MARIE DOROTHEA RALSTONMarie Dorothea Ralston, 90, passed peacefully from her earthly life on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center.
Marie Dorothea Ralston, 90, passed peacefully from her earthly life on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, cradled in the arms of her loving husband and surrounded by her family.
She was born March 8, 1923 at the family home in Virginia to Swedish immigrants Alfred and Hulda (Tornquist) Johnson.
Marie was the youngest, and last surviving member of "The Greenhouse Johnsons".
She was a graduate of Virginia High School Class of 1940, Virginia Junior College in 1942 and Duluth Business School in 1943. After graduation she worked for Joseph T. Ryerson & Sons in Chicago. She returned to Virginia after World War II and lived there the rest of her life.
She met the love of her life, Robert Ray Ralston, when they were in the ninth grade. They graduated together, and were united in marriage on Dec. 29, 1945 in First Lutheran Church in Virginia. The couple recently celebrated 67 years of marriage, and together they raised a strong family. She adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marie was an excellent seamstress, knitter, baker and cook. She loved spending time at the family cabin where she enjoyed watching the sunset, reading a good book, fishing, watching the birds, and especially picking berries that she turned into pie, jam, jelly, and syrup that was enjoyed by the whole family. She loved all sports, but especially tennis and baseball.
She was a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church of Virginia, the Virginia Elks Auxiliary, and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Marie was the second generation owner of the business started by her father in 1904 - Virginia Greenhouse & Floral Co. She remained active in its business until 2009. In 2005 Marie traveled to Las Vegas with family members to accept the Society of American Florists' Century Award honoring the company's 100 years of service to the floral industry.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ralph Johnson and Harold Johnson; sisters Elsa Shogren, Ardys Fox, Esther Hall, Doris Johnson and Ethel Johnson.
Marie is survived by her husband of 67 years, Robert, and their children: Raymond H. Ralston of Shoreview, Minn., Roger A. (Nancy) Ralston of Grand Rapids, Minn., Michael P. (Nancy) Ralston of Virginia, Minn., and Mary Jo (Steven Walters) Ralston of Virginia, Minn.; nine grandchildren, Peter (Dawn) Ralston, Greg (Tiffany) Ralston, Susan (Brian) Dorer, Rebecca (John) Bartlett, Daniel (Kelly) Ralston, Elizabeth (Joshua) Howe, Deborah Ralston, Sarah (Byran Mills) Ralston and Jeffrey (Ashley) Ralston; and 14 great-grandchildren: Elsa and Carl Ralston; Ellie Ralston; Mariana, Emma and Brian Dorer Jr,; Nora, Clara and Samuel Bartlett; Jacob and Jack Ralston, Juliet Howe, James and Julia Kyes; two great-grandchildren on the way, numerous nieces and nephews, and friends who mourn her death.
PRIVATE FAMILY SERVICE: will be held. The family invites friends to a luncheon and time of fellowship and sharing to celebrate her life from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the Virginia Elks Lodge, 220 North 5th Avenue in Virginia, Minn. Arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
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