Ruth Gladys Gustafson

Ruth Gladys Gustafson

  • Funeral Date: 7/13/15
  • Funeral Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • Date of Birth: 3/27/34
  • Date of Death: 7/09/15
  • Funeral Location: Stanton United Methodist Church

Ruth Gustafson passed away at the Cannon Falls Hospital on Thursday, July 9, 2015, after suffering a stroke while meeting friends for lunch in Dennison. A resident of the Kenyon Sunset Nursing Home, she had battled back from several health problems and attended a Gustafson family reunion in Northfield in June with her children, their families, and their children’s families. She was 81.

Ruth was born on March 27, 1934 in Norwood, Minnesota. She weighed only 2 lbs, 8 oz. at birth, but she beat the odds and survived. Her parents Waldo and Gladys (Hauter) Rosenwald told stories of using their oven as an incubator when they finally brought her home to join her older brother Richard. She graduated from Norwood High School and went to work at the Land Bank in St. Paul. She met her future husband Merrill Gustafson at the Prom Ballroom. Merrill later said that she was the best dancer there. Because Merrill was not listed in the phone book, she dialed the first Gustafson listed in the Cannon Falls directory and found the right house.

She and Merrill were married on August 6, 1960 in Norwood. They lived and raised their three children on a dairy farm near Stanton, attending the Stanton United Methodist Church. To meet her family’s needs she had Merrill give her driving lessons in their small white Rambler—with the children in the back seat. She and Merrill enjoyed summer vacations at Lake Amelia at the cabin Ruth’s father built. Over the years they welcomed grandchildren and great grandchildren; she had a talent for holding babies. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in Cannon Falls in 2010. Merrill preceded her in death in December 2013. Unable to live on her own due to physical problems and Alzheimer’s, she settled at the Kenyon Sunset Home in October 2014.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Waldo and Gladys, and by her brother Richard. Surviving are three children, David of Houston, Minnesota (Christine); Karen Kieffer of Dennison (Al); and Loren of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (Sarah Bell); six grandchildren (Ellen, Brenna, Jamie, Bryce, Max, Lucy), and three great grandchildren (Peyton, Daelyn, and Claire). She is survived by her brother Richard’s wife Gerry of Tucson, Arizona, and their children Ross, Rand, Ron, and Cathy and families; and Merrill’s three brothers and their wives and families—Russell (Shirley), Bud (Joan), Delbert (Arlene) and caregiver and friend of the family, Heidi Schendel.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 am Monday, July 13th at the Stanton United Methodist Church with burial at the Stanton Cemetery. Visitation 4-7:00 pm Sunday July 12th at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and at the Church on Monday 1 hour prior to Services. Memorials can be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Mayo Clinic.

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