Ruby Jane Drusch, 96, of Howard Lake, MN, took the hand of her Lord Monday, April 17, 2023, while at the Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, MN.
Ruby was born Nov. 7, 1926, at the family home in Middleville Township, MN, rural Howard Lake, the daughter of Awalt and Frieda (Stueven) Birkholz.
She was baptized Jan. 13, 1927, at their home by Pastor C.G. Seltz. A lifelong member of the St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, she was confirmed in her faith March 17, 1940, by Pastor E.N. Seltz.
She received her elementary education at Vannurden Country School and St. James Lutheran School, graduating from Howard Lake High School as a member of the class of 1944.
She was married to Raymond Schmieg Nov. 9, 1947, at her parents’ home by Pastor Theo Melinat. It was a day later than planned because of a severe snowstorm.
They made their home in Howard Lake, where they ran a trucking business. She took pride in being a homemaker. Their marriage was blessed with three children.
As the children grew older and they sold their business, Ruby found employment at Terlinden’s Our Own Hardware Store.
Life took a change when her husband of 29 years, Ray, passed away in May of 1977.
Ruby was a strong, God-fearing woman. She was a faithful member of St. James Church, serving as the Sunday school secretary, singing in the choirs, active in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, and on various committees and guilds.
Her life took another change Aug. 16, 1980, when she married Don Drusch. Together, they worked at Donnie’s OK Hardware Store.
Ruby loved her blended family. She thoroughly enjoyed cooking and baking for family get-togethers and always made more than enough for everyone.
Going up north to their cabin on the lake were always memorable times together. Although Ruby was not an outdoorsman, she loved spending time there, cooking meals and making sure everything was in order for the fishermen and hunters.
For years, she looked forward to Wednesday nights out, when they would meet friends for conversation and dinner. Playing dominoes with family and friends was a favorite pastime of hers, playing just days before her passing.
Ruby is survived by her husband of 42 years, Donald Drusch; children, Barry (Teresa) Schmieg, Vicki (Bradley) Schultz, and Scott Schmieg; step-children, Steve Drusch, Connie (Bob) Svendsen, Joe (Karen) Drusch, Debbie (Michael) Vialpando, Dan Drusch, and Donna (Steve) Gatz; 24 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; brother, Merrill Birkholz; sisters-in-law, Ann Birkholz and Elaine (Larry) Heyer; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Ray Schmieg; parents, Awalt and Frieda Birkholz; sister, Wilma Nelson; brothers, Wilton Birkholz and Virgil Birkholz; brothers-in-law, Peter Nelson, Harvey Drusch, and Dick Rolf; and sisters-in-law, Ramona Birkholz and Lorraine Drusch.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2023, at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, with visitation one hour prior to services at the church.
Arrangements are by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Howard Lake, www.swansonpeterson.com, 320-543-3401.