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Ruth I. (Pihlaja) Hanson

November 8, 1933 ~ May 24, 2019 (age 85)

Ruth I. Hanson, 85, Frazee, MN, died Friday, May 24, 2019 at Essentia Health in Fargo.  Funeral services will be 11:00 AM, Tuesday, May 28 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Snellman, MN, Reverend David Walsh, officiating.  Interment will be in Gethsemane Lutheran Cemetery.

Friends may call 5:00 – 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 PM Monday at David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes and at the church 1 hour prior to the service on Tuesday.

Ruth Irene Hanson was born November 8, 1933 in Shell Lake Township, rural Detroit Lakes, MN to Arthur and Irene (Longfors) Pihlaja.  She grew up and attended District 82 country school in Shell Lake Township.  She is a 1950 graduate of Frazee High School, graduating as the class Valedictorian. Ruth was united in marriage to Rueben Hanson, July 26, 1952 in Glyndon, MN.  She attended Moorhead State Teachers College 1950 – 1952 where she earned an Associate Degree in education.  By attending evening, off-campus classes and summer school college classes, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1967, and later, her 5th year degree in Special Education. 

Ruth and Rueben lived in Glyndon from 1952 – 1959 and Ruth worked as an aide at St. John’s Hospital in Fargo, 1957 – 1959.  They moved to Wolf Lake, MN in August,1959 and she began teaching at Frazee District 75 school.  She later taught at District 42 and served as a substitute for the Frazee and Menahga School Districts in 1963 and 1964.  In 1966, with the closing of the rural schools, she became the Title 1 teacher in Frazee.  She was later moved to the Special Education Department where she taught until retiring in 1993.

Ruth loved teaching young children the basics and was chosen the Teacher of The Year for the 1992-1993 school year.  She retired after teaching for 32 years.

In 2003 they sold the farm and moved to Vergas, MN and in 2006, they moved to Frazee.  Rueben died in 2009. In 2017 Ruth moved to Detroit Lakes.

Ruth was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church in Wolf Lake, taught Sunday School for many years, served as the Sunday School Treasurer and helped coach the youth softball team until 2006.  She was an avid softball player, a sports fan, runner and walker.  She loved to travel, read, do cross-word puzzles, Sudoku and play cards.  She loved spending time with her grand and great-grandchildren.

Ruth is survived by daughters: Ruby (Greg) Schmid of Vergas, MN and Diane Hasskamp of Aitkin, MN, son: Randy (Janine) Hanson of Rochert, MN, 8 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her Husband, Rueben, brothers, Elmer (and his wife, Opal) and Clarence (and his wife, Donna), son-in-law, George “Dutch” Hasskamp.  

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