Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees
Saturday, December 4, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)
Ruth R. Tollefson, 80 of Devils Lake formerly of the Maddock ND area passed away on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Eventide Heartland Care Center surrounded by loving family.
Funeral Services for Ruth will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake with Pastor Dave Fix officiating. Burial will be in the South Viking Cemetery, rural Maddock at a later date. Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 4th one hour prior to the funeral service.
Ruth Varty was born on March 13, 1941, on the family farm, north of Douglas ND, one of 10 children born to Forrest and Florence (Walcott) Varty. The family moved to Douglas ND when Ruth was a toddler. She attended school in Douglas and graduated from Douglas High School in 1960. She moved to New Rockford, ND to work and live with her sister Dorothy.
Ruth married Leif Eugene Nelson in December of 1960, and they were the proud parents of Nels, Lori, Donna, Kate, and Lisa. They established their home in rural Maddock ND on the Nelson farm. She was a devoted farm wife and dedicated mother to her children. Leif died in 1978.
Ruth later married Delton Hesse and they were blessed with Sara and Trent. They were the owners and operators of the Maddock Café and Lanes for several years.
While living in Maddock, Ruth began working as a Home Health Caregiver in the Maddock and Minnewaukan area, the Maddock Memorial Care Center and at the Little Flower Home. She found love again and was united in marriage to Arne M. Tollefson on October 20, 1990. They established their home in Maddock and Arne continued to farm. They moved to Devils Lake in 2014.
Ruth loved children, loved life, loved family, loved her Lord. She had her heart and hands in the rearing of children from 1961 to 2009. She taught those in her care many valuable lessons; hard work, being tough, moving on from the past and to love unconditionally. Having her home open to so much family, she was always cooking and baking. She made sure your favorite dishes or sweets were always on the table. Of course there was always enough food to feed the masses, no matter what the actual guest count was going to be. Her love of food led her to publish a cookbook. She never had to be asked to help cook for any community or church event, you just knew Ruth was going to bring food and lots of it. When she was out of the kitchen, she enjoyed going to rummage sales, and treasuring time she was able to spend with family and friends.
Ruth’s loving family include her husband Arne; special son/grandson Jay Garcia; children Nels (Meg) Nelson, Devils Lake, Lori (Ron) Keller, Harvey ND, Donna (Dale) Redinger, Velva ND, Kate (Bob Dewey) Johnson, Mohall ND, Lisa (Scott) Hawley also of Devils Lake, Sara (Doug Yankton) Hesse, Crow Hill ND and Trent Hesse and friend Marvin Pierson of Lakeview WA; 27 dear grandchildren; 32 precious great grandchildren; step children Stephanie Hesse, Fargo ND and Mark Hesse, St. Cloud MN; sisters Bonnie (Fred) Martens, Great Falls MT and Betty (Richard) Schlichting, Garrison ND and many nieces, nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandson Dustin Vallier, sisters Lois Schlichting, Dorothy Keller and Carol Klain, brothers Alfred Varty, Arthur Varty, David Varty, her twin brother Bobby Varty and step daughter Shaundel Hesse.