Rueben Harold Tangren, 81, of Faribault, died Friday, March 12, 2021 at home.
Rueben was born January 2, 1940 at home on the family farm in Lindstrom, Minnesota the son of Harold Tangren and Edith (Christiansen) Tangren. He graduated from Chisago Lakes High School in 1958 and attended the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture Business Administration degree in 1962. At college, Rueben met Janet Hongisto and they were married on August 19, 1961 in Esko, Minnesota. They made their first home in St. Paul where their daughter Elise was born. Rueben accepted a job at the Litchfield State Bank as an insurance agent. While living in Litchfield second daughter Jeanne was born. Then they moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area where Pete was born. During that time Rueben became a life insurance underwriter for Western States Life Insurance Company and later for ITT Hamilton in Denver Colorado. Rueben took a break from the insurance business and was a bookkeeper for his father-in-law’s farm implement business in Cloquet, Minnesota, He and Janet were house parents and he was a ranch hand at a boys ranch in North Platte, Nebraska. The family moved to San Pasqual Valley, California where Rueben worked on the dairy farm at a private parochial boarding school. The family moved back to the Midwest where Rueben was a parochial middle school teacher in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Rueben spent twenty-three years as a health insurance underwriter for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Eagan, Minnesota retiring in 2005.
Volunteering and giving of himself was how Rueben enjoyed spending his time during retirement. Rueben volunteered as a Medicare and health insurance counselor for 15 years at the Faribault Senior Center also known as Buckham West. He received the Minnesota State Volunteer Recognition with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Linkage Line. He served on the Senior Center board of directors for 6 years. He also provided checkbook balancing services at the Center. Rueben served on the Health Finders Collaborative Board of Directors for 7 years, several of them as treasurer. He was a member of the Faribault GROWS garden club and served as treasurer for GROWS. He also was treasurer for the District One Hospital Auxiliary gift shop for many years. He delivered Meals on Wheels and served as a volunteer at Fashions on Central. The Faribault Daily News selected him as an ‘Unsung Hero’ for his volunteer service in 2013. In 2014 Rueben and Janet received the Rice County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.
He is survived by Janet, his wife of 59 years, daughters, Elise (and Michael) McIan of Portland OR, Jeanne (and Steve) Hatle of Northfield, MN, and son Pete Tangren (and Nicole Phelps) of Minneapolis, MN; Granddaughters, Elissa Couron (and Matt Dukart), Olivia Tangren, Caroline Tangren, Ravenna McIan; Great grandson Theodore Dukart; Brothers, Elwood (and Barbara) Tangren, Eugene (and Candice) Tangren; five nieces, a nephew and their families.
Memorials may be directed to HealthFinders Collaborative or Buckham West Senior Center of Faribault.
Celebrations of Rueben’s life will be scheduled late this summer.