Cover photo for Judy Stierlen's Obituary
Judy Stierlen Profile Photo
1955 Judy 2024

Judy Stierlen

January 4, 1955 — April 23, 2024


Judy Carol (Berg) Stierlen was born on January 4th, 1955, in Fergus Falls to Orville C. and Opal J. (Hanson) Berg of Breckenridge, MN. She was baptized at Breckenridge Lutheran Church, Breckenridge, MN, and later confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashby, MN. She grew up and graduated from the Ashby High School in 1973. Ashby remained her lifelong home, except for a short trial run in Fargo, where she quickly learned that she was meant for the smalltown life. Judy furthered her education by attending Alexandria Technical School to be a Medical Secretary and later, following her deepest instinct to take care of others, she continued her education at Fergus Falls Community and Technical College to become an LPN and then onto an RN. While Judy wore many hats in the healthcare industry, she would most often be found as a charge nurse in a local nursing home.

On March 31st, 1999, Judy and Wayne Stierlen filled the Historical Pioneer Church in Evansville, MN, as they joined together in marriage. The couple just celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. This was not only a day of celebration for their unity in marriage, but Judy also gaining four stepdaughters. She would surely never complain about an ever-growing family, as there was nothing she loved more than family. Judy was the one to ensure that those who passed before us were kept alive and not forgotten by sharing memories and photos, driving through the countryside sharing stories of different places and people, and always maintaining our family members’ final places of rest. 

Judy spent a great amount of time crocheting afghans and making blankets for various members of the family, but especially each new arrival. The best way to feel the true magic of a holiday was to attend a celebration at Judy and Wayne’s home. Whether it be Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas, or any in between, you could not miss the love that was put into preparing and hosting. Everywhere you’d look, there were decorations for the occasion—nobody was forgotten, everybody was welcome, there was enough food to feed an army, and even more love.

For family to be present was to fill Judy’s cup. A perfect day for Judy was to have her family visiting, enjoying beautiful weather on Eagle Lake, being in the cabin playing Whist, Pinochle, or Cribbage (if anyone was up to the challenge), with the fresh air and noises of the kids laughing, running, and swimming flowing in through the windows, while also ensuring that everyone ate enough of her potato salad and other dishes that they would surely soon burst. She was a member of The American Legion Auxiliary at Post# 357 in Ashby for 46 years. She truly enjoyed her work here, as she continued to work part-time until she recently became too ill to do so.

For the last two years, Judy happily took on a full-time role as a Bonus Grandma to her great-nephew, William Kimball.  There were countless smiles and giggles by both, but their favorite thing to do together was to fall asleep while watching M*A*S*H for nap time. 

Judy spent several years bravely fighting complex health issues, but she did not allow them to stop her from enjoying as much time with her family as possible and being grateful for every moment. In a note she wrote, “Getting older! But at least getting there!!” She was the matriarch of our family, another mom and grandma to many, a teacher, mentor, caregiver and so much more. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. 

On Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, Judy passed away in her lifelong home in Ashby, MN, at the age of 69. Judy was surrounded by many of her loved ones, including her “Puppy.” 

To attempt to summarize a person who was so much to so many in just a few sentences is simply impossible, but if you knew Judy, you know how much more there is to tell, so please, never stop sharing.

She is survived by her husband, Wayne; stepdaughters, Tonya (Kevin) Onstad of Bemidji, MN; Sarah (Dylan) Goudge of Clearbrook MN; Amy (Jeremiah) Gaertner of Dassel MN; Megan (Nick) Olson of Ashby MN; grandchildren, Jon and Victoria Onstad; Benjamin, Trey, and Miles Goudge; Jonas, Jeremiah, Velouria and Samantha Swat of Sarasota FL; Henry and Abraham Olson; sister, Faith Keep of Foxhome, MN; sister-in-law, Sue Berg of Fargo, ND; nieces and nephews (Bonus Kids), Kristi (Rick) Donovan, Derek (Jessica) Berg, Matthew Jacobson, Apryll (Curt) Berg, Jodie (Steve) Berg, Elisha (Douglas) Berg, Joshua (Amanda) Benson, Billie (Loran) Kimball, Conner Keep, Parker Keep, and Tanner (Emma) Keep; great-nieces and nephews, Alex, Tyler, Tiffany, Peter, Opal, Ruby, Nicole, Owen, Liam, Jillian, Gavin, Abel, Levi, Carter, Lauren, Ella, Jackson, Brayson, and William; five great-great nieces and nephews; and the hearts of many others. 

Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Opal (Hanson) Berg; siblings, Marie Ann Berg, Wayne Harris Berg, O.Dale Berg; and a nephew and niece, Chad and Dawn Berg.

Blessed be the Memory of Judy Carol (Berg) Stierlen.

Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30th with a prayer service and sharing starting at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Ashby.

Service: 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 1st at First Presbyterian Church in Ashby.

Clergy: Pastor Paul Snyder

Burial: Skibtvedt Cemetery, rural Battle Lake

Funeral Home: Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Ashby

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