“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12). Ruth Orriet Johnson joined her Savior in Heaven on Saturday, July 18, surrounded by family at Edgewood Memory Care in Sartell. Her voice is renewed and singing praises to His name.
A public visitation will be held Friday, July 24 from 4-7 p.m. at Hope Covenant Church in St. Cloud. Social distancing and face coverings are requested. Due to capacity guidelines, a celebration of life service will be held for family only on Saturday, July 25 at 1:00 p.m. The service will be live-streamed through the Dingmann Funeral Care website for those wishing to join in the service remotely. Burial will take place following the service at Grace Southside Cemetery, South Haven.
Ruth Orriet Johnson was born June 17, 1947 in Cook, Minnesota to Rev. Justin and Mrs. Hazel Dokken. She attended school in Cloverland, Wisconsin, Viking, Minnesota and McPherson, Kansas, before graduating from Chetek, Wisconsin in 1965. Ruth graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1969 with a major in vocal music and accompaniment. She taught elementary music for Annandale Public Schools for 20 years. Early on-set Parkinson’s Disease forced her retirement in 1990. She was a gifted pianist, playing from a young age in churches, schools, and college. She was also a talented accompanist, church organist, and choir director. She held a special place in her heart for playing and singing in the Joyful Praise Quartet for years with husband, Arlen, and friends, Larry and Nancy Wasmund.
Ruth had two children, Charlene and Craig Oberg, with her first husband, Larry. After a divorce, she married Arlen Johnson in 1980; he had four children. As a blended family, they made their hobby-farm home near Annandale a special place for their children and grandchildren. After selling their farm in 2002, they lived for a short time in Little Falls, followed by their final home in Waite Park, where they entertained family and friends. Ruth enjoyed music, cross stitching, scrapbooking, completing crossword puzzles, and traveling. A winter home in Tucson, Arizona was very special to her. Many memories were made by Ruth and Arlen during their two trips to Evje, Norway where they have many relatives.
As Ruth lived out her days differently than she would have chosen due to complications of Parkinson’s and dementia, she fully believed in God’s purpose and will for her, holding strongly to two passages for daily strength and inspiration: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight," (Proverbs 3: 5-6) and ""For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"" (Jer. 29:11).
Ruth is survived by her husband, Arlen; sister, Myrtle (Dave) Anders; children, Charlene (Bob) Hasz and Craig Oberg; stepchildren, Debra (Russ) Engelman, Sandra (Jim) Landwehr, Karen (Thad) Hedlund and Jim (Julie) Johnson; 16 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews, nieces and their families.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; brothers-in-law, Ronald Johnson, Earl Johnson, Dennis Hegg, Chuck Olson and Gene Sheppard; sisters-in-law, Joyce Sheppard and Marline Johnson; nieces, Jennifer Sheppard and Becky Johnson; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Edgewood Memory Care of Sartell and Moments Hospice of Sartell for their exceptional care, kindness, respect, support, and love to Ruth and her family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Minnesota Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association or Hope Covenant Church.
Obituary, Guestbook, Video Tribute and Funeral Webcast online at www.dingmannfuneral.com
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