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Ruth Moerke

Funeral services for Ruth Moerke of Morris were held Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Donnelly. Reverend Judy Gelinske officiated. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Burial will be in Vinger Cemetery in Donnelly.

Ruth Amalia Griffen, daughter of Charles and Meta (Greiman) Griffen, was born Dec.Hancock County, Garner, Iowa, where she was baptized on Jan. 20, 1920 at Eden Reformed Church. In 1930, Ruth moved with her family to Alberta., where she attended Alberta Consolidated School, graduating in 1936. She continued her education at Moorhead State, graduating with a two year Elementary School Standard Certificate. On Dec. 1, 1939, she was united in marriage to Fred Moerke in Glenwood. The couple made their home on a farm west of Donnelly and later moved to Morris. Ruth received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Moorhead State University on August 21, 1957. She completed post graduate work at Moorhead State, St. Cloud State, University of Minnesota Morris and St. Paul Campuses, receiving her Masters Degree in 1973. She taught for four years in rural schools in Stevens County, before teaching in the Donnelly Public Schools from 1953 to 1955. She then went on to teach at the Morris Public Schools from 1955 to 1984, serving as Principal at Longfellow School for eight years. In 1977, Ruth was honored as Teacher of the Year. Ruth loved teaching young students and could remember their names over many generations.

Ruth was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Donnelly, where she served as teacher and superintendent for Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. She also served on the church council as president, the Women of the ELCA, and was active in a book club, study club and the Women's Federation of America. Ruth was on numerous committees and served several terms as an officer in the Morris Teachers Association.

Ruth had a zest for life. She had a creative mind and lived her life making things for others. She cherished her family and friends, and loved spending time with them at home and at the lake. Ruth's interests include card playing, board games, sodoku, crossword puzzles, crafts, quilting, hunting, fishing, origami and gardening. She will be greatly missed by her beloved family and all those she touched.

Ruth died on Friday, July 29, 2011 at Lake Region Health Care in Fergus Falls, having lived to reach the age of 91 years.

She is survived by three children: Carol (Peter) Stahman of Spring Branch, Texas, Diane Moerke of Minnetonka, and Charles Moerke of Marshall; nine grandchildren: Michael Stahman of Ramsey, Douglas (Lanna) Stahman of Morris, Kristin (Bryan) Joyce of San Antonio, Texas, Michelle (Terry) Rudlong of Ham Lake, Jason (Christina) Moerke of Andover, Melissa (Gavin) Harrison of Rockport, Texas, Marilee (Brady) Green of Bismarck, N.D., Katie (Dave) Schulz of Sicily and Anne-Marie (Adam) Rohrs of Burnsville; 15 great-grandchildren: Zachary Stahman, Ethan Stahman, Mackenzie Stahman, Sydney Joyce, Keegan Joyce, Austin Workman, Ashleigh Rudlong, Autumn Rudlong, Brandon Moerke, Nathan Moerke, Blake Harrison, Madelynn Green, Conroy Green, Charles Mullenax and Gabrielle Mullenax and one sister: Marvel Wagner of Hoffman. She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; one son: Fred Allen Moerke; one daughter-in-law: Patricia Moerke; her parents, Charles and Meta Griffen; two brothers: Eldo and Dale Griffen and two sisters: Bernadene Smith and Estelle Griffen.

Pallbearers for the service are: Ruth's Grandchildren: Michael Stahman, Douglas Stahman, Kristin Joyce, Michelle Rudlong, Jason Moerke, Melissa Harrison, Marilee Green, Katie Schulz and Anne-Marie Rohrs. Lola Smith will serve as organist for the service, with Thore Dosdall as soloist. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.

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