Ruth Melvie

August 31, 1925 ~ November 9, 2018 (age 93)

Ruth Melvie passed away November 9, 2018 at the age of 93 at Unity Medical Center in Grafton, ND. She lived at the Lutheran Sunset Home in Grafton, ND from Sept. 2017, until she went to the hospital on Nov. 8.

She was born August 31, 1925, in Roseau, MN, to Sven and Annie (Hendrickson) Wellen. She was the first of her mother and father’s children to be born in town. Her siblings had been born in a homesteading cabin at Mud Creek, MN.

She lived in Roseau until she was 12 years old when her mother and a few siblings moved to Minneapolis. As a young woman, she lived briefly in San Bernardino, CA where she worked in a munitions factory during World War II. While there, she met and married her first husband, James L. Backstrom who was stationed in the Far East, including Japan. He was from Minneapolis, MN. They had two children, James Edward, and Barbara Ruth. Ruth returned to Minneapolis to live and was divorced from James Backstrom.

Ruth met Robert Norman Melvie who was from Thief River Falls (born in St. Hilaire, MN) while he was in Minneapolis attending Northwestern College of Chiropractic on the GI Bill from his service in World War II in Italy. They married on December 6, 1958 and lived briefly in Wells, MN and Delano, MN while Robert completed his chiropractic internships. On November 22, 1959, Robert and Ruth returned to Roseau, MN where he bought the chiropractic business and set up shop. Their first-born child, Rebecca Ann was born on the next day, November 23, 1959. Rebecca was followed by Robert Eli, on August 10, 1963. A stillborn child, Suzanne Elizabeth was born on May 4, 1967.

After Ruth and Robert divorced in 1971, Ruth got her GED, driver’s license, and returned to the working world, having previously been employed as a waitress while James and Barbara were young. She worked as a laborer for many years.

She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Annie and Sven Wellen, all of her siblings: Lillie (Wellen) Petersen, Clarence Wellen, Ordean Wellen, Hillman Wellen, Ella Wellen, Mollie Wellen, Alice (Wellen) Paulson, and Lawrence Wellen. She is also preceded in death by both ex-husbands, James L. Backstrom, and Robert N. Melvie, as well as her children, Suzanne Elizabeth Melvie and Barbara Ruth ( Backstrom, Halverson, Palmer, Whitehead) Backstrom.

She was fond of driving her car and old movies.

No services are scheduled at this time

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