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Mrs. Ruth Hartstein

A Life of Service and a Legacy Giver

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Ruth’s three sons, Keith, Roy, and Kirk have composed this tribute to their parents.

A Tribute to Ruth and Fred Hartstein

The Hartstein Family in the early 70s
Our family moved to Bossier City / Barksdale AFB in 1966, Keith was 10, Roy 8 and Kirk 6, years old we were transferred there. We recall vividly that our parents, Lt. Col. Fred Hartstein and Ruth Hartstein, CPA, became founding members of Trinity Lutheran Church shortly after we arrived. Mom and Dad were both involved in helping to raise funds to purchase land across the street from what would become Parkway High School. We remember dinner table discussions about the type of building that would be constructed and how big it needed to be to accommodate a growing congregation.After the church was built, all three of the Hartstein boys served as acolytes and worship assistants during our youth. Our parents were never wealthy, but we weren’t poor either. Dad worked hard and Mom was a diligent steward of their finances. Tithing was something that our parents believed in quite strongly. They always included giving to the church in their weekly budget. But tithing didn’t stop with simply giving money. Both of my parents gave of their time and talents as well, especially Mom. Even though she was busy raising three boys, often on her own while Dad was away, she managed to complete her college education and receive her CPA designation. She went to work in the private sector as an accountant, before eventually starting her own business as a CPA.

Mom also put her accounting knowledge and talents to work by volunteering to serve as the inaugural Treasurer for the North Texas & North Louisiana Synod of the ELCA. She made many trips to Dallas for meetings and conferences, and we believe she served multiple terms in that role. When the Bossier City congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church merged with the Shreveport Congregation of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Mom and Dad remained very active.

Dad, who by now had retired from the Air Force and a second career in the private sector, volunteered as a leader with the youth group. A former Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts, Dad took tremendous delight in leading camping and hiking trips. Dad also supported the Briarwood Camp, and served as Camp Grandpa which he considered an honor. Mom continued to serve as Treasurer of the congregation and was actively involved in the search committees whenever a pastor was called away and a new one had to be found. Mom also gave of her time through the Stephen Ministry providing support to people in times of need.

A recent Hartstein Family photo

After our father passed away in 2004, Mom began making plans for how their estate would be parceled out upon her eventual death. She made sure to include both the local congregation that was so much a part of her life and fellowship, as well as the Synod’s Mission Endowment Fund, in her plans. Creating a legacy of support for ministry to others was important to her. But her generosity didn’t stop there. She also left a nice gift to the St. Jude Foundation as well. In life and in death, Fred and Ruth Hartstein were each strong believers in giving generously, whether it was monetarily or of their time and talents. They passed that legacy to their children and grandchildren and we hope it will inspire others to share their gifts through the ministry.


Hartstein family reunion on Mom”s 75th birthday. We rented a home on Lake LBJ in Texas and brought the entire family together. Those are all the grandkids and the one great grandchild, Chase, my daughter”s son, being held by my son in law.