Ruth Veranth, 97, passed away at the Carefree Living Center on September21, 2020, due complications of a serious heart condition and COVID 19. She was a long time resident of Ely.
Ruth was born in Milbank, SD to Raymond and Myrtle Schliesman. She was raised by her grandparents and her aunt and uncles, along with her brother Clifford (Bud) on the family farm. After high school graduation, she worked at an ammunitions depot in South Dakota until it closed and found herself transferred to Washington, DC. There, she worked as a clerk in the US War Department, processing reports on the war deaths of service members. and occasionally posed as a hand model in print advertising. She volunteered at the local USO, and was part of a program where she became pen pals with servicemen stationed abroad. She ‘met’ her husband, Albert “Al” Veranth, of Ely, through the pen pal program. After the war, she moved back to South Dakota where she worked as a housing inspector for the US Government on Native American tribal lands. She continued correspondence with Al, and after a brief courtship, they were married and put down roots in Ely.
As a new arrival to Ely, she became a quick study of the Iron Range way of fishing, wild berry picking, and cooking. She could bait a hook, land a fish, and fry it up in a pan. She mastered the art of planning and organizing self-sustained week long trips with her four children and husband to Basswood Lake, packing family and gear, including a camp stove, sleeping bags, tent, and the necessary portage wheels, to fit in a 14’ Lund three-seat boat. She harvested wild blueberries and strawberries, and made jellies, jams, sauces and pies. From Al’s sisters she learned how to make potica, Finnish tarts, and other ethnic foods. It followed that she became a Den Mother for her sons when they were old enough to become Boy Scouts
Ruth was a skilled crafter and gardener. She enjoyed any opportunity to use her design talents in sewing to fix a hem, make her childrens’ school clothes, or re-upholster a car seat. She knitted and crocheted countless sweaters, mittens, afghans and socks. She painted ceramics and decorated cookies. She looked forward to getting the Gurney’s Flower and Seed catalog every spring, and would order flower and vegetable seeds that would be planted in her gardens. She loved to share the bounty of her work with family and friends. Local residents and visitors would ask permission to take pictures of her gardens, usually a colorful array in the yard on the corner of the hill.
Ruth joined the world of technology in her 80’s, after becoming curious and asking about the “thing” called “the internet.” She used technology to connect with old and new friends, to reach out to family, listen to polkas, and conduct ancestral research. Despite eyesight challenges, she downloaded patterns, and crocheted, knitted and donated hats for premature babies and children with cancer.
She will be missed by her survivors; half-sister Luella Tesch of Milbank, SD,; daughter Jo Veranth of Mora, MN; son Jerry (Sherry) Veranth of Ely, MN; daughter Debbie (Joel) Waldon of Brooklyn Park, MN; grandson Tony (Deana) Veranth and their two children, Katrina and Jon of Maple Grove, MN; grandson Dan (Tyler Handcock) Veranth of Austin, TX; daughter-in-law Jan Veranth of Zimmerman, MN and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Al, son Dave, and by her brothers Bud, Myron and Raymond, and her sisters Murlene Hulst and Delores Hietala.
Her family would like to thank Dr. Loe and the staff involved in Ruth’s care while she was a resident at Carefree Living. She spoke highly of all of her caregivers and considered them family, and appreciated that they allowed therapy visits from her son’s family dog, Crystal. Also thanks to Donna Rogers who brightened Ruth’s days with visits, flowers and friendship.
There will be no funeral service. The family also requests no flowers or memorials at this time. A private celebration will be held at a later date due to COVID.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Veranth, please visit our floral store.