Cover photo for Ruth Balega's Obituary
Ruth Balega Profile Photo
1925 Ruth 2023

Ruth Balega

April 24, 1925 — May 14, 2023

Detroit Lakes

Alma “Ruth” Balega, 98, died peacefully at her home in Detroit Lakes, MN, on Mother’s Day - Sunday, May 14, 2023. She was surrounded by her family in the days leading up to her passing. 

A graveside service will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Wade Dutton officiating. There will be private family time leading up to the 2 p.m. service.   

Ruth was born Alma Ruth Maddox on April 24, 1925, in Bosqueville, Texas; the third of five children to James and Grace (LaFerney) Maddox. She spent her childhood and early adulthood in the central Texas area where she would eventually take up successful careers in real estate and banking, while also modeling part-time for luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. It was while working at University State Bank in Ft. Worth, TX, that Ruth met Jack Balega – who affectionately referred to her as his “Ruthie”.

She married Jack, a captain in the U.S. Air Force, on November 7, 1952, in Ft. Worth, TX. With this union she became a dedicated Air Force wife, which would take Ruth and her family across the United States. While stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, her family learned of and took comfort in the Detroit Lakes area, where she and Jack would eventually retire in 1992.

Ruth was a master gardener, avid cook and baker, and was always up for hosting a bridge night with friends or a game of 42 with family. She had a strong love for animals, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren, and was a kind soul with a quick wit and a classic sense of style.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, John Lewis “Jack” Balega, her parents, sisters Afton Walker and Shirley Girard, and brother James Maddox.

She is survived by her sister, Billie Moore of Ft. Worth, TX, and her three children, Peter (Tina) Balega, Paul Balega, and Patricia Bailey, the latter two whom she fondly referred to as “The Twins”. She was lovingly known as “Grandmommy” to her four grandchildren, Brian Joseph “BJ” (Dierdre) Bransom, Kimberly Balega, Christina (Jesse) Jones, and Jaclyn Balega, as well as one great-grandson, William Jones. 

Ruth lived her life as a devoted Christian and continually practiced unconditional love towards her family, as well as to all those with whom she came in contact. 

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, May 19, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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