Reni “Dugan” Ehlen, 69, of Two Harbors journeyed home on Wednesday, April 29, 15 at St. Luke’s Hospital.
She was born on February 22, 1946 to Gordon and Lois (Hellum) St. Claire in Fargo, ND, and in 1964 graduated from Anoka High School.
Reni and her family moved to Two Harbors in 1975. She worked in the customer service industry throughout her career in various areas. Always referring to it as her “dream job,” she recently retired from the Minnesota Historical Society at Split Rock Lighthouse, where she was employed for 9 years in the Museum Store.
In 2005, Reni, at 58, went back to school; she received her Associate of Arts degree from Lake Superior College and went on to obtain a degree in Massage Therapy. She was a Student Ambassador throughout her time at the college and belonged to the campus Diversity Committee. At 61 Reni graduated with high honors.
Anyone that ever drove or walked by Reni’s house in the summer could tell she loved to garden. She was a voracious reader, with a book and Kindle always by her side. Always the risk taker, she only ever did a crossword puzzle in pen. A surprise to many was that she was extremely artistic; excelling at drawing, pottery and sculpture. Reni’s guilty, Monday night; pleasure was Dancing with the Stars and the Bachelor(ette). But above all her greatest joy was her family.
Reni was a devout member of First Baptist Church. Volunteering and helping out where she could. Having attended First Baptist since its construction in 1975, she was happy to be a part of the church kitchen redesign and remodel process, bringing it to the 21st century.
Awaiting Reni’s arrival are her parents, grandparents, many family and friends.
She is survived by her sister Rochelle St. Claire of St. Petersburg, Florida, ex-husband and friend Vern Ehlen of Ronald, Washington, children Jennifer (Wade) Niemi of Two Harbors, Jason (Susan) Ehlen of Two Harbors, Jeffery Ehlen of Cloquet, and daughter-in-law Diana Dugger of Detroit Lakes; grandchildren Casey, Michelle, Ryan, Hanna, Maeve, Jack and Riley; one great grandson Lennon; and several nieces and nephews.
Our beloved sister, mother, grandmother and friend will be greatly missed but we are joyful that she is now free.
Visitation will be from 6 PM until the 7 PM services on Thursday May 7, 2015 at First Baptist Church in Two Harbors.