Ruth Evelyn Eeg, 96, of Greenbush, Minn., died Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at LifeCare Greenbush Manor in Greenbush.
She was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on March 10, 1919, to George and Winnifred (Holdstock) Westerberg. When Ruth was one year old, her family moved to rural Lake Bronson, Minn., where she was baptized in the Lutheran faith and attended school. As a young woman, Ruth worked on the family farm until she became a nanny for a family in Minneapolis. In 1940, Ruth opened “Ruth’s Dress Shop” on main street Greenbush where she sold ready-made fashions and did custom sewing and alterations. During World War II, Ruth hitched a ride to California where she worked in an airlines assembly plant as a ‘Rosie the Riveter.’ During this time, a courtship developed with Tenney Eeg of Greenbush. They moved back to Greenbush, and were married on November 6, 1942.
Tenney and Ruth farmed in Dewey Township west of Greenbush, starting out with 80 acres and purchasing more land as time went on, including Tenney’s father’s original homestead. Here they raised their four children, Ross, Byron, Barry and Caryn. As a mother and farm wife, Ruth immersed herself in numerous community and church efforts. She was a Sunday school teacher and Ladies Aid member at Bethel Lutheran Church, a Girl Scout leader, and did fundraising for the new hospital with the Greenbush Hospital Auxiliary. She loved gardening and was especially creative with landscaping and beautiful flowerbeds. Ruth enjoyed her friends as a member of a light-hearted bridge club.
Tenney passed away on April 24, 1965. Ruth continued farming with the help of her children until she left the farm in 1973. Ruth was employed by Northwest Community Action as an Outreach Aide where she enjoyed getting to know people in the area and helping them as needed. She retired from NWCA in 1988 at the age of 70.
At some point, Ruth teamed up with her dear friend Selma Rigstad. There wasn’t a job they couldn’t do! They painted, wallpapered, and catered dinners and receptions, preparing all food from scratch and serving crowds of up to 275 people. They volunteered for the City of Greenbush Beautification Committee where they sewed banners on Main Street, and planted, watered, and maintained barrels of flowers on Main Street for over 20 years.
Ruth chaired the Annual Craft Sale at Bethel for 31 years until 2006, making many of the quilts and craft items herself. You may remember her selling her beautiful hand-crafted items at area craft fairs. She was a talented seamstress, and loved the challenge of creating detailed bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and prom dresses for many in the area. Ruth served on the original Pelan Pioneer Park board that developed a pioneer village, heading up numerous fundraisers and work sessions. She was a founding member of the Greenbush Food Shelf Board, and a driver for Roseau County Senior Medical Travel.
She is survived by her son, Byron (Carolyn) Eeg of Greenbush; her daughter, Caryn (Bradley) Linn of Eau Claire, Wis., and their children Cathryn (Aaron) Bauer and Emily Linn; two daughters-in-law: DeAnna Eeg of Greenbush and her children Tennes (Renee VanGelderen) and Andrea (Jason) Reierson; and Karen Eeg of Fergus Falls and her children Garner (Sara) Eeg, Anissa Eeg, Justin (Jessica) Eeg, and Stuart (Erin) Eeg; 19 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Altha Carlson of Hallock and Phyllis (Jim) Sutherland of Minneapolis; three sisters-in-law, Florence Westerberg of Hallock, DeeAnn Westerberg of Lancaster, and Delores Linder of Strathcona; and many nieces and nephews.
Ruth was also preceded in death by her parents; two sons, Barry in 1983 and Ross in 2003; and three brothers, Gordon, Roger and Glen Westerberg.
Funeral services will be held at 1 PM Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Bethel Lutheran Church, Greenbush with Pastor Mark Mathews officiating. Burial will be in Bethel Cemetery in Greenbush. Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7 PM Friday at Bethel Church and one hour prior to services on Saturday. There will be a 7 PM public prayer service Friday at the church.
Family requests memorials please be directed to Bethel Memorial Fund, PO Box B, Greenbush, MN 56726; or Greenbush Area Pool Fund, c/o Northwest Minnesota Foundation, 201 3rd St. NW, Bemidji, MN 56601. Both were dear to Ruth’s heart.
Gieseke Funeral Chapel of Greenbush, Minn., is serving the family.