Ruth Steen1919 - 2010
Ruth Anna May (Nesler) Steen age 91
(formerly of Rogers City and Petoskey)
passed away November 7th at Munson Hospice House
in Traverse City, Michigan.
Ruth, born February 22, 1919 in St. Louis, Missouri js
to the Dr. William and Anna May Nesler, DDS, was the first of four children.
She grew up in Dubuque, Iowa and attended Iowa State College carning a BS Degree
in Food and Nutrition—Dietetics. Her work in this field took her to Seattle,
Washington, and then in 1943 to Camp McCoy in Wisconsin, and overseas to
England in the Army of the US as a 2nd Lt. Hospital Dietitian. Following her
discharge in 1945 as 1st Lt in the Army, Ruth continued to work as a Dietitian at
several hospitals–Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, the VA Hines Hospital in IL and
the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain, MI.
While in the U.P. Ruth attended a women’s meeting at the Presbyterian Church in
Munising and there met the pastor and found they had been in the same area in
England during the war. This meeting and conversation was the beginning of a
relationship that would last a lifetime. Six months later, Ruth resigned from her
position to marry the Rev. Frederick T. Steen on September 23, 1950 in
Iron Mountain, MI. Ruth’s energies shifted to support her husband in his ministry to
his congregations in Munising and in Rogers City; and to raise their four children.
As her children grew older, Ruth returned to being a part time Dictitian at
Rogers City Hospital, and Russell Memorial Hospital in Onaway.
Ruth’s beloved husband, Rev. Fred Steen, died five years after retiring as
Pastor Emeritus from Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Ruth found herself
becoming even more involved in the church and community. She had always been
active in the choir, and Circle, the Presbyterian Women of Rogers City, and the
Onaway Chapter #322 Order of the Eastern Star; but she soon found herself as the
Church Librarian, and serving as an Elder in the Church, and participating in the
Rogers City Civic League, and Church Woman United of Presque Isle County.
In 2003, due to declining health, Ruth sold her home in Rogers City and moved to
Independence Village in Petoskey where she continued to live until her recent move
in September to Munson’s Hospice House.
Ruth is survived by:
her children, Ann Craven (Mackinaw City), Joann (Fran) Rutz (Eau Claire, WI),
Jim (Melinda) Steen (Decatur, TX), and
the Rev. Kathy Steen (Traverse City);
four grandchildren, Sean (Beth) Craven, Jason (Betsy) Craven, Sara Rutz, and
Scott (Myrriah) Rutz, and
two great grandchildren, Madalyn and Elle Craven and
a great grandchild whose birth is expected in March.
Ruth was preceded in death by:
her husband, the Rev. Frederick T. Steen,
a step mother, Opal Christopherson Nesler,
her sisters, Nelle Irelan, Phyllis Zalaznik, and
brother, William J. Nesler.
Visitation will take place on Tuesday, November 9 from 6 — 8 p.m, at
Beck Funeral Home in Rogers City. Funeral services, with the Rev. Sanford Wright
officiating, will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday November 10, at
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rogers City, with visitation one hour prior to
the funeral. Rogers City VFW will offer a military tribute during graveside services
at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to
Westminster Presbyterian Church or to Munson Hospice House, Traverse City.