tom had faith in God, a devoted wife by his side who never hesitated to research and then ask the tough medical questions, his daughters, grandchildren, brothers, sister, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, co-workers and friends who all cheered him on during his recuperation. When he coupled all that with dogged determination, his ability to overcome and fight back far surpassed what many physicians thought was possible. Tom’s plans were to work especially hard at rehabilitation over the winter months, so he could reach his goal of preparation for the 2022 growing season at the greenhouse. He truly loved his work. Tom was loving, kind, compassionate, stable, encouraging, generous, and always there if you needed help. He was a “rock” for his family. He will be missed so very much in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Tom is survived by his wife, Victoria (Eggl) Steele, his daughters, Melissa Steele St. Michaels of Jordan, MN, and Betsy Steele of Forest Lake, MN, his grandson, Logan St. Michaels of Fargo, ND, his granddaughter, Allison St. Michaels of Jordan, MN, sister, Sandra Geiger (late Phil Geiger) of Cando, ND, brothers John (Trudy) Steele of Sun City, TX, Bill of Cando, ND, Terry of Clyde, TX, and David of Fargo, ND, sisters-in-law Cynthia Eggl and Jill Eggl of Fargo, ND, brothers-in-law Scott (Kathy) Eggl of Cando, ND and Mark (Carla Ann) Eggl of Greenville, SC, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and LaVonne Steele, parents-in-law, Frederick and Janet Eggl, and brother-in-law, Frederick B. Eggl. Memorials are preferred to the Impact-Cando Connection Fund or Elks Camp Grassick. For more information on the Impact-Cando Connection Fund, and how to send a memorial gift, follow this link: https://www.candoconnection.org/howtodonateourfund.html . To make a memorial gift to Impact-Cando Connection Fund online, please follow this link: https://app.givingheartsday.org/#/charity/227 . For more information for Elks Camp Grassick follow this link: https://www.elkscampgrassick.com/ To make a memorial gift to Elks Camp Grassick online, please follow this link: https://app.givingheartsday.org/#/charity/266

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Guestbook

  1. Victoria. My Deepest Sympathy to you and your Family. May God wrap his arms around you and your family and comfort you now and in the weeks ahead. R.I.P. Tom and Eternal Life Grant upon you. I see you tending to the flowers and gardens in heaven. Oh! so beautiful.

  2. Tom was one of the kindest people that I have known. During my time working at Shotwell’s Tom was not only a mentor for me, igniting a life long love of plants and growing things but was a supportive friend during one of the hardest points in my life. I think of him often if I am struggling and he is a model for me as I work to become the kind of friend and person that he was. My heart is heavy and full during this time thinking of all of the people that he has touched. I will hold him in my memory always.

  3. We are so heavy hearted and sending all our love to the entire family. Praying for peace and hopefulness for all. We love you! -Stephen & Ashley Eggl

  4. So sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a class mate of mint
    Take care and God Bless

    Carla Thomas (Klingenberg)

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss of such a kind soul. May he always be remembered with smiles, kind thoughts and loving memories. God’s blessings to all the families.

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss Vickie and family. He was like one of our family as well. He always had a good story and his dry humor to help through a super busy day in the greenhouse. We loved working with him! His kindness, vast knowledge and humor were a gift to be around. We will miss him. Praying for strength and comfort for you all.

  7. To Tom’s family, I worked closely with Tom for many years when Shotwells was providing flowers for the Fargo Park District. Tom was an absolute professional with his advise & always a gentleman with humor to work with. Tom your journey on earth is complete and you are now with our Heavenly Father. Thank your for help and friendship over the years. God bless your memory! Roger G Gress

  8. My sincere sympathy to the Steele, Eggl families. May Tom RIP and now free from pain. He was a kind, quiet man and did an excellent job in horticulture for so many years. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 God bless.

  9. Vicki and family. My heart hurts just thinking about my Dear friend, boss and coworker Tom. I think about the strong hand and patience when the young kids started to work in the spring. The kindness he showed toward the people who screwed up big time was endearing to me. He taught me to show customers that they mattered and I learned a ton of knowledge about plant growth plus diseases. I think about that I knew how much he loved his family. He was very proud of you all. When we closed up for the night he would talk about the grandkids the ball playing,chess and numerous other things that they were doing. When they came for the summer and spent time at the greenhouse they would help me with some jobs ,he always made sure they did it right with a twinkle in his eye. Vicki, Melissa and Betsy he was so amazed at how much you accomplished in your lives. You are strong women and I know he was your stable pillar in your travels through life. Yes he was kind,truthful,strong,compassionate about growing but to me he was a beautiful friend who helped me in a few bad times in my life. I can never replace him as a friend. I will always think of him throughout the rest of my life. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us. Claudia Koppelman

  10. Vicki and family, I’m deeply saddened for your loss. Tom has been a friend and fellow plant lover for over forty years. We’ve compared notes and thoughts on many subjects. He was a kind and thoughtful friend and will be missed. My thoughts are with you and your family. Rest In Peace Tom. Sincerely Ryan Hoss (retired Baker Garden and Gift )

  11. My sympathy to Toms family I knew him for many years when I was a customer of Shotwells when they were in the wholesale business for local florists I enjoyed his kindness and also appreciated his plant advice through my years as a florist My prayers for his family and friends Iris Oeder

  12. What a great neighbor. I am going to miss the wave and greeting when Tom came home from work. I am so glad I had the chance to visit with Tom over in his garage. I will keep that memory forever. Heaven will be blooming with flowers.

  13. To all of Tom’s Wonderful family,
    We were so very sorry to learn of Tom’s death! May the love of your family and friends sustain all of you as you say farewell and may happy memories of Tom give you peace in the difficult days ahead.
    With sympathy, love and friendship,
    Gloria and John Brunner

  14. Tom was the best – working at Shotwells with Tom was so much fun. He was so kind and generous. I remember the holidays working at 8th St Shotwells.- the poinsettias- the beauty of flowers , plants and gifts! His spirit has touched a lot of people. Heaven will be beautiful! RIP Tom!

  15. I worked under Tom back in the 70’s and 80’s. I then started my own greenhouse. I could always call him with questions. What a fun man and fun place to work. So sorry for your loss Vicki.

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