Ruth Hazel Just’s (nee Hinz) prayer was answered when Jesus her Savior took her to be with Him in heaven on Saturday night, September 12, 2020. She was a resident at Compassionate Heights Assisted Living in West Bend since the end of January.
Ruth was born on April 12, 1924 in Wood Lake, Minnesota to Arthur and Theresa (Podoll) Hinz. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wood Lake. She married a high school classmate, Leslie Just, on May 26, 1946 at St. John’s.
The following are excerpts that Ruth wrote about her life for her 50th high school class reunion:
“In May of 1942 we went our separate ways. Les and I never dated in high school. I can’t even remember if he talked to me, but that may be due to poor memory. Les stayed home and helped his dad with farming after graduation. I went on my way to find fame and fortune. First I went to Tracy Hospital in Tracy, Minnesota, to try my hand at nursing. I really liked that and have often wished I would have become a nurse, but the finances were not there. I followed my friend Gertrude ‘s family around for a few years and we all ended up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. I worked for Blandings Department Store. I went home for the summer, planning to return to Detroit Lakes to enroll in a bookkeeping school. I don’t know why because I never liked bookkeeping. During the summer Les and I started dating and the plans to go back to Detroit Lakes seemed to fade away. I worked for Hinz Brothers Store in Wood Lake until we got married. Shortly after our daughter Nancy was born in 1947, we moved to Franklin, Minnesota. During the nine years we lived there our sons Michael and Ritchie were born. Shortly after Ritchie was born in 1955, we had the opportunity to move to New Ulm, Minnesota, which were some of our most memorable years. When Ritchie was in 5th grade we moved to Atwater, Minnesota. We bought a house on Diamond Lake and needless to say, the boys loved it. They learned to be good fishermen, which they still enjoy today. We lived at Atwater for four years. In 1970, right after our daughter Nancy got married, we moved again to, of all places, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. We also ended up purchasing my friend Gertrude’s parents’ house.
I worked for the best Western Hotel for eleven years in reservations and as a receptionist clerk. For about four years after that, I did foot reflexology, doing a small business out of our home.
So here we are 22 years this May of 1992 since we moved here. We don’t know if this will be our last move, God only knows.
We do know for sure that we will someday return to where we both were born, as we have two lots in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery at Wood Lake.”
Les and Ruth did move one more time in their marriage. Six years ago they moved to West Bend, Wisconsin to live with their daughter. Les died on May 17, 2015. Preceding Ruth were her parents and her in-laws, Emil E. and Marie (Plath) Just and also her sister Grace Lutterman and her brothers, Norman and Glen (Pete). Still living is her sister Ella Bundy who will be 100 years old in November, God-willing.
Surviving Ruth are her three children Nancy (Jim) Haferman, West Bend; Michael (Michele) of Red Wing, Minnesota; and Ritchie (Sue), Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Six grandchildren, Paul (Paula) and Peter fiancé Jaime of Appleton; Philip girlfriend Nicole of Jackson, and Penny (Seth) Bergerud of West Bend, Kevin (Miranda) Just of Blaine, Minnesota and Jennifer Just of Apple Valley, Minnesota. Adopted granddaughter Amy Schultz of West Bend. Also surviving are ten great grandsons and one great granddaughter and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be held at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in West Bend on Wednesday, September 16. Visitation starting at 11:30 with the service at 1:00. Ruth will be buried alongside her husband, Les, in Wood Lake, Minnesota.
Memorials may be given to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church or to Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School.
The family would like to thank the Compassionate Heights owners, Keri and Danielle, and their dedicated staff. Thanks also to Preceptor Hospice and to Chaplain Rick for his phone calls. Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home will be handling all arrangements.
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