Ruth June “Ruthie” Tollefson. Submitted photo
Ruth June “Ruthie” Tollefson. Submitted photo

Ruth June “Ruthie” Tollefson age 83 of Woodville died Good Friday, April 14, 2017 at the Parkview Community Campus in Woodville.

Ruthie was born on January 17, 1934 in Jim Falls, Wisconsin, the daughter of Clifford and Ida (Herman) Huff.  She attended school in Fall Creek and Cadott prior to graduating from Augusta High School in 1952.  After graduating, she began working for Luther Hospital.  It was during this time she met her best friend and soulmate at the Fournier’s Ballroom in Eau Claire.  Ruth and Andrew “Andy” M Tollefson were united in marriage at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire on June 19, 1954.  Ruth and Andy moved to a hobby farm outside of Baldwin in 1959.  There they raised their five children:  Kenny, Kathy, Keith, Kelly and Kevin.  Ruth and Andy shared 56 years of marriage before his death in 2010.

Ruthie spent many years cooking for others including the Bolo Inn in Menomonie and 27 years at the Baldwin Care Center, retiring in 2002.  Besides her family, Ruthie’s second love was sewing.  Throughout her 70+ years of sewing she made clothes for her kids, bridesmaid dresses, dolls, curtains, and even an airplane cover.  She was well-known around the community for her ability to patch jeans, hem dresses and replacing zippers.  She took great pride in sewing the Norwegian outfits for the Syttende Mai Court and kindergartens.

Ruthie was a devoted homemaker working side-by-side with Andy cutting wood, baling hay, and taking care of the cattle.  Ruthie’s greatest attribute was her positive outlook on life.  She was always willing to help others while showing her beautiful smile.

Ruthie’s family includes her children Kathy (Jim) Bennington of Chetek, Keith (Shelly) Tollefson of Woodville, Kelly (Scott) DeGross of Hammond, Kevin (Crystal) Tollefson of Baldwin, 17 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.  She is further survived by her siblings:  Betty (Don) Woodford, Arnie (Vivian) Huff, Jim Huff; brothers-in-law:  Bill Ruff, Romaine Tollefson, Duane (Linda) Tollefson, Robert (Kathi) Tollefson, Jerome (Lois) Tollefson; and sisters-in-law: Carol Huff, Barb Huff, Elaine (Don) Niesche, Ellie (Tom) McMahon, Evie, Audrey, Pat, Libby, and Dolly Tollefson; and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents Clifford and Ida, husband Andy, son Kenny, siblings Carol Ruff, Kenny Huff and Dick Huff. 

Funeral service will be Tuesday, April 18 at 11:00am at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville with Pastor Keith Anderson officiating.  Special music will be provided by John Terkelsen, Jill Boston, and Nan Jordahl.  Burial will be in the Sunset Cemetery in Woodville with her granddaughters being active casket bearers and grandsons being honorary casketbearers.  Visitation will be held at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin on Monday, April 17, from 4:00-8:00 and one hour prior to service at the church.  Memorials are preferred to the Zion Lutheran kitchen remodel or the charity of your choice.

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