It was a special day on July 18, 1920 when Esther and Charles Herman became parents at the birth of their daughter Ruth Kjestine in Ledgerwood, North Dakota. Six years later, Ruth became a sister to her brother Charles “Buster” Herman.
She grew up in the small town of Ada, Minnesota where she enjoyed playing tennis, reading, playing saxophone and being a “doer” in school. She always described Ada as the perfect place to grow up because, as the county seat, it had everything! After graduating from high school, she attended college at UCLA. Her parents wanted her closer to home so she came back to Minnesota to attend St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota to study nursing.
In 1940, she met Erling Thorvald Falk while taking refuge in his parent’s home during the Armistice Day Blizzard. That evening, she told her roommate (his cousin) she had just met the man she would marry. Three months later, she did just that!
When Erling enlisted to serve in the Air Force, Ruth took aptitude tests to determine how she could help in the war effort. Achieving the highest manual dexterity score they had seen; she was assigned to assemble detonator cups. Many years later in Orlando Florida, she was honored to be invited to join a “Fair Ladies” luncheon group of military wives where she made many new friends. Ruth was an avid bridge player and was proud to become a “Life Master” competing in duplicate bridge. Unlike many other duplicate players who fear losing their competitive edge, she also enjoyed playing party bridge with friends and family. Over the years, the family moved many times but ultimately, the Lake Minnetonka area of Minnesota became home until she retired with Erling to Winter Park, Florida in 1985. Ruth and Erling joined Rio Pinar Country Club where she participated in the Ladies’ golf league and the Bridge Marathon Group. She directed the Bridge Marathon at Rio for 30 years.
Ruth loved bowling and played in leagues until she was 90 or so. She taught many of her children to bowl and explained the fundamentals of bowling math and tricks with arithmetic in the process. Ruth taught herself to knit early in her married life because there wasn’t a lot of money for gifts. She quickly mastered the craft and made countless sweaters, hats, scarves, ponchos, mittens, and baby clothes. Family and friends proudly wear her works of art.
Ruth gave birth and was a wonderful and kind mother to seven children (her father once asked her if she was planning to have a baby for every month of the year). She is preceded in death by her daughter Karen Kjestine Belinskey and son Kevin Charles Falk. She is also preceded in death by her husband of forty-four years, Erling. Ruth is survived by her children Kristi Anne Schuppert of Alamo California; Randi Alice Cornett of Wayzata Minnesota; Reidun Ruth Atkinson of Woodland, Minnesota; Kaja Lin MacDonnell of Williamsburg, Virginia; and Erling “Thor” Falk of Winter Park, Florida.
She is survived by her grandchildren Robin Belinskey, Heather Hymer, Ryan Kennedy, Finlay Atkinson, Kevin Daley, Flannery Daley, Kaja Fickes, Erica Schuppert, Kirsten MacDonnell, and Christopher MacDonnell. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Victoria VanSickle, Jade Alberts, Scarlette Kennedy, Makayla Kennedy, Lily Kennedy, Samantha Belinskey, Ryan Belinskey, Elise Fickes, Kristi Fickes, Mac Daley, Josh Schectman, and Randi Ruth Daley.
In Winter Park, Ruth was a member of St. John Lutheran Church and then Redeemer Lutheran Church. In the Lake Minnetonka area, she was a member of Minnetonka Lutheran Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mound.
Funeral services will be conducted on July 3rd at David Lee Funeral Home in Wayzata MN. 1:30 reviewal, 2:00 pm service. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Mound MN.