Ruth Marie Steckelberg
Ruth Marie (Pipal) Steckelberg, 96, of Mountain Home, Idaho passed away on January 2, 2018 after a lengthy illness. At her request, a Celebration of Life will be held during warmer weather. She wanted to be cremated and Rost Funeral Home handled arrangements – with later interment planned at Chamberlain, SD. Ruth Marie Pipal was born on October 3, 1921, at the John Henry Pipal farm in Pleasant Grove Township, 14 miles south of Kimball, SD. Her father was John Henry Pipal and her mother was Amelia Mae (Mollie) (Forman) Pipal. She had an older sister, Erma J. (Pipal) Brauns and an older brother, Vernon J. Pipal. The entire Pipal family was very active in the Eagle Bohemian Presbyterian Church and most of them are buried in that cemetery. Times were tough during the Great Depression and the Bohemian families that settled in the area tried to help each other and often traded goods & services. For many years, they had no electricity or running water or motor vehicles. But they usually had chickens, pork & beef to eat and sometimes the grasshoppers left them some garden vegetables & corn. The Pipals had a Sorghum Mill and traveled to Eagle to trade some sorghum for cream. The Pipal Family also produced & sold the famous Pipal Salve that was widely distributed. Ruth roomed in Kimball and graduated from Kimball High School and was the last surviving member of the KHS Class of 1940. Ruth married Lyle L. Steckelberg at the Pipal farm in 1941 and they lived on various farms in the Pukwana area. In 1949, Lyle, Ruth & their family moved to Chamberlain. Along with raising their kids, Douglas, Sharon, Robert & Larry, Ruth rented rooms to tourists and later worked part-time as a cashier at Wait’s Market and part-time as the Brule County Deputy Clerk of Courts. She was very active in the United Church of Christ. Many years later, Lyle & Ruth joined the Assembly of God Church. Lyle died on June 21, 1983. Although she had very fond memories of family & friends in the Chamberlain area – she fell in love with the majestic beauty of Idaho, and she moved to Mountain Home to be closer to her three sons. For years she enjoyed day trips exploring Idaho and quickly determined that the Stanley area was “Heaven on Earth”. In 2014, Ruth broke her ankle and moved into Assisted Living at Aarenbrooke Place in Mountain Home. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lyle; and son, Robert. Ruth is survived by her children: Douglas & wife Rebecca of Fairfield, Idaho; Sharon (Shari) Nedved of Rapid City, SD; Larry & wife Amphan Jhim of Mountain Home, Idaho; and grandchildren: Scott & wife Bonetta Nedved of Black Hawk, SD; Troy & wife Emily of Big Sky, Montana; Wanida & husband Ryan Swatzel of Mountain Home, Idaho; and great grandchildren: Emily Nedved of Houston, Texas; Robert Steckelberg, Aki Uchima & Andrew Swatzel all of Mountain Home, Idaho; and Zoey Nedved & Lucy Nedved of Big Sky, Montana.