Cover photo for Ruth Himes's Obituary
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1919 Ruth 2022

Ruth Himes

May 7, 1919 — October 15, 2022


Ruth (Kalander) Himes, 103, died Saturday, October 15, 2022 at Carefree Living in Silver Bay.

Ruth was born May 7, 1919 in Finland, MN to Toivo and Edla Kalander in the log house her father built in 1918. After attending Park Hill School for first and second grade, she was promoted to fourth grade at the Finland school when the two schools consolidated. As a young lady she worked as a babysitter, maid, telephone operator, postmaster, and for several years at Gunnar Palm’s store in Finland. After her marriage to Delmar Himes on July 25, 1940, she became a homemaker and volunteer. They were blessed with two children, Judy and Eugene, and a grandson, Roger. Ruth was involved in all fundraisers and surveys including the American Cancer Society research for Finland, and also for the Silver Bay area. She served on the Crystal Bay Township Election Board for many years, and was assessor for one term, helped with inventory at the Co-op store, and drove mail truck from Little Marais to Sawbill Landing and Forest Center to help her sister, Mary.

Ruth was baptized and confirmed in the Zion Lutheran Church by Rev. Tebor Hill in 1957, and served there as deacon, treasurer, and secretary over the years, and was active in the women’s organizations and quilters for over 50 years.

The family lived in Duluth during World War II, then in Richland, Washington for several years, before returning to Finland.

Ruth enjoyed reading, travel, visiting her parents’ families in Finland, Europe, and her son in Japan, and many trips to Thunder Bay. She was honored as Lake County Senior Citizen of the year in 1997, was a member of Wolf Ridge ELC, the Minnesota, Lake County, Bay Area, Schroder and Finland Historical Societies for many years and was a host at the Finland site. She also volunteered for Grandma’s Marathon, and the Beargrease Sled Dog Race. With help from her daughter and Jack and Genea Pichotta, in 2013 she wrote a book – Toivo and Edla Kalander – from Finland, Europe to Finland, MN that the Finland, MN Historical Society published. Ruth paid the expenses to set up and print the first 100 copies.

After suffering CoVid in February 2020, at the age of 100, her health and memory declined rapidly.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Delmar; a son, Eugene (Toshiko); her sisters, Sophie (Edwin) Nikula; Lila (John) Hangartner, and Mary (Erwin) Nikolai; special nieces, Marlis Runnberg, Ann Striker, and Jean Cook; nephews, Clyde and Richard (Judy) Nikula, and Robert Nikolai; and great-nephew, Richard Nikula Jr.

She is survived by her daughter, Judy Martell; grandson, Roger (Cheryl) Martell and Matt Trevor and Sean; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Visitation will be from 10 AM until the 11 AM service on Friday, November 4, 2022 at Baptism River Community Church in Finland. Burial will be in Crystal Bay Cemetery. To share your memories or condolences online please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Himes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, November 4, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Baptism River Community Church

6768 State Hwy 1, Finland, MN 55603

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