Ronald William Shosten

July 30, 1956 ~ February 25, 2021 (age 64) 64 Years Old


Ron Shosten, 64, of Madison, died February 25, 2021, from injuries he sustained in a single car accident.  There will be a memorial service held at 10:30 am, Saturday, April 10th at  Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, rural Willmar with visitation from 9:30 am until the time of service.  Interment will be in Ebenezer Lutheran Cemetery, rural Kandiyohi.  Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.

Ron was born in Willmar, Minnesota, on July 30, 1956, to Ila (Elliott) and Bill Shosten.  He joined his siblings, Sandy, Sheldon, and Bonnie.  Ron’s dad died when he was four years old which fostered a very close attachment to his sister, Bonnie - lovingly referred to as “Bonnie and Ronnie.”  They are best friends to this day.  Ron grew up in Kerkhoven and Willmar.  He attended country school hanging out with his friend Billy T, and then onto Willmar High School where he was active in basketball, making life-long friends like Bernie B, and being active in student government (senior class President in 1973-74).  After high school, he attended Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington, graduating with a degree in Biblical Literature in 1978.  From there he attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, WA, where he received his Master’s Degree in Family and Marriage Counseling in 1981.  He later completed a post graduate program in pastoral counseling from the University of Puget Sound.  Ron’s first job was with the Spanaway Assembly of God Church as a pastoral counselor.  From there, he worked many years for Presbyterian Counseling Service.  He finished the remaining 25 years of his career as a private practice therapist in Kirkland WA, retiring in 2017.  Ron was called to his profession and was excellent at it.  Many clients returned to him years later telling him how much he had helped them.  His family and friends would often ask him to put his “counselor hat” on so they could benefit too.

Ron met Debbie Riddout when they attended Northwest College and they married in 1978.  Ron’s only child, Ryan Shosten, was born to them in 1985.  Ron was the “best dad," and Ron and Ryan have always been very close.  Ryan so appreciated and understood Ron’s humor from a very young age and learned to be funny too - the two of them together was so much fun.  They could tell each other anything and everything – and did.  They had a very special dad and son relationship – one that will transcend death.  Ron married Barbara Shosten in 1994 and they have been the best of friends to this day and forever too.

Ron always wanted to go home to Minnesota and live in a small rural Minnesota town, similar to his childhood home of Kerkhoven, and in 2018, after retiring, he did so.  Since then, he lived with his two cats – Skippy and Clara - in Madison, MN.  He had only lived there a couple of years, but he really settled into the community, making many friends and acquaintances – Norma, Gordy, Jerry, neighbor Pam, the folks at Faith Lutheran Church, his local insurance agent, the owners and staff of the thrift shop, the Dollar General and the Jubilee grocery store.  He walked ten miles a day (five two-mile laps) and must have been a familiar and expected sight for people along his routes – often talking on the phone or reading while he walked and talking or shouting hello to all passersby’s.  To live in a small Minnesota community is what he always wanted - it is comforting to know that he made that happen before he died.

Ron was a special person.  He was so funny, creative, and smart, and he loved God.  He found great comfort knowing he was a lamb to his shepherd, Jesus.  He could make an entire room laugh with his quick wit - a wit so unique to him.  He would listen and wait and then say the most perfect and funny thing that would have everyone in stitches.  Ron had a great intellect too.  He had hundreds of books on psychology and spirituality and read and studied constantly.  Even after retiring he spent hours each day studying.  He had planned to begin a volunteer life coaching service so he could continue helping others.  He expressed his creativity by journaling and writing songs and poems regularly.  For many years he would include a poem in his annual Christmas cards to everyone.  Ron loved all kinds of music – listening and singing – he loved to sing.  He was currently learning to play the guitar and planned to learn how to play the drums.  He loved his life, his home, his son, his sister, his friends, and his animals. and we loved him.  He will be so missed.

Some poems that capture his unique specialness are below:


Our task in life is not

To stay the same

It is not to stay young.


Our task in life is to grow

Old and into something

Ancient and unique

Covered with wrinkles

And serenaded with a limp.


Our task is to grow slow

And filled with thought

Holding onto each other

Like our life depended on it

Until the day we die

When God will call back to himself

The young children

We have become.



I carry joy

She lives inside my heart

She tiptoes round a secret spring

To where the river starts

In the warm touch of the sunshine

She leaps cold bubbling as she flows

Finding her way to the ocean

Is what my sweet joy knows.


Space and pace

Small loops in heaven.


Simple wine

And bread unleavened.


Breathing deep

And acting slow.


Stop and think

Before you go.


Ron is survived by his son, Ryan Shosten, and his wife, Sunny, and grandsons, Cooper and Jack; his sister, Bonnie Stensgard and her family, Tom, Tony, Sarah and Stephen: sister, Sandy Stueland (Doug, Tami and Teri), brother Sheldon Thompson (Angie and Seth), sister Jane Shosten-Memmott, brother Gary Shosten (Claudia), Debbie Cooper (Austin and Emily), Barbara Shosten (Trevor, Sarah, Brahm, Saunder, Corinn, Maggie), and many other friends and family.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Ronald William Shosten?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Ronald's memory.


April 10, 2021

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Eagle Lake Lutheran Church (Willmar)

Memorial Service
April 10, 2021

10:30 AM
Eagle Lake Lutheran Church (Willmar)


© 2023 Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility