Betty Ann Stensgaard


Betty Ann StensgaardBetty Ann Clara Stensgaard age 84 of Ruthton passed away Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Avera Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall.  Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 17 at St. James Lutheran Church in Holland.  Visitation is 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Tyler Area Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.  Burial is in Ruthton Cemetery.  Online condolences may be placed at  Stephens Funeral Service – Tyler Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Betty Ann Clara Nelsen was born at home in Ruthton, Minnesota to Jens H.V. and Gladys (Miller) Nelsen on June 6, 1932.  She attended grade school at Ruthton and Holland, 9th grade at Pipestone, 10th grade in Jasper, and graduated from Ruthton in 1950.  Betty attended Lamberton Teacher Training Department and began her teaching career in District #34 southeast of Ruthton at the age of 19.  On July 25, 1954 she was united in marriage to LeRoy Stensgaard at Hope Lutheran Church in Ruthton.  To this union three children were born: Debra, Daniel, and Chris.  While teaching and raising a family, she finished her BA degree and was a member of the Charter Class at Southwest State University at Marshall on June 13, 1971.  Betty taught at Tyler and then finished her 34 years of teaching at Ruthton.  Her activities included volunteer work at school, church, and Pipestone Hospital where she was a member of the Auxiliary and the Advisory Board.  She spent many years volunteering in the surgery department.  Betty was a member of Christian Women, Naomi Circle, Grandmothers Club, Card Club, and Book Club.  She enjoyed reading, camping, and spending time with her family.

Betty leaves to mourn her sons: Daniel, and Chris and wife Sarah; four grandchildren: Brook Stensgaard, Laura, Hanna, and Dane Stensgaard; brother Carroll (Eloise) Nelsen of Sioux Falls, SD; sister Janet (Gene) Rood of Ruthton;  brother-in-law Hank Zarn of Lakefield, and sister-in-law Dana Nelsen of Lancaster, CA.  She is preceded in death by her parents, husband LeRoy, daughter Debra, brother Duane Nelsen, and sister June Zarn.


  1. Dean Schulze family says:

    Betty was a wonderful teacher, church family member, and friend. She will be missed by many. Our condolences to the family. Gods blessings to the family in this time of mourning.

  2. John Deb (Vander Poel) Javner and family says:

    So sorry for your loss Betty was a wonderful teacher I enjoyed her at school and church. Years later about 12 years ago she was a volunteer at the surgery center at PCMC and I started working at the clinic and she saw me and she knew exactly who I was it is amazing how 40 some years later after having her as a teacher she remembers her students Betty will be missed by all

  3. Beverly Hummel says:

    Betty was a lovely lady. Remember her as being so kind and caring; with a smile on her face. Our sympathy is extended to her family. Bev and Randy Hummel

  4. Lori Bullerman says:

    What a Beautiful Wonderful lady. She shared her time and many of her talents with us at PCMC. We were so blessed to have her as a volunteer. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know her. My deepest sympathies to her family. Blessed be your many wonderful memories.
    Lori Bullerman

  5. Marlene Yonker says:

    Our Sympathy to Dan and Chris,
    Roy and Marlene Yonker

  6. Kirsten Boehne says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Betty was a favorite teacher of mine. I have so many wonderful, happy memories of having her for first grade. She took extra time with me when I was struggling with math. I have an angel she gave me and every year it has a special place among my Christmas decorations. When my oldest son brought home handmade Christmas ornaments from first grade, I sent Betty a picture of us holding our first grade ornaments because I still had mine from her class. She was a dear, dear family friend too. I will cherish my memories with her always. Bless you all.
    Kirsten (Pedersen) Boehne

  7. Wanda Scharfe says:

    I worked with Betty at the Elementary School in Ruthton. She was genuine and caring. I will always fondly remember her laugh. She taught many students over the year and I would dare say she was probably a favorite. She has affected a lot of lives over the years….blessed be her memory. My sympathies to the family as they say good bye for now.

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