Funeral services will be 10:30 am, Friday, October 23, 2009 at the United Methodist Church in Wagner, South Dakota. Burial will be at the ZCBJ Cemetery, rural Wagner. Visitation will be Thursday, October 22, 2009, at the United Methodist Church from 4:00 - 6:00 pm with family present. Crosby-Jaeger Funeral Home in Wagner is in charge of arrangements.
Ruth Marie DeWald was born on the Sparks family farm south of Armour to Harry and Minnie (Clabaugh) Sparks on August 27, 1920. She died Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the Good Samaritan Society in Wagner, SD.
Ruth attended Sparks country school, graduated from Armour High School and Southern Normal School in Springfield, South Dakota. She taught at Choteau Creek and Sparks country schools for several years.
Ruth and Merrill were engaged on Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 and were married on the Sparks family farm on December 25, 1941. After WWII, Ruth and Merrill settled in Wagner where she was a homemaker and worked in Dick’s Jewelry Store. She also started her own business, the This and That Shop in Lake Andes.
Ruth loved her genealogy work on both sides of the family and was a true historian. She traced family history back to the 1700’s and left a legacy of photos and history for family to treasure. She also chronicled vacations, children and grandchildren’s lives and current events. She enjoyed working crossword puzzles and quilting. Ruth spent many happy times camping, hunting and fishing with her husband, family and friends. She shared many stories of life during the depression and World War II with her family.
Ruth was a 60 year member of the United Methodist Church of Wagner and was also active in UMW, Rebecca Lodge, Eastern Star, Wagner Historical Society, Hospital Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Ladies Auxiliary and TOPS.
Those who treasured Ruth’s life are her husband of 68 years, Merrill, her daughter Linda (Tom) Soukup, of Wagner, her daughter Nila (Roger) Novotny of Fort Pierre; grandchildren: Becky (Mike) Brunsing of Wagner; David (Amanda) Soukup of Amarillo, Texas; Kathy (Stan) Jaeger of Tyndall, SD; Mary (Marshall) Ringling of Platte, SD; Jill (Tom) Hart of Pierre, SD and Steven (Brittany) Novotny of Pierre, SD; great-grandchildren: Jacob and Joe Jaeger; Dylan, Emily, and Abby Brunsing; Heidi, Sam, and Tess Ringling; Bailey and Tori Soukup; Hadley Hart and Addison Novotny.
Ruth was the youngest of seven siblings who preceded her in death – brothers: Lloyd, Ray, Clyde and Dale, sisters: Viola (Toots) and Dorothy, one grandson and her parents.