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Ruth S Ringling
(December 16, 1921 - April 16, 2012)

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Ruth S Ringling

Age 89, of Roseau, passed away December 13, 2011 just three days prior to her 90th birthday. She was a happy, funny, quirky, loving, amazingly wonderful aunt and friend.

Auntie Ruth will be sadly missed by her longtime caregiver/niece Linda Martinez; nieces: Janine Emler and Barbara Fisher; nephews: Mark Schreiner and Bradley Swanson; grandnieces: Susan Roemhild, Carey Long and Chris Rampersad; grandnephew Don Falaas Jr.; great-grandnieces: Kara, Brandi, Jasmine, Haley and Samantha; great-grandnephews Bill, Ryan, and Ryan; great-great-grandnieces: Emmie, Ellie, Haley, Tillie and Charly and great-great-grandnephew Kadon; other family, in-laws, neighbors, 39ers, friends and her faithful dog Jake.

Ruth was preceded in death by husband Clayton Ringling, parents Fred and Annie Swanson and siblings Alvin, Robert, Raymond, George and Carol.

Ruth graduated from Roseau High School in 1939. She worked in Pembina at a family grocery for a while, and then decided to go to Washington DC. When asked why she went to Washington at such a young age, she replied that she needed to learn to change trains! She got a job at the Pentagon during WWII in the Division under Office Chief of Staff – Army Intelligence. She had the highest clearance one could have, and although sorely pressed by the “kids” to tell them something, she never gave up a secret. When she returned from Washington, she worked for many years at the REA, and held other bookkeeping positions in Roseau and Alaska.

She married Clayton (2E) Ringling from Warroad. Ruth and 2E homesteaded in Alaska where they built their own cabin and lived a largely substantive lifestyle hunting, fishing and preserving much of their own food. They discovered there was gravel on their land right in time for the pipeline; and in the course of that, what is now called the Ringling Pit archeological site near the present-day village of Gulkana was also discovered on their land. This 500 to 1000 year-old prehistoric Ahtna site has yielded hundreds of artifacts, and is recognized as one of the most significant copper sites in North America.

Ruth and Clayton moved back to Minnesota and lived in Roseau, traveling often in their RV. After Clayton passed away Ruth spent her time quilting, reading, gardening, traveling, visiting her family in the Twin Cities, and volunteering at the Roseau Library and Four Seasons Center.

A Memorial Service for Ruth S. Ringling of Roseau will be held Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, MN. Interment will be held at Riverside Cemetery in Warroad, MN.


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