Steffes Group


Celebrating the Life of Our Founder, Robert “Bob" Steffes


Celebrating the Life of Our Founder, Robert “BobSteffes

In tribute to our beloved founder, Bob Steffes, we will be closing our offices early at 12:00PM CST on Friday, December 1st, to allow our employees the opportunity to attend his funeral service.

We appreciate your understanding as we take this moment to honor his memory and the legacy he leaves behind.


Robert Steffes Obituary

Robert “Bob” Steffes, 86, Fargo, ND passed away on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, at Eventide of Fargo.

Bob was born July 30, 1937, at Slayton, MN to Edward and Catherine (Schroeder) Steffes. He was the 2nd born of 11 children. At age 5, the family moved to Arthur, ND where they farmed, raised cattle (including dairy), and hogs. Bob graduated in 1955 from Arthur High School and continued his schooling at NDSU a short time before returning to the farm.

Bob married Jean Skjaret November 15, 1958, making their home in Arthur where they farmed and raised 6 children.  Bob attended Auctioneer School in 1959 and in 1960, established his lifelong career as an auctioneer.

These are the facts of Bob’s life, but how a person lives a life is more important than the facts.  At this point, Bob will become Dad so we can commemorate on a personal level who our dad was.

Grandson Gannon described Dad with 3 words:  Determined, passionate, and confident.  These words fit Dad throughout his life.  In the early years, they culminated with achievement in farming, ultimately receiving the ND Diversified Farmer of the Year award.  As an auctioneer they culminated in being named the 1966 Champion of the ND Auctioneers Association and, later, President of the North Dakota Auctioneers Association.  In 1972 he became the World’s Champion Livestock Auctioneer.  He went on to be President of the National Auctioneers Association in 1991, the North Dakota National Leadership Award of Excellence shortly after, and was inducted into the N.A.A. Hall of Fame in 1999.   In 1984, son Scott joined Dad in the auction business and together officially became Steffes Auctioneers.  In 2018, he was inducted into the Northern Cass (formerly Arthur School) Hall of Fame.

Dad was indeed determined, passionate, and confident, but in 1994, perseverance was added to the list.  A car accident changed the physical part of Dad’s life, but certainly nothing else.  He endured, without complaint, a level of pain that he kept largely to himself (and Mom).  Afterall, in Dad’s words, “what good does it do to complain”.

We can’t finish this brief summary of 86 well-lived years without mentioning how important faith and family were to him as well as his ability to tell a good story or joke and his ability to engage in conversation with most anybody.  He had many many Ole and Lena jokes that he would use at auctions.  He also had many auction-isms, such as “take your time but hurry just a little,” or “don’t be part of the wishta/woulda crowd” (meaning don’t wish you would have bid but didn’t). 

Robert is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean; Daughter-in-law, Lori Steffes, sons Scott (Kelly), Rodney (Jamie), and Tyler (Melissa), daughters Marcie (Darin) Pfingsten, and Carrie (Todd) Ham; grandchildren,  Cooper (Danielle) Steffes, Jack (Alicia) Steffes, Will Steffes, Micah (Jesse Klein), Max (Ellie) Steffes, Adam (Tia) Steffes, Justin Ruth (Lexi), Ashley (Matt) Halverson, Zachary (Heidi) Pfingsten, Alex Pfingsten, Taryn (Aaron) Pallen, Jesse (Arica) Ham, Jacob (Chantelle) Ham, Cassidy (Nicholas) Nelson, Carter Steffes, Chase Steffes, and Gannon Steffes; and 9 great grandchildren.  Siblings, Madalyn Reilly, Elizabeth (Martin) Stevenson-Collins, Madonna (Keith Bosley) Mueller, Paul (Michelle) Steffes, Kathleen (Dennis) Mogensen, Germaine "Geri" (Joseph Neil) Paul, Phyllis "Phyl" Steffes, Allen (Elaine) Steffes and Carlotta (Terry) Dietrich and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Greg; and brother, Richard.



Visitation:  Thursday, November 30. 2023 from 6 to 7 pm, with a Prayer Service at 7 pm, in Holy Cross Catholic Church, West Fargo.

Funeral:  Friday, December 1, 2023, at 2 pm in Holy Cross Catholic Church with visitation one hour prior.

Burial:  Arthur Cemetery.

West Funeral Home & LifeTribute Center