Steven Karlson

Steve Karlson

July 21, 1960 - March 11, 2020
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Steven L. Karlson, 59, of Nisland, died March 11, 2020, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Steve was born July 21, 1960, in Belle Fourche, SD, to Jim and Bev Karlson. The family settled in Nisland, SD. He attended school in Newell, SD, and moved to Whitewood as a young man. Steve worked for Whitewood Post and Pole, the Homestake Mine, logged in the Black Hills, and worked many years at Consolidated Papers in Whitewood before starting his own construction business. He was passionate about building and was very proud to point out his projects when driving the local area. Steve moved to Nisland in 2011. He worked as Nisland’s city maintenance man and was known as one of the best city men they ever had. Steve took a lot of pride in his community. He served as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years in Whitewood. He was always willing to lend a hand for a community project.
Steve has three children, Kimberly, Kory, and Kyle. He was very proud of them and his grandchildren. He strived to instill in them the value of love, loyalty, and integrity. He was “always on their side.” Steve was a champion for the underdog. If you were in any kind of trouble, you could call Steve and he would help in any way he could without question or judgement. He was an authentic person with a tenacity for life who overcame many adversities through his own determination. Steve loved animals, he enjoyed observing how they behaved and interacted, especially his dogs. Everyone who knew Steve over the years knew Buddy, Kramer, and Emma because they were always by his side. Steve loved being out in nature - hiking, camping, and especially fishing. He took every opportunity he could over the years to “put in his time” and encouraged everyone around him to do the same. Steve told his stories with enthusiastic portrayals of the events and a sparkle in his eye that made you wonder how much he was tip toeing between fact and fiction, but somehow or another he always had some proof to back him up. He loved a good laugh and was able to find humor in most everything, even his cancer - “comedy ain’t always pretty.”
Steve was diagnosed with lung, lymph, and brain cancer in 2016. He beat the odds and was able to tolerate treatment after treatment. His positive attitude and perseverance won the hearts of many at the Cancer Care Institute. After three and a half years of treatments, the options ran out and the cancer quickly overtook.
Steve died at home, as he had desired, with his sons at his side on March 11, 2020.
He is survived by his children, Kimberly (Ben) Lang, Rapid City, SD, Kory (Cheyenne) Karlson, Whitewood, SD, and Kyle Karlson, Whitewood, SD; grandchildren, Nikolena, Catherine, and Anthony Lang, and Harvey and Susanna Karlson; the mother of his children, Julie Karlson, Belle Fourche, SD; his mother, Beverly Karlson, Whitewood, SD; siblings, Karl Rost, Ky Karlson, Karrol Herman, Brett Karlson, and Rusty Karlson and their spouses; numerous nieces and nephews; and his truly devoted friends and loved ones who will feel his loss terribly.
He was preceded in death by his father, Jim Karlson.
A memorial service will take place at a later date at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis, SD, with Pastor Brad Abelseth officiating.
Memorials may be made in his name to the Humane Society of the Northern Hills.
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Marla Waugh

Posted at 06:10pm
Steve's memorial made me cry. I miss him beyond words and am looking forward to seeing him tomorrow. Him and Julie raised some awesome kids! Love- Marla

Renee Pierce

Posted at 09:32pm
He was a great man! Loved life and his family!

Doug Richardson

Posted at 09:50am
Sitting in front of the old Nisland bar eating chuckles and drinking coke throwing rocks then heading down to the river for a quick swim spent some great times with Steve that I will treasure forever

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