Skip to content

Ruth (Mrs. Sander) Gustafson, 90

Ruth (Mrs. Sander) Gustafson went home to be with the Lord, slipping
out from a restful sleep on May 18, 2011, at 4:20 PM, from Altru
Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D. while in the presence of her family.

Born Juliana Ruth Skarp, December 25, 1920, to David and (Olga Spjut)
Skarp, on a farm west of Karlstad, Minnesota, she graduated from
Karlstad High School as valedictorian of the class of 1938.
Following post-high school education from the the Agricultural School
in Crookston, MN with a degree in business (where she also got all
A’s), she took a position with the bank in Hallock.  While attending
the Hallock Mission Covenant Church she met Sander.  The couple
married October 16, 1944.  They farmed west of Hallock where they
raised their family.  In addition to being a homemaker and being
active in the Two River Township Homemaker’s Club, and an advisor for
her children’s 4-H club, she worked for a time as a cook at Hallock
High School, later in the front office of a local physician, and
subsequently became a Certified Records Technician at the hospital in
Hallock.  Ultimately, she served on the board of directors of Kittson
Memorial Hospital.

Always involved in music Ruth was the church organist at the Hallock
Mission Covenant Church, where she and Sander have been active
members, and in later years at the Kennedy Covenant Church.  She
played piano for the Golden Age Singers, which performed regularly at
the Hallock Nursing Home, as well as playing for special events
including the Kittson County Crusade for Christ, for weddings and
funerals, as well as singing and playing duets with Sander, and
anywhere and any time she was asked.   Along with Sander, she was
active in the Gideons and the Swedish Heritage Society.

A woman of grace and dignity, she was also fun loving and had a great
sense of humor.  Right to the end of her earthly life she made
statements while in the hospital that demonstrated her wit.  In spite
of pain related to arthritis she was never one to complain.  Her
cheerful disposition brightened the day of all with whom she came in

She was preceded in death by her Father, mother, two step-mothers,
and her sister Audrey.  She is survived by her husband Sander,
children: David (Marina) Gustafson, Hemet, California; Cedric (Cheri)
Gustafson, Hallock, MN; and Marie (Mark) Levang, Fergus Falls, MN;
daughter-in-law Enid Gustafson, Santa Clarita, California;
Grandchildren Julianna Velthoen, Alison Gruber, Elizabeth Gustafson,
Amanda Gustafson, Eric Gustafson, Dane Gustafson, Renae Long, Brian
Levang, and Jessica Levang; and Great Grandchildren Margo Velthoen,
Cameron Velthoen, Carsten Long, Solveig Levang, Noelle Levang, and
Dahlia Levang; and many nieces and nephews.

Ruth will be missed and fondly remembered by her family, and many
friends for her life demonstrating patience, love and compassion.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 21st at the Evangelical
Mission Covenant Church in Kennedy, Minnesota.  Interment was in
Greenwood Cemetery, Hallock.  Rev. Steve Grosz, presided, Sarah
Bushaw, soloist; Shannon Christenson, organist, Lyndon Johnson,
soloist and Laurel Johnson, accompanist.  Casket bearers were Greg
Sandahl, Dwight Nelson, Jeff Michaelis, Arnell Cummins, Matthew
Cummins and Brian Levang.  The Austin Funeral Home was in charge of

Leave a Comment