Ruth Kuenzel, 88

Ruth Eleanor Kuenzel, 88, of Lester Prairie, MN, passed away Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN.

A funeral service took place Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, with interment in the church cemetery.

Visitation took place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. (one and a half hours prior to the service), all at church.

Clergy who officiated: Pastor Joshua Arndt.

Organist: Lynn Mueller.

Soloist: Todd Bentz, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Congregational hymns: “Amazing Grace,” “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want,” and “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

Honorary casket bearer: Devin Kuenzel-Turner.

Casket bearers: Dale Breyer, Andrew Kuenzel, Isaac Kuenzel, Vance Schumacher, Matt Ward, and Doug Bening.

Ruth Eleanor Kuenzel was born July 7, 1934, the daughter of Herman and Bertha (Benkowski) Behning in Glencoe, MN.

She was baptized the same day she was born in the Lutheran faith. Ruth was confirmed in the Lutheran faith May 7, 1947, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.

Ruth grew up outside of Plato, MN, and as a young child, her family moved to a farm west of Lester Prairie.

She received her education at the country school nearest to her home, and was a graduate of the Lester Prairie High School class of 1952.

In her younger years, Ruth worked at Alice Haney Nursing Home in housekeeping, and was a nurses’ aid.

Ruth was united in marriage to Melvin Kuenzel Sept. 15, 1953.

After their marriage, the couple resided in Lester Prairie. Ruth and Melvin were blessed with two sons, Kevin and Kent.

They shared 18 years of marriage when Melvin was killed in a car accident Oct. 1, 1971.

Ruth worked as a cleaning lady for McLeod County and Carver County Social Services, and for Kenneth Paul at the funeral home in Lester Prairie.

Ruth was an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. She had a strong faith.

Ruth enjoyed traveling on family vacations in destinations within Minnesota such as Alexandria, Brainerd, and the North Shore of Lake Superior. She and her sons also traveled to Wisconsin, the Black Hills, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Ruth enjoyed going on bus tours with her friends to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and other various areas throughout the country where there were tulip festivals.

She enjoyed vegetable gardening, canning, art, pottery, embroidery, playing bingo, and watching sports, especially the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, and Timberwolves. Ruth enjoyed listening and dancing to “old time” music, including waltzes and polka.

She was very supportive of her children, cherished time spent with her grandchildren, and loved her family pets, especially her grand-puppies, Charlie, Fonzie, and Apollo.

After Ruth moved to Lake Minnetonka Shores in Spring Park, MN, she grew fond of spending time by the lake, going on pontoon rides and fishing.

In 2008, when she needed assistance with her care, Ruth became a resident of Lake Minnetonka Shores, where she developed several great friendships with other residents and several staff members. She enjoyed playing bingo, spent countless hours embroidering, and she also enjoyed participating in staff-sponsored activities such as pottery and other art projects. Blessed be her memory.

Ruth is survived by her sons, Kevin Kuenzel and his wife, Dena, of Shorewood, MN, and Kent Kuenzel and his wife, Julie, of Andover, MN; grandchildren, Emilie Ward and her husband, Matt, of Duluth, MN, Sarah Kuenzel of Shorewood, and Andrew and Isaac Kuenzel of Andover; great-grandchild, Devin Kuenzel-Turner; sister, Marianne Breyer of Glencoe; sister-in-law, Opal Schumacher of Mayer, MN; brother-in-law, Duane Kuenzel of Belle Fourche, SD; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Bertha  Behning; husband, Melvin Kuenzel; brother, Elmer (Betty) Behning; sisters-in-law, Lyla (Hilton) Schwalbe, and Evelyn Kuenzel in infancy; brothers-in-law, Glen (Barb) Kuenzel, John (first wife, Della, second wife, Ann) Kuenzel, Ortwin (Jeanette) Kuenzel, Harold Breyer, and Rueben Schumacher; nephews, Roger Behning, Kerry Schumacher, Guy Schwalbe, Orlin Kuenzel, and Faron Kuenzel; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Fred (first wife, Minnie, second wife, Hilma) Kuenzel.

Arrangements are by Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie. Online obituaries and guest book available at www.mcbridechapel.com.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.