Ruth Marie NelsonRuth Marie Nelson, 94, passed away Jan. 28, 2012, in Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospice in Duluth.
Ruth Marie Nelson, 94, passed away Jan. 28, 2012, at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospice, Duluth. Ruth had a long and happy life and was blessed with a loving family and many caring relatives and friends. She was particularly fond of children and truly enjoyed her two grandsons.
Ruth’s motto was, “If you are kind and friendly to people, they will be kind and friendly to you.” She easily made friends wherever she went and was quick to lend a hand to those in need.
She was born in Superior in 1917 to Esther and Chester Casper, and she liked to add, “In my grandmother’s bed.” She lived in a variety of houses in Superior and in her later years enjoyed driving by and pointing out the many houses in which she had lived.
Ruth attended the Nelson Dewey School and graduated from Superior East High School in 1936, during the Great Depression. The Depression years taught her to be frugal, a trait she maintained throughout her life.
She married her high school sweetheart, Glen R. Nelson, in 1941. She worked for the Great Northern Railroad as a mail carrier during World War II. Following the war, she became a fulltime mother to her two children, Carol “Jean” and James R., and enthusiastically engaged in homemaking activities. She was active in Girl Scouting, P.T.A. and church projects, and later worked for her father-in-law at Carl Nelson’s Grocery in Allouez.
Although she never quite believed it, Ruth was a woman of many talents. She was an excellent cook and seamstress, and had a special knack for cutting and styling the hair of friends and relatives. Her husband, when in his 80s, claimed he had not been to a real barber since haircuts cost 25 cents. Ruth also enjoy canning produce from the family gardens with stewed tomatoes, dill pickles and raspberry sauce being her specialties. Ruth’s afghans, ceramic pieces and Ming trees adorned her home as well as the homes of friends and relatives.
Ruth was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in the East End and later served as a deacon at the Presbyterian church in Gordon, where she and Glen resided for 23 years after Glen’s retirement.
Ruth hosted many family picnics and gatherings for friends at Bass Lake in Gordon, where her baked beans, potato salad and raspberry pies were relished. She and Glen wintered for several years in Mesa, Ariz., making new friends and reuniting with other “snowbirds” from Superior.
When the aging process made it necessary to leave Gordon, Ruth and Glen moved back to their old neighborhood and took up residence in the Nelson Dewey Senior Apartments. After Glen’s death in 2006, Ruth moved to Harmony House in the Village of Superior, where she was content and happy with her extended family of residents and caring, dedicated staff.
In her 90s Ruth was tickled to be the subject of a television segment devoted to the benefits of hospice music therapy. A song was written and performed in her honor.
Preceding her in death were her parents; husband, Glen; and brothers, Reuben and Jack Casper.
Survivors include her daughter, Jean Murphy of Colorado Springs, Colo.; son, Jim Nelson of Evansdale, Iowa; grandsons, Jeffrey and Bradley Murphy of Colorado Springs; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation: 11 a.m. until the noon service, Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N. 19th Street, Superior, with the Rev. Sarah Kerkes officiating.
Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Superior.
Special thanks goes to the staff of Harmony House and Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospice for their compassion and care, and to nieces Cathy Casper and Donna Herstad for their loving attention and help during Ruth’s later years.
To sign the online guestbook or send condolences, please visit www.downsfh.com.
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