April 26, 2009 - Ruth (Broermann) Stallmann

On its tenth anniversary in 1990, Concordia Deaconess Conference—Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (CDC) awarded the second Phoebe Award (an award created to thank God for “deaconesses who have unselfishly and lovingly dedicated their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ” and who exemplify the Conference motto “through their labors of deaconess service”) to Ruth Suzannah (nee Broermann) Stallmann.

Deaconess Emeritus Ruth was born in Evansville, Indiana, on April 18, 1918.  She received a Bachelor of Science from Indiana State Teachers’ College in 1940 and taught Business for three years at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY.  Her interest in holistic health led her to earn a “Doctor of Chiropractor” in 1947.  She returned to full-time education again in the early 1950s and was consecrated as a deaconess in January 1955.

Working as a deaconess, Ruth served at Concordia Lutheran Church, Berwyn, IL (1954); Lutheran Action Council, Washington D.C. (1955-56); Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hyde Park, NY (1958-59); St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL (1959-61); the LCMS campus ministry office, Chicago, IL (1963-68); and the LCMS Northern Illinois District (1968-81). She also sat on the LCMS Task Force on Aging and the LCMS Social Ministries Task Force during the 1980s. 

In 1980, Ruth became the first president of Concordia Deaconess Conference, a new organization for LCMS deaconesses, founded by Ruth and eight other “conservative” women (after the Synod voted to set up its own deaconess training program in 1979). Upon finishing her terms as president, she was immediately elected as vice-president!  Ruth’s business and organizational skills were considered a great asset to the campaign for an LCMS deaconess program, and to the CDC, both before and after the conference was established. 

Ruth’s big smile and compassionate heart made their way into a broad array of different situations during her years of active service.  In May 1985, Concordia Theological Seminary recognized Ruth’s contributions to the work of the church by awarding her the Miles Christi (Soldier of Christ) Award.  But Ruth has never been one to rest on her laurels.  Even now, at over 90 years old, she enjoys doing volunteer "deaconess work" where she resides, at Laclede Oaks Campus in St. Louis.