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Theodore William (Ruotsinoja) Root

Theodore William (Ruotsinoja) Root, age 81, of Kingston, died Tuesday, April 8, 2008, at the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, April 19 at noon at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston. The Rev. Michael Nelson will officiate at the service.

There will be a time to gather with family and friends Friday, April 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel. In addition, there will be a time to gather with family one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday.

Pallbearers will be Travis Ingebrigtson, Jacob Ingebrigtson, Christopher Root, Stephen Root, Daniel Root, and Kevin Root. Honorary pallbearers will be Arnold Ruotsinoja, Jim Kangas, and Ted’s four great-grandchildren: Ashley, Zachary, Tyler, and Lucas Ingebrigtson. Military honor guard will be the Johnson-Kelly American Legion in Kingston.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like a memorial sent in Ted Root’s name to: Suomi Special Interest, Conference of the ELCA, Treas. Sandy Stephenson-Nys, P.O. Box 1065, Proctor, MN 55810. Moneys will be designated for youth ministry and confirmation in re-establishing Finnish-speaking congregations in Karelia, Russia.

Theodore was born to Arvid Theodore and Impi M. (Hokkanen) Ruotsinoja May 8, 1926, on the family farm in section 16 of Kingston Township. He was baptized by the Rev. Andrew Kuusisto at the Finnish Ev. Lutheran Church of Kingston Township, and confirmed by the Rev. Arne Juntunen at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in French Lake.

Theodore attended elementary school in Kingston, and graduated from Litchfield High School with the class of 1943. Following graduation, Ted farmed with his father until his 18th birthday, when he enlisted in the US Navy during World War II.

It was at this time that the family decided to Americanize a difficult Finnish surname, and the name was shortened to ‘Root.’

While in the Navy, Ted took training at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago, and also attended classes at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. He served in the Pacific theatre on board the aircraft carrier, USS Shipley Bay, as a radio communications specialist.

Following his discharge, Ted returned to the family farm.

He and Alice Ida Hoeft were married Nov. 27, 1947, at the Kimball Methodist Church in Kimball, Minn.Together, they purchased their farm in section 22 of Kingston Township.

Ted was active in the Kingston community, having served on the Kingston school board, as a board member of the Kingston Co-op Dairy Assn., as an active and charter member of Johnson-Kelly Legion post 483 of Kingston, and as a life-long member of Redeemer Lutheran Church of Kingston.

During their farming years, Ted and Alice operated an egg business delivering to restaurants, nursing homes, grocery stores, schools, and co-ops throughout the Minneapolis area.

In their retirement years, Ted and Alice loved to travel, having visited every continent except Australia.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Arvid and Impi, both in 1977; a sister, Betty, in 1936; a still-born son in 1952; and a grandson, Nathan Theodore in 1981.

Ted is survived by his wife of 60 years, Alice, of Kingston; daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Ron Darsow of Otsego; son and daughter-in-law, Ned and Barbara Root of Kimball; five grandsons: Travis Theodore and Lisa Ingebrigtson of Hanover, Jacob and Sara Ingebrigtson of St. Paul, Christopher Root of San Francisco, Calif., Stephen Root of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Daniel and Rachel Root of Eagan; four great-grandchildren: Ashley, Zachary, Tyler, and Lucas Theodore Ingebrigtson of Hanover; four step-grandchildren; and six step-great-grandchildren.

He is further survived by his sisters and brother: Lillian Irvin of Lincoln, Calif., Alice and Tom Russell of Sebring, Fla., and Larry and Pat Root of South St. Paul.

Arrangements are being handled by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.