Ruth Mae Bassler Bohlen

November 21, 1931 ~ April 7, 2022 (age 90)


Ruth Mae Bassler Bohlen ended her earthly journey peacefully on April 7, 2022.

Ruth Mae Bassler was born 11-21-31 in Clarksburg, Maryland to Edwin and Irma Bassler. She was christened and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fulton, Maryland and graduated from Clarksville High School. She was employed by the Howard County, MD Assessors Office, was a substitute school teacher, and worked for the Department of Justice FPI and the Department of the Navy in Washington DC. She had a passion for roller skating with her friends at the National Arena in Washington D.C. on Friday and Saturday nights. She volunteered (writing, reading, playing cards, assisting disabled veterans, etc.) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Veterans Hospital in Washington, DC.

Ruth was a member of the USO in Washington DC where she danced to big bands, Guy Lombardo, Glen Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, etc. It was there that she met Capt. Donald R. Bohlen of Waterville, MN on July 5th. On August 16th they became engaged. They were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fulton, Maryland in 1952. They lived in Maryland until 1957 when they moved to Minnesota. They joined LeRoy Lutheran Church and later divorced.

Ruth then moved with her family to Stewartville, MN  in 1973 and joined Zion Lutheran Church. She was employed as a real estate office manager, worked at the Rochester Golf and Country Club, the 5 Railroad ticket office of the Mayo Clinic, and 14 years with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. She also attended RCTC Law Enforcement courses.

Ruth held a Certificate in Mediation and in 1975 helped establish the Olmsted County Justice System Volunteer Project (JSVP). She worked as a volunteer probation officer and did pre-sentence investigations for 5 judges. She was a member of MADD and spoke at the Court Mandated Victim Impact Panel. She was co-owner of Secure Protection Agency (SPA) Guard Service, which guarded inmates from the Federal Medical Center of Rochester, MN.

She attended the 1991 Minnesota Invitational Governor’s Ball in St. Paul and was active in politics.

In 1978 Ruth was elected Olmsted County Court Commissioner and performed over 6,200 weddings, marrying 3 generations.

She cared for 10 foster children as well as her own family. She always remembered those who were kind to her.


She leaves behind to cherish her memory: son Mark E. Bohlen (Debra) of Rochester, MN, daughter Terri Bohlen Kirchner (Marc McDonald) of Iowa, Patricia Boysen of Stewartville, MN, grandchildren Shanon Loos (Steve) and Shaun Bohlen of Spring Valley, MN, Aaron Bohlen (Haylie), Sarah Bohlen, Joseph Bohlen (Kendra), and William Bohlen of Rochester, MN, Casey Chaffey (Tim) of Burlington, KY, Michelle Hurst (Isaac) of Spring Valley, MN, Dana Raadt (Paul) of Blue Springs, MO, Thomas Kirchner (Michelle) of Ceder Falls, IA, Halie Liebenow (Brandon) of Rochester, MN, Lottie Neubauer (Karl) of Cresco, IA, and Alex McDonald of Cresco, IA.

She also leaves behind great-grandchildren Kayla and Judah Chaffey, Harrison and Hudson Hurst, Andie and John Raadt, Emmett and Elias Kirchner, Natalie Bessler, Rowen Liebenow, Declyn Bohlen, Winston and Lane Neubauer, and Kaylee and Jenna Stearns.

She was greeted in heaven by: son Tracy Jay, 2 infant sons, her father and mother Edwin and Irma Bassler, brother Carl Bassler, an infant brother, grandparents Herbert and Lottie Wright, and many wonderful friends.  

A Memorial service for Ruth will take place at Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville at 11:00 A.M. on Friday (June 3, 2022). Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville, MN. Remembrances may be sent to 214  2nd Ave SE,  Stewartville, MN 55976-1313. Arrangements are with Griffin- Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Ruth are welcome at

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Memorial Service
June 3, 2022

11:00 AM
Zion Lutheran Church (Stewartville)
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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