Ruth P. Mohn — Rochester

Ruth P. Mohn, 96, of Rochester, died Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at Cottagewood Senior Communities.

A funeral service for Ruth Pauline Mohn will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2015, at West St. Olaf Lutheran Church. Visitation will begin an hour before the service.

Ruth Pauline (Borge) Mohn was born Aug. 8, 1918, in Deerfield, Wis., daughter of Daniel and Rosa (Nordby) Borge. At age eight, she moved with her parents to the parsonage of East and West St. Olaf Lutheran Church near Rock Dell, where her father was called to be pastor. Ruth took piano lessons from Miss Hazel Martin of Calvary Episcopal Church in Rochester, nourishing an interest in music and church that was to last a lifetime.

Ruth walked through fields and woods to country school west of Rock Dell. A diligent pupil, she completed eight grades of country school early, and continued her studies at Gale College in Galesville, Wis., north of La Crosse. There, Ruth made close, lifelong friends, and prepared herself for additional studies she would undertake at St. Olaf College, Northfield, the only church college in the area that accepted female students. Ruth attended four years of college during the Great Depression, graduating in 1939, with a double major in English literature and music.

After several years of teaching, Ruth was united in marriage with Norman Bernt Senjem, son of Martin and Cora (Hanson) Senjem, Oslo, on June 19, 1943, at East St. Olaf Lutheran Church. After Norman's service in World War II, they moved to Decorah, Iowa, and built a house near Luther College. Two children, Mary Elise and Philip Martin, were born in the 1940s before their father's death from polio, Aug. 25, 1952. A second son, Norman Borge, was born the following month.

For the next year, Ruth and her children lived with her parents, Rev. and Mrs. D.J. Borge, at the parsonage across from East St. Olaf Church. She and her family then moved back to their house in Decorah. Ruth began working part-time at Koren Library, Luther College. She taught Sunday school and directed choir at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

On May 13, 1961, Ruth was married to Harry Truman Mohn, a Dodge County farmer and member of West St. Olaf Lutheran Church. Ruth and the children moved to the farm. Ruth soon became active in church and community life, playing the church organ, directing choir, teaching Sunday school in addition to Ladies Aid and circle activities. For many years, she gave piano lessons to children in the area.

Ruth and Harry shared a keen interest in nature. They took frequent short trips to area parks in addition to longer trips within the U.S. as well as to Central America, Italy and Norway. Ruth was a very loving mother and wife.

Two years after her husband's death, Ruth moved from the Mohn farm to Shorewood Senior Campus in Rochester in 2006. There she enjoyed reading, playing piano and taking part in games and other activities. In 2014, Ruth moved to Cottagewood Senior Communities in Rochester. Ruth was an avid lifelong learner. She enjoyed reading books, taking classes and traveling widely. She taught choir members many new anthems, always striving for excellence in praise of God, in the 30 years she served as choir director. She maintained contact with friends made at Gale College and St. Olaf College for over 70 years through round-robin letters, phone calls and visits.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first and second husbands; and her brother, Paul Borge.

Ruth is survived by her three children, Mary (Bill) Kuhbander of Rosemount; Philip (Cynthia) Senjem, rural Hayfield; and Norman (Barbara) Senjem, Rochester; six grandchildren, Mathew, Perry, Allen, Wade, Eric and Kevin; and four great-grandchildren, Adilene, Daphne, Gabriella and Estelle.

Memorials may be given to West St. Olaf Lutheran Church, or the weekly St. Olaf College radio program "Sing for Joy."

Czaplewski Family Funeral Home, 501 Second Street NW, in Hayfield is in charge of arrangements.

Blessed be her memory.