Ruth Marie Stukel, 94, of Warroad MN died Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the Warroad Senior Living Center, where she had been residing since 2009. Ruth was born July 15, 1925 in Crosby MN. She lived in Warroad and served the school and community for over 70 years. Ruth grew up in Crosby MN and was a 1943 graduate of Crosby-Ironton High School. She graduated from St. Cloud Teachers College in 1947 with a B.S. degree in Education, with majors in history and political science and minors in English and journalism. She later attended Bemidji State College and obtained a library science certification in 1967. Ruth met Tony Stukel at St. Cloud Teachers College when he returned from the service. They were married June 1, 1948 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Crosby, MN. Tony, a long-time teacher in Warroad, preceded her in death in 1983. Ruth’s teaching career began at Milaca School District in the 1947-48 school year. After their marriage in the summer of 1948, Ruth and Tony took teaching positions in Warroad. She raised a family from 1953 to 1966, returning to teaching at Williams, MN in 1966, then becoming the Warroad school librarian in 1967, where she stayed until her retirement in 1989. Always active in the community, after retirement she served two terms on the Warroad city council and two terms as mayor of Warroad. as well as serving on the Port Authority. Her volunteer activities included service to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, including on the cemetery commission for 25 years and the Parish Council, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Border Area Health Services, Inc., the Hospital Auxiliary, the Warroad Care Center Board, the Warroad Care Community Center Board, the Northwest Regional library Board, and the Roseau County Committee on Aging. She took particular interest in her service as a volunteer for the Warroad Heritage Center for many years, tracking family and community histories through newspapers and other documents. She edited numerous community histories and documented events and milestones, from sports to the raising of the original log Catholic church.
Among other awards Ruth was inducted into the Warroad Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ruth is survived by her brother Tom Mrkonich (city) and two children, son Tony J. Stukel (Lana Rakow) of West Fargo, ND and daughter Jeanne M. Stukel (Diana Baker-Low) of Pine CO. Her grandchildren are Caitlin S. Rakow (Jay Haug), Jack Stukel (Diana Skiba), Kesley Low, Kayde Low (Brittney Briar), and Karley Low (Deborah Hahn). Her great grandchildren are Devyn Skiba, Rowan Rakow, Hazel Haug, and Ryan Matheny. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents John and Catherine Mrkonich, sister Jean Perpich. Her family is thankful to all the staff at the WSLC for their fine care and attention while she was a resident there. Public visitation with social distancing will be held 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, June 13, at Helgeson Funeral Chapel in Warroad. A private family service will be held later. The family requests that memorials be directed to the Warroad Heritage Center or HELPP, Inc. www.helgesonfuneralhome.com