Self-written Fargo obituary may make you cry, laugh ... or both

Dr. Steve M. Agnes not only had a talent for optometry but also for writing, as the obituary he wrote for himself is being shared widely on social media.

Steve Agnes.png
Dr. Steve M. Agnes, a Fargo optometrist, wrote an obituary for himself that many are finding both touching and funny.

FARGO — Obituaries are sad; they just are. So, when one becomes "water cooler" talk and spreads through social media among those who never even knew the person in the obit, it's worth sharing.

Fargo Optometrist Dr. Steve Agnes wrote his own obituary before passing away on Saturday, April 8, one day before Easter.

And while the Obituary section of InForum is one of the most-read sections of our website, this one in particular was trending as the number one "story" on our site Tuesday and is being shared by readers on social media. It left many of us here at InForum with a combination of shiny eyes and smiles, so we wanted to share it with everyone.

We won't slice and dice it for the best parts; it's better read in its entirety here or below:

It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but it wasn’t something I wanted to hear or experience. If you’re reading this, then I guess I didn’t get my way. I died Saturday, April 8th at Bethany Nursing Home in Fargo from Parkinsons. To quote Josey Wales and Ten Bears, “It was a good day to die”. I am still not sure how I managed to die on Holy Saturday before Easter Vigil but hopefully, I have been redeemed by God and golfing with my beloved son, Bo, in heaven on Easter Sunday.


So I was born to Joyce (Horsewill) and Fillmore Agnes in Virginia, MN on August 5th, 1956. I was immediately dubbed “favorite child”. A title, I still hold. I spent most of my younger years in Rolette, ND and went to college at Mayville State, the University of North Dakota and Pacific College of Optometry in Oregon.

Speaking of titles, I held a few in my day…son, brother, husband, father, uncle, friend, Sam Elliott double, and Doctor of Optometry. I opened my first optometry clinic in Rolla, ND and later began my Neuro-developmental practice in Fargo. Specializing in developmental optometry was the dream, opening a full time vision therapy practice the goal. My work was my life, my patients, my joy. My lifetime friend and business partner, Nancy Gannarelli-Sand and an amazing staff helped me do just that. We were pioneers in the state and our vision therapy clinic was my greatest achievement. Just imagine the lives we touched.

So I was born, I blinked; and it was over. The memories I’m taking with me are more precious than gold. My brothers David and Jeff, all three of us cut from the same cloth, yet uniquely different. For the record, I always jumped higher than Dave, grew a better pony tail then Jeff and couldn’t wait for our annual Macanudo golf tournament at Moorhead CC. Kidding aside, I was truly honored to be your older brother and will miss you always.

I have been blessed to have two sisters, Cathy and Carolanne. Always on my side, faith filled, beautiful, and a great source of strength and chocolate chip cookies. Your humor and compassion especially the last few months were a blessing and soothing to my weary body.

To my nieces and nephews; watch your moms and dads closely…they got life right. I loved being in your lives, took pride in being your uncle and enjoyed following all of your activities.

To my bonus family; Nancy, Dana, Ben and Nicole, I treasure the memories; we laughed, golfed, swam, drank wine, vacationed, ate pizza and spaghetti, watched movies, played cards and more…we were family.

I will always remember the rush of every basketball game, especially the amateur games and the boys (you know who you are); the sound of a well-timed putt rolling into the cup; the joy of every “hole in one” that I hit (I have 8 you know); the birth of my son, Bo; the thrill of speaking in Bari, Italy at the Academy for European Sports Vision; working with F16 fighter pilots; the taste of tabasco sauce; a cold diet dew on a hot day, a cold beer and hot brat at the turn; movies and music; Sparky & Simba; a quiet fire and occasional cigar; the wisdom of Clint, Chief Ten Bears and Chief Dan George.

So I was born, I blinked and it was over. No building named after me, no monument erected in my honor. But, I DID have a chance to know and love each and every friend as well as my family. So in the end, do your best, follow your arrow and make something truly amazing in your life.


If you want, you can look for me on the golf course…a bee buzzing around the beer cart or a mosquito by the water hazards. Either way, I’ll be there in one form or another. Of course, that will comfort some while antagonizing others, but you know…it’s what I do and I have always done it my way. I’ll leave you with this; please don’t cry because I am gone. Instead be happy that I was here. Today I am happy and hopefully playing a round of golf with Bo and can finally say, it’s on a course my brother Dave has yet to play. Love forever, Steve.

A Celebration of Life Service will take place at 10:00 AM Monday, April 24, 2023 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. A visitation will take place one hour to services. Burial will take place at a later date.

Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. To view the online guestbook, please visit:

Paula Quam joined InForum as its managing digital editor in 2019. She grew up in Glyndon, Minnesota, just outside of Fargo.
What To Read Next
Get Local