Dennis Ruen

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2:40 pm

Dennis Ruen, 63, of Decorah, died Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., after suffering a stroke in his home. Visitation is from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, 604 South Avenue, Decorah. No formal service will be held. The Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah is handling the arrangements.

Dennis was born in Decorah Dec. 27, 1952, along with his twin sister, Donna. He grew up on a farm in the Glenwood Township. When he was a child, he and his sister enjoyed racing homemade wooden race cars down the hill; and played “cowboys and indians.” He learned his trade of carpentry from his father. In high school, he had a propensity for the arts. After graduating from Decorah High School in 1971, he worked at a car wash and then at Camcar, before starting his own construction company. He married Janeen Nelson in 1979, and they had four daughters, who were his pride and joy. In 1992, he unfortunately suffered a stroke, but was able to fully recover. To regain dexterity in his right hand, he took up the hobby of acrylic painting—he continued to paint throughout the rest of his life, including earning various local artist awards. He enjoyed participating in and attending art exhibitions and art walks. He wrote: “ … my art comes from memorable events, and scenes in my mind; whatever the hand and eye can bring together in a design … sometimes that image is like a couple of paragraphs in the book I never wrote … sometimes we can say it with a picture.” His other love was working with his hands – he continued his craftsmanship for the remainder of his life. Dennis’ kindness and generous spirit brightened our lives.

Dennis is survived by his four children: Sarah (Ross) Ruen Blanchard, Cedar Rapids; Landa (Jared Moore) Ruen, Boston, Mass.; Breanna (Lindberg Chambliss) Ruen, New Orleans, La.; Laura (Corey Kimball) Ruen, Des Moines; grandson, Peyton Kimball and two grandbabies on the way (Sarah and Laura); cousins, Loren Evenrud (Carole), Cannon Falls, Minn. and Nancy Evenrud Winholtz (Mark), Anoka, Minn.; ex-wife, Janeen Nelson; Nelson family: Richard Nelson; Don and Susan Nelson and family; Roger and Janine Nelson and family; Ray Nelson and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry “Oliver” and Arla Ruen; sister, Donna (Kenneth) Shekelton; step-mother, Inez Ruen; aunts and uncles: Albert and Helen Ruen; Hayward and Edith Evenrud; Ida Ruen; Alma Ruen; ex-mother-in-law, Geneva Nelson.

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