Gardening 04

Ruth G. (Terhaar) Stepan

March 4, 1927 ~ October 15, 2019 (age 92)


Ruth G. Stepan, age 92, of Sauk Centre, MN, and formerly of Brooten, MN, died Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at Fairway Pines Assisted Living in Sauk Centre. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday at St. Donatus Catholic Church in Brooten, with Father David Grundman officiating. Visitation will be at the Church in Brooten on Friday from 5:00 - 8:00 P.M and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in St. Donatus Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Brooten.

Ruth Genevieve (Terhaar) Stepan was born to Ben and Anna (Zenner) Terhaar, March 4, 1927, on a farm near Buckman, MN.  She was fifth in a family of 11 children. Ruth knew farm life all of her growing up years as the family lived on farms near Buckman, Elrosa, Grove Lake and Sedan.  Ruth attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Glenwood High School in 1945. 

On September 17, 1945, Ruth was united in marriage to Ozzie Stepan.  For several years they owned and operated Stepan’s Fairway grocery store in Sedan.  During those years, their first 4 girls were born.  Because of an arm operation, Ozzie sold the store and moved his family to a farm near Sedan.  When able to return to work he bought a gas and service station business in Brooten, and the family moved to Brooten. In 1954 Ozzie and Ruth purchased the former St. Donatus Catholic rectory.  This big white 2-story house was the family home for the next 64 years!  Here Ozzie and Ruth raised their children – 8 girls and 2 boys.

Over the years, Ruth’s life was one of devoted service to family, church and community.  As a mom, she was always there for her family, cooking wholesome meals, sewing, gardening, and keeping a clean, uncluttered house.  Relatives and friends always enjoyed a warm welcome at Ruth’s house.  Visitors knew she would have coffee, baked goodies, and a bed ready for overnight company. As her children grew older, Ruth worked part-time at the local grocery store and as an aide at the elementary school.  She served as a volunteer, helping at the food shelf and leading rosary prayers at the Belgrade Nursing Home. Ruth also was a willing worker in the Christian Mothers group and as a member of St. Donatus Church. 

Ruth led a busy and active life, taking time for fun things such as card games, fishing, and making music. Music was one of Ruth’s lifelong interests. During a period of 35 years Ruth served as church organist and choir director.  At home she blessed her family with music as she played the piano, sang to her children, and encouraged them to sing.  In the fall of 2018 Ruth left her home in Brooten and moved to assisted senior living in Sauk Centre.  On October 15, 2019, at the age of 92, Ruth peacefully left this world to join God’s heavenly choir. 

Ruth is survived by her 10 children, 29 grandchildren, and 28 great grandchildren including:  Eileen (Tom) Farrell; Molly (Wade) Warden, Terese and Thomas Warden; Marny Farrell; Anna Mae (Fred) Vagle; Stephanie (Bill) Vagle/Engelhardt, Anna, Ingrid, and Lucia Engelhardt; Dan Vagle; Heidi (Darren) Wennen, Eli and Finn Wennen; Carin (Ben) Wogsland and Isaiah Wogsland; Nick (Stella) Vagle, Ozzie, Owen, and Hattie Vagle; Margaret (Ryan) Vagle/Nilson; Susan (Jan) Philipsen; Anne (Malcolm) Kirk and Jeffrey Kirk; Erin (Gideon) Lord-Adem and Victoria Lord-Adem; Beth (Chris) Potter and Rylie Potter; Cindy (Raphael) Sanchez; Laura and Sophia Sanchez; Anna Sanchez; Mary (John) Straiton; Suzanne (Brian) Hoefs, Emma, Charlie, Clare, and Annie Rose Hoefs; John Mark Straiton; Colleen Straiton; Kyle Straiton; Connie (Mark) Bayer; Christoffer Bayer; Noah (Hailey) Bayer, Vivian and Maddux Bayer; Shelly (Matt) Winters, Luke, Jack and Joseph Winters; Danny (Danielle) Bayer, Ellie and Gretta Bayer; Rita (Jon) Koll; Mari (Nick) LaMoore; Karl Koll; Theresa (Tom) Land,  Jethro and Micah Land; Greg (Jeanelle) Stepan and Leo Stepan; Joseph Stepan; Spencer (Ashley) Stepan and Hank Stepan; Curt (Carmen) Stepan, Blake and Brady Stepan.

Ruth is also survived by brothers Bernie (Shirley) Terhaar and Ken (Virginia) Terhaar; sisters Bernice Kline, Barbara North, and Anna Marie (Paul) Rametta; sisters in-law Gloria Terhaar and Shirley Terhaar; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Ozzie; her parents; infant grandsons Ben, Joseph, Anthony and Thomas; brothers Gerald Terhaar, Richard Terhaar, Oscar Terhaar, Clifford Terhaar; and sister, Esther Popilek. 

Blessed be the memory of Ruth Stepan. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth G. (Terhaar) Stepan, please visit our floral store.


October 18, 2019

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
St. Donatus Catholic Church (Brooten)

October 19, 2019

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
St. Donatus Catholic Church (Brooten)

Mass of Christian Burial
October 19, 2019

2:00 PM
St. Donatus Catholic Church (Brooten)

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