Ruth Elaine Larson of Silver Bay, MN passed away on January 20, 2020. In recent months she had been a resident in the memory care unit for dementia at Diamond Willow in Lester Park.
Ruth was born on March 8, 1930 in Duluth, MN, the daughter of John and Selma (Strom) Bloomquist. She was a 1948 graduate of Denfeld High School and a 1951 graduate of St Luke’s Nursing School. After earning her registered nursing degree, she was employed by St Luke’s Hospital in the intensive and coronary care units for over 20 years. For her, nursing was a calling and she dedicated herself to helping the ill.
At a very early age, Ruth’s singing voice was recognized as extraordinary. While in high school, a voice coach in the community arranged for her to continue her professional voice training in New York City. She eventually decided to turn that down in lieu of nursing. She went on to sing in many choirs and local ensembles, as well as becoming a paid soloist.
Because of Ruth’s strong commitment and deep faith in Jesus Christ, she was always drawn to serve in some capacity at whatever church she attended. She was a Founding member of Lakeside Baptist Church in Duluth and served as their Sunday School Superintendent, as well as serving on several other church boards.
She and her husband, Vern Larson, moved from Silver Bay, MN to Siren, WI and then to Sarasota Florida. In her most recent years, they returned to Duluth and then back to Silver Bay.
When most people would be ready to rest in their retirement, Ruth discovered a new challenge that gave her great joy. She opened a gift shop at Bluefin Bay resort in Tofte, MN and later opened another gift shop in Siren, converting an old barn into a thing of beauty. Ruth had a positive “let’s do it” outlook and was always ready for a new adventure in life. She was known to all for her gracious, loving, kind, and pleasant disposition. Those characteristics continued throughout her entire life until her death.
Ruth is preceded in death by her parents John and Selma Bloomquist; and three brothers Milton, Melvin and Earl Bloomquist, as well as granddaughter Emily Larson. Ruth married Vern Larson on August 13, 1966, and they blended their two families while making a home in Silver Bay. Survivors include her husband Vern Larson; four daughters: Annette Ellstrom, Becky Larson, Sharon (Tom) Gallagher, Kim (Don) Koedyker; two sons: David (Deanna) Larson and Dan (Donna) Larson; nine grandchildren: Bobby (Jenny) Larson, Kirsten (Steve) VanDoren, Ben Larson, Chelsea (Joe) Allen, Becka Larson, Matt and Mike Gallagher; Hannah and Ian Ellstrom; three great-grand children: Sonja, Norah, and Micah Van Doren; their adopted family: Julio, Yeli, and Grecia Martinez; many loving nieces and nephews; and countless friends.
Ruth’s entire family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the dedicated staff of Diamond Willow of Lester Park for taking such astonishing and loving care of Ruth these past 27 months.
Funeral services will be held at First Covenant Church, 2101 West 2nd St. in Duluth on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 11 am. Luncheon to follow. There will also be a visitation at the same location on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 5:00-7:30 pm. Memorials can be sent to: University of Northwestern-St Paul, 3003 Snelling Ave. N St. Paul, MN 55113; First Covenant Church in Duluth; The Salvation Army; or any other charity of your choice.