Ellen Ruby Steffens was born on December 12, 1932 to Claus and Frieda (nee Koenig) Steffens in Farrar, Missouri. The sixth of ten children, Ellen was baptized into Christ’s kingdom of grace on December 26, 1932 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. She completed her elementary education at Salem Lutheran School and confirmed her faith in Jesus as her Savior on March 30, 1947. As a teenager she helped support her family at a variety of jobs including Eggers Store in Farrar and as a nanny and house-keeper for a number of families in St. Louis. Later she, along with a number of dear friends worked at the General Electric Light Bulb Factory in St. Louis.
Ellen was married to Russell Elmer Lewis, Jr. of Cape Girardeau, Missouri on September 10, 1955 at Salem Lutheran Church. God blessed their marriage with three children, David, Timothy and Diane. At David’s birth she became a full-time mother and home maker. Upon Russ’ death she provided for and supported her young family as a co-owner of E & R Catering and as a part time employee with Kelly Services until joining Kroger and National Supermarkets as a Bakery clerk until her retirement in 1996. Even in retirement she couldn’t stop working and joined a group of ladies who prepared the White House Retreat Center for guests. She worked there another 15 years.
Peace Lutheran Church has been a central part of her life since she and Russ transferred their membership from St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in St. Louis in 1963. During those years she served the Lord and her church in a variety of roles including Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher and helper and as a member of the choir, Altar Guild and quilting group. She faithfully attended worship and Bible Study and joined on-line worship even from her assisted living center.
Ellen had her family’s love of music. Playing her piano and singing in the choir gave her great joy. As a young woman she joined her sisters in singing for weddings across Perry County. Her “farm roots” were demonstrated in her love of flowers and birds and gardening. Her delight in baking cookies, especially the chocolate chip variety, blessed her children and grandchildren alike.
Ellen resided at the Nazareth Living Center for the last two and a half years and after a short illness went Home to be with her Lord Jesus on Saturday morning, March 5, 2022.
Ellen was proceeded in death by her husband, Russ and is survived by her children, David (Heidi) of St. Louis; Timothy (Ingrid) of Cleveland, OH and Diane (Andy) Klein of St. Louis as well as her grandchildren, Christin (Alex), Eric and Skylar, as well as sisters and brothers, nephews and nieces, cousins and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of choice or to support children desiring Lutheran Education at a school that is important to you. Of special significance to Ellen’s family are Word of Life Lutheran School and Lutheran High School South in St. Louis as well as Bethany Lutheran School in Parma, Ohio.
Visitation will be Sunday, March 13, 2022, from 4- 7 PM at John L. Ziegenhein and Sons, South County Chapel, 4830 Lemay Ferry, St. Louis, MO 63129. Funeral services will be Monday, March 14, 2022, at 9:30 AM at Peace Lutheran Church, 737 Barracksview Rd, St. Louis, MO 63125. Visitation will be held an hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. www.Ziegenheinfuneralhome.com