There will be a public visitation for Ruth Strand of Alexandria, MN, formerly of Morris, MN on Friday, June 19, 2020 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris. There will be a private family service. Burial will be in Kongsvinger Lutheran Cemetery, rural Donnelly.
Ruth was born March 4, 1916, in Stevens County, MN, to George and Laura Jergenson, one of eleven children, baptized at Kongsvinger Lutheran Church in Rural Donnelly, MN, and confirmed there on October 26, 1930.
She was united in marriage to Stanley Strand of rural Donnelly on August 29, 1937, in Sisseton, South Dakota, by the Reverend Leif Evans. Stanley and Ruth were blessed with seven children: Darrell Stanley, David Merle, Carole Lynn, Kathleen Ruth, Mary Lois, Sidney George, and Stewart John.
Ruth attended District 56 country school and graduated from Morris High School in 1933. The following year she attended St. Cloud Teachers’ College. Because of the Depression, the college offered one year of study—including six weeks of practice teaching—for Minnesota state elementary teaching certification.
She taught school for two years in District 61, Meeker County, and one-half year in District 67, Stevens County. She returned to teaching elementary school from 1961 to 1965 in Farwell after earning credits at St. Cloud State in order to be state certified. In 1966-67 Ruth worked with children who had special needs, did substitute teaching, and taught kindergarten in Kensington.
Stanley and Ruth lived in Chokio from 1937 to 1941, farmed in Upsala from 1941 to 1946, and then moved to Kensington where they farmed and raised their family from 1947 to 1978. After retiring, they spent the winters of 1978 – 1981 in Florida. In 1981 they moved to Morris where Stanley passed away August 23, 1995. Ruth continued to live in their home until age 98 ½ and in 2014 moved to her own apartment at West Central Homes in Morris where she celebrated her 100th birthday on March 4, 2016. In July of 2016 she moved to Edgewood Vista assisted living in Alexandria.
The greatest joy in Ruth’s life was raising her family. She had a special love for special needs children and a great love of music. Growing flowers, sewing, reading, and listening to her daughters play the piano gave her happiness. She was an excellent cook and baker and loved to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, even after a skiing accident! At age 103 she was the most avid walker at Edgewood Vista, walking outdoors in the spring, summer, and fall and walking the corridors during the winter. She was an example for everyone there—staff and residents alike.
One of the things that Ruth always wanted to do was write a book about growing up during the Great Depression. She told her children stories about the hard work and simple joys that made family life memorable. She said, “We didn’t even know we were poor because everyone else lived like we did!”
Faithful in attending church services and teaching Sunday School and Bible School, she lived her Christian faith—sharing, caring, praying, loving, and giving.
Ruth passed away June 15, 2020. She is survived by her seven children and their spouses: Darrell (Linda) Strand, David (Margaret) Strand, Carole (Harlan) Sundblad, Kathleen (Daniel) Sevig, Mary (Tom) Eichen, George Strand, John (Darlene) Strand; 14 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; one sister, Grace, and one brother, David; three sisters-in-law, Marge Jergenson, Julette Jergenson, JoAnn Jergenson; and by many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley; grandchild, Erik; two sisters, Mabel and Palma; and six brothers, Lawrence, Arden, Alfred, Conrad, Reuben, and Arnold.
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences to the family please visit www.pedersenfh.com.