Eugene Joseph Stelman

Stelman, Eugene Joseph died on June 15, 2022 from heart failure. He was born on June 30, 1932 in Duluth, MN, the fifth and youngest child of Antoinette and Joseph Stelman. Gene grew up in the Central Hillside neighborhood, attending the Catholic schools of Sacred Heart Cathedral. He graduated in 1949 at the age of 16. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951, during the Korean War, serving as a clerk and training as an orderly. After his discharge, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and began to work at St. Mary's Hospital, where he met nurse Beverley St. John. Gene and Bev were married in 1955. Gene graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 1957. In 1962, the family relocated to Richfield, MN, where Gene attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota, earning his M.A. in 1964. Gene worked for his entire career in the field of rehabilitation, serving first as a vocational counselor for the State of Minnesota and then in leadership in many organizations including Opportunity Workshop, Courage Center, St. Paul Rehabilitation Center, Productive Alternatives (Fergus Falls) and RISE in Spring Lake Park. He also worked in Washington, DC for the federal government and acted as a consultant to many organizations around the country. Gene loved all kinds of music and loved traveling with Bev. They especially loved to spend time with their grandchildren. Gene and Bev were devoted to one another. In 2018, Gene lost Bev to cancer after over 62 years of marriage. A faithful Catholic, he looked forward to being reunited with her. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Chester and Edmund and sister Florence. He is survived by his sister Dorothy (Larry) Kaiser; his children Sister Joan Marie, Steve (Julie), Bruce, and Scott (Stephanie); and his grandchildren Christine (Jeff) Stefanik, Joe (Krista), Ben, and Hannah. Services for Gene will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, at St. Richard's Catholic Church in Richfield, MN. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am followed by the Funeral Mass at 11:00. Memorials are preferred to Productive Alternatives, Inc., 1205 North Tower Road, Fergus Falls, MN 56537 or RISE, 8406 Sunset Road NE, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432. Werness Brothers 952-884-8145