Ruth Cecelia Johnson passed away Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, at the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center. She had reached the remarkable age of 107 years, 4 months, and 28 days.
She was born June 23, 1903, to George and Lydia (Anderson) Brown, in MacLean County, North Dakota.
She grew up in North Dakota and graduated from Underwood High School in about 1921. She began teaching school right after high school in Ray, ND. She attended North Dakota State University and Valley City State Teachers College.
She met Reverend Elmer Johnson, a minister, at his first parish. He needed an organist to help at church, and Ruth was an organist. They were married at the rural Birka Lutheran Church in 1931.
They served in many churches; first in McGregor, ND; then a four-church parish in Bruno, MN; a two-church parish in Murdock, MN; in Hutto, TX; Bethesda, IA; a two-church parish in Oberon, ND; and finally three churches in Detroit Lakes, MN.
In 1988, Ruth and Elmer moved to the Augustana Apartments in Minneapolis, and Ruth moved to Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center in 2005.
Her life was marked by service to others and her Christian witness touched many lives. Helping Elmer at each parish with the church work, playing the organ and piano, and directing choirs as need arose, teaching Sunday school, Bible school and Bible classes.
She was a devoted wife and mother, spending countless hours sewing, knitting, tatting, quilting, canning, and baking, as well as hosting frequent guests in the parsonage.
Ruth is survived by children, Sylvia (Leon) Flancher; Rhoda (Roger) Young; Phyllis (Don) Stevenson; David (Mary Ann) Johnson; grandchildren, Jim; Karen and Philip Spencer; Daniel and Joel Flancher; Becky Elhardt; Michael Young; Barbara Wanquist; Liane Buechler; Sharon Lindau; Tim Stevenson; Peter and Eric Johnson; Anna Slother; great- grandchildren, Rachel Hopson; Emily Huber; Sarah Ryan; Megan Spencer; Luke, Seth, Henry, Jack, and Abby Flancher; James and John Elhardt; Emma Young; Andrew, Tom, and Kristin Wanquist; Rachel Louws; Mark and Amy Buechler; David and Ben Lindau; Tyler, Nora, and Connor Stevenson; Alex, Andrew, Liam, Scott, Phineas, and Leif Johnson; Sidney Slother; and great-great-grandson. Oliver Huber.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and husband, Elmer.
Memorial services took place Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 at 11 a.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.
Arrangements were made by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake.
Ruth was, in many ways, a woman of Proverbs 31; one verse being, “Her children rise up and call her blessed . . .”