Oklee - Ruth Elaine (Larson) Neff , 85, was born Sept. 3, 1928 and passed away on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 15, at Salem Lutheran Church, Oklee, with Pastor Margaret Jacobus officiating. Burial will follow at the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Oklee.
Visitation will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Salem Lutheran Church, Oklee.
Ruth was born to Bennet and Helga Larson on the family farm in Garnes Township, rural Oklee. She was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church and was an active member of the church while living at home. She attended country school for her elementary years and was a graduate of Oklee High School.
After graduation, Ruth stayed on the farm to take care of her invalid mother and her younger siblings. She later moved to St Paul, and was employed by the St. Paul Insurance Company where she traveled throughout the United States training insurance sales personnel.
While living in St Paul, Ruth met the only love of her life, Henry Richard Neff. They married on October 3, 1964, at Salem Lutheran Church in Oklee and made their home in White Bear Lake. Ruth and Dick enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and spending time with family. Their married years were few as Dick became ill and passed away at age 41 on Feb. 22, 1971. Ruth continued to work at the insurance company and made many trips home to the farm at Oklee.
After retiring from her job in 1985, Ruth moved to the Bemidji area and bought a home in Guthrie, where she opened The Hobbit Shop, a small Norwegian gift shop and greenhouse. In 1997, she moved to Clearbrook, and made several winter trips to Texas and Arizona. Ruth loved to travel and enjoyed visiting about her trips to Norway, Australia and Germany.
Due to declining health Ruth moved to Freedom Living Center in Oklee, in September 2010. For a period of time, she lived there with three of her siblings, it was like a family reunion every time they had visitors. Her health continued to decline and she moved to First Care Living Center in Fosston, in April 2013.
Ruth enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and board games and, in her younger years, could shoot a pretty good round of golf. Family was very important to her and she always enjoyed getting the whole family together.
She is survived by one sister, Elna Halle, Oklee; brothers, Ernest (Artista) Larson, Chinook, Mont., and Bennet (Virginia) Larson, Oklee; sister-in-Law, Edna Larson and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her husband, her parents, sisters, Gunda (Clifford) Hegge, Leona (Martin) Sletto; brothers, Goodwin Larson, Engvald Larson, Martin Larson, Alvin (June) Larson, Donald Larson and her nephew, Greg Sletto.