Steven Lee Backus


Steven Lee Backus, age 61, died Saturday morning, February 4, 2023, at his home in Cloquet, MN. He was born on February 24, 1961, to Jan and Lloyd Backus. He married Teresa Wohnoutka and together they raised and loved three children: Jennie, Henry, and Joe, and a grandson, Fletcher Lee.

Steve is survived by his wife of 30 years; children; grandson; parents; and siblings, Ann, Kathy, and Mark, who all adore him.

At the time of death, he was continuing his life-long work of getting free and getting others free. His methods were passionate dialogue, listening for what really mattered to every person, and writing, always writing.

Steve supported students at The College of St. Scholastica by establishing a writing center where he helped students put the magic of their lives on paper.

Stories told at his wake reminded us all of the special connection we each had with him. There is a hole in the universe. Steve’s spirit, we promise, will abide with us and in us. “May flights of angels sing you to your rest.”

A private celebration of his life will be held. A public gathering may be held at a future date, please visit for updates and information. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Steve are preferred to your favorite library.

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