Ruth Lavonne (Wagner) Stavenau, 83

Ruth Lavonne (Wagner) Stavenau, age 83, of Elysian passed away at her home on Sunday, August 20, 2023. 

Ruth was born on February 17, 1940, at home in Elysian to John and Lena (Runge) Wagner. Lena passed away when Ruth was ten years old then her Aunt Emma raised her. She graduated from Waterville High School in 1958. Soon after high school she began to work at the Elysian State Bank as a teller. During her time at the bank a young farmer came in, Eldon Stavenau, and asked her out. They enjoyed going to the Kato Ballroom dancing nearly every Friday night. On September 15, 1963, they were united in marriage at St. Paul’s German Lake Lutheran Church. Their daughter Deb was born a few years later and she then became a stay-at-home mom and great help around the farm. Then came Jason a few years later. 

Ruth was involved in several boards in the community over the years. She was the clerk on the Elysian Township Board for thirty years, the Le Sueur County Planning and Zoning Board for one term, and the Board of Directors for the Elysian Bank for several years. Ruth enjoyed preparing taxes out of her home in her younger years. Ruth was a member of St. Paul’s German Lake Lutheran Church where she was a long-time member of the Ladies Aid and was a Sunday School teacher when the kids were young. Also, at church she rang the meal purchases up at the annual ice cream social for many years. She loved this job as she could visit with everyone as they went through the line. She had many hobbies such as gardening and baking, spending time with the grandkids, and her favorite in her later years was gambling at the casinos.    

A special thanks to the Mayo Hospice East Team for their special care given to Ruth. 

She is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, Eldon Stavenau of Elysian; her son, Jason Stavenau of Elysian; daughter, Deb (Larry) Philipp of Welcome; granddaughter, Kally (CJ) Windschitl of Trimont; grandson, Kevin Philipp (special friend Whitney Smith) of Welcome; brothers-in-law, Harlan Erdman and Harold (Barbara) Schwichtenberg. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, John Wagner; half-brother, Roland Wagner Sr.; sisters-in-law, Audree Wagner, Ruth Ann Schwichtenberg, Dorothy Witt; and brother-in-law, Leonard Erdman.

Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of German Lake with Rev. Karl Rydholm officiating. Visitation will take place two hours prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow in German Lake Cemetery.




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