Frederick William Steese, a noted North County CPA and a former president of the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club, died April 15.
Cause of death was an apparent heart attack. He was 63.
He was born in Burbank on October 17, 1951, graduated from Granada Hills High School and earned his undergraduate degree at San Diego State University and was a Certified Public Accountant in California.
He won numerous awards in golf, wrestling and baseball in high school. A local newspaper in the San Fernando Valley dubbed him “Slugger Steese” for his wrestling skills at Granada Hills.
Steese joined Leaf and Cole, a public accounting firm in San Diego, shortly after graduating from SDSU. He later joined with Dick Wehmeyer to form Wehmeyer & Steese, a public accounting firm in Rancho Santa Fe.
Following Wehmeyer’s retirement, Steese opened his own firm, Frederick Wm. Steese, in Encinitas in 2002.
“To know Fred was to love him. He was fun, engaged and a marvelous raconteur. He could cite sports statistics and dates faster than anyone I’ve ever known, “ said Bob Page, a former owner of the Rancho Santa Fe Review, and a longtime personal friend.
He was an Aztec for Life, whose love for San Diego State was contagious. If you asked him to name the starting lineup for any Aztec basketball team, no matter how many years ago, he could. He always said statistics came easily for him, “after all, I spend my life in numbers!”
The irony of his death on America’s tax day seems hard to fathom. True to his dedication to his clients, he resisted his wife Vicki’s insistence that he check himself into a hospital prior to his death. He was struggling with chest pains. Unfortunately, he put work before his health.
“Fred was the ultimate Aztec. He loved his alma mater,” said Steve Thomas, a Rancho Santa Fe resident who shared season tickets with him.
Mike Phillips, a Rancho Santa Fe resident and longtime client of Fred’s, said Fred was “a consummate professional, wonderful friend, and perennially frustrated Aztec, Charger and Padre fan.”
He took great pride in Vicki, his life partner for 30 years.
When she returned to school to earn her certificate in psychological counseling he was so proud of her. And when he needed assistance in the office, Vicki was always there for him.
In addition to Vicki, he is survived by his sister, Jackie Dahlgren, and her husband, William, of Saline, Michigan; nephews Michael Dahlgren and his daughter, Scarlet, of Saline, and Eric Dahlgren, his wife, Erica, and their son Jonathan of Chicago; and cousins Rick, Tom, and Carol Farrell from Montana.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herald and Mary Jane Steese.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe on Saturday, April 25, at 4 p.m.