Steven Orley Redalen, age 68, passed away peacefully December 1, 2019. He was born January 22, 1951, to Elton and Joyce (Grindland) Redalen, the fourth of seven children, and grew up in Root Prairie in rural Lanesboro. Steve attended Wadden Valley School and Lanesboro High School and was exceedingly fond of both, often telling stories of his times there. If ever the opportunity arose, he was quite full of stories of the old days, particularly those of growing up with his siblings and cousins.
Steve was admittedly shy as a youngster, but in the summer of 1969 he met Peggi, who encouraged him not to make himself so scarce. After he received permission to drive her home from the fair, they began their two-year courtship and were soon married. By 1978, they had welcomed Aaron and Kirsten into the brood and a year later returned to the valley where Peggi had grown up to raise their family. The farm and kids were the catalyst for many adventures, some ridiculous and others we can’t mention. Steve’s greatest adventures through the years though, following the addition of daughter-in-law Michele and son-in-law Joel, were with his grandchildren Evin, Lauren, Emma, Alex, Logan, Charlie, Ada, Kathleen, and Emelia. Papa was full of snuggles, words of wisdom, endless fun, and never, ever said, “No.” Being “Papa,” he often said, was his greatest achievement.
A kinder, more compassionate man was never found. He loved unconditionally, frequently had deep conversations, and never refused anyone in need. He was generous and forgiving to a fault, and giving to others brought him joy. He was a faithful servant to his God and enjoyed the occasional two-mile walk home from church on Sunday, hand in hand, discussing the sermon when his daughter was young, and sharing life lessons with his son, drawing upon everything that resonated with him, from Zen Buddhism to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (“Be excellent to each other!” was a particular favorite). He was never one to complain, but would let you know if you were being ridiculous (though always gently, and with apology).
Steve had a well-known smile that lit up a room. It was part Minnesotan Lutheran hospitality and part shenanigans. He was practical in every sense and had a method for everything from working in his woods to making sure the refuse bin was emptied in a proper and timely manner. He was easily caught up in helping others with projects or activities… until the era of the afternoon nap was ushered in. From that point, naps, pecan caramel clusters, and coffee were standard.
Steve is survived by son Aaron (Michele) Redalen, daughter Kirsten (Joel) Zoellner, many grandchildren, “German son” Paul Viehauser, brothers Gary (Beth) Redalen, Donald (Penny) Redalen, Jeff (Michelle) Redalen, sister Jane (Joe) O’Koren, mother-in-law Margie Schueler, and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife Peggi, mother, father, sister Sharon (Donald) Asleson, and brother Craig (Sue) Redalen.
A private family burial will be held next spring at Oakwood Sherwood Cemetery in Rushford. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, December 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Root River Community Church in Rushford, with a memorial service to follow.