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Ruth Eleanor Ferguson, 92, of Two Harbors died of natural causes on March 24, 2020 in Lake View Hospital.
She was born September 13, 1927 to Edwin and Oddhild Johnson and grew up on the family farm outside Duquette, MN.
After high school, Ruth attended St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Duluth, graduating as a registered nurse in 1948. She put her career on hold to raise five children then started back to work in 1967. She worked into the 1980’s as the surgeon’s assistant at Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors, then finished her career as an RN at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.
Ruth married Donald Ferguson, her childhood friend and long-time sweetheart, on June 16, 1951. They spent their honeymoon summer as fire lookouts for the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho. One of Mom’s distinct memories was being at the top of the lookout tower while a lightning storm raged overhead.
Ruth had a special gift of creativity. When Don and Ruth had a new home built in 1966, she drew the floor plans, which included a dedicated sewing room. Ruth was a true craftswoman when it came to quilting; both her sewing skills and eye for colors were admired by many. She taught and encouraged those new to the craft while continuing to learn from quilting veterans. The quilts and decorative items she made are cherished by family and friends.
Ruth and Don were active members of the United Church in Two Harbors, serving on church boards and councils. Ruth was also active in various public-service groups, such as Friends of the Library in Two Harbors and Habitat for Humanity.
We will remember Ruth as a devoted wife, mother, and good friend to many. She was kind and empathetic, willing to listen to those who needed to talk, and to give thoughtful advice when needed. Above all she was very much her own person.
Ruth was preceded in death by husband Donald, daughter Deborah Ruth Wynn, sister Lois and brothers-in-law Thury Niemonen and Lee Rhea, brother and sister-in-law Robert and Shirlianne (Stover) Johnson, parents Edwin and Oddhild (Erickson) Johnson, brother-in-law and sister-in-law John and Fern (Albrant) Ferguson, and nephew Glenn (Jeanne) Ferguson.
She is survived by daughter Karen Ferguson of Arvada, CO; sons Duncan (Lin Merritt) of Crestview, FL, Stuart of Chelsea, MI, and Brennan of Wenatchee, WA; granddaughter Jessica Ferguson (fiancé Andrew Wangler); nieces Pam (Louis) Campbell, and Dianne (John) Proulx; nephews Harold (Dawn) Ferguson, David Johnson, John and Jack (Karen) Niemonen, and Kevin and Daren Olson.
Memorials can be made in Ruth’s name to Community Partners of Two Harbors. Donations can be made online or mailed to: Community Partners Two Harbors, P.O. Box 327, Two Harbors, MN 55616; or to: Stuart Ferguson, 13772 Island Lake Road, Chelsea, MI 48118, who will ensure donations are made in memory of Ruth.
The family thanks the staff of Ecumen Assisted Living, Barross Cottage, and Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors for providing such loving care for mom during her final months.
Due to current circumstances a memorial service to celebrate Ruth’s life will be held at a later date.
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