Ralph Edward Stehr — Zumbrota

Ralph Edward Stehr, 72, of Zumbrota, passed on to his heavenly home Saturday, April 18, 2015, at his home in Zumbrota, after a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma. For the past seven years, his motto was "Never Give Up."

The funeral service will be held Wednesday, April 22, at 11 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, with Pastor Wayne D. Schoch officiating. Burial will be in Zumbrota Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, and on Wednesday for one hour prior to the church service.

Ralph was born June 27, 1942, in Red Wing, to Sylvester and Marguerite (nee Cordes) Stehr. He grew up on the family farm in Zumbrota and was baptized and confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church. In 1960, Ralph graduated from Zumbrota High School where he enjoyed playing basketball, football, track, band and choir. He later attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, studying building construction. On Feb. 16, 1963, he married Gwendolyn Scharpen at St. John's Lutheran Church of rural Goodhue. They enjoyed 52 years of marriage, enriched by a deep faith in God, family and friends.

Ralph was employed by Matthees Construction and Floyd Larson Construction for more than 43 years as a carpenter and building supervisor. He built the house on their farm homestead and was an active member of their church, where he served as an elder, was on the school board and sang in the choir. Ralph also farmed for 45 years, was a 4-H leader and a 50-year member of the Carpenter's Local Union 1382. He enjoyed attending farm machinery auctions, playing cards, including being in a card club for 45 years. Ralph especially enjoyed all the family gatherings and attending his grandchildren's church, music and sporting events.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Gwen; daughter, Kimberly Erickson of Goodhue; son, Mark (Lisa) Stehr of Goodhue; grandchildren, Matt Stehr, Tyler Stehr, Joey Stehr,and Jordan Erickson, all of Goodhue; step-granddaughter, Stephanie Erickson of Minneapolis; brother, Richard (Elizabeth) Stehr of Zumbrota; sister, Mary Jane Swee of Laguna Woods, Calif.; sister-in-law, Karen Stehr of Zumbrota; and nieces and nephews.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents and twin brother, Roger.

Arrangements are with the Mahn Family Funeral Home – Larson Chapel in Zumbrota.