Ruth Christianson, 85, of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away on Friday, April 25, 2014 at her home.

Ruth Christianson, 85, of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away on Friday, April 25, 2014 at her home.

Mass of the Resurrection for Ruth will be held on Saturday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with Fr. C.F. Wilhelm celebrating the Mass.  Ruth will be laid to rest in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.

Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Friday, May 2,  from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a Rosary and scripture service at 5 p.m. Visitation on Saturday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral Mass.

Serving as casket bearers for Ruth will be Judd Kunkel, Tyler Kunkel, Sean Kunkel, Cailin Christianson, Mike Atwood, Paul Christianson and Terry Wallace.  Reading the scriptures will be Virginia Eisenzimmer and Gift Bearers will be Mary Berg, Gail Halgren and Ann Mahoney.  

Ruth Adeline Fleming was born on October 16, 1928, to Frank and Anna (Chaplin) Fleming in Oklee, Minn. She was the sixth of nine children.
As a small child, Ruth moved with her family to the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks area.  She graduated from East Grand Forks High School in 1946.  Ruth was a very good student with many interests including drama.  She earned the status as a Junior Class Marshall.

Ruth helped her family while in high school by working as a nursing assistant and a Bell Telephone operator.  The latter being a job she would continue until starting a family.

Not long after high school, Ruth met and later married the love of her life, Lester Christianson.  They were married in East Grand Forks, Minn., on November 22, 1950. They moved to Seattle, WA, seeking employment but soon discovered that they missed family and the lack of sunshine.  This prompted their return to North Dakota where Les completed his college.  During this time, Ruth supported his education by working with the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company.

Once they moved to Devils Lake in 1955, they were ready to start a family and build a house.  Their dreams of both came true in 1960, when Ruth gave birth to a daughter Debra. They soon moved into their new home south of Devils Lake, which proved to be the house she occupied until the time of her passing.  Ruth also gave birth to boys, David in 1961 (born with Spinal Bifida and passing away one year later), and Brian being born in 1963.
Once her children were of high school age and beyond, Ruth decided to re-enter the work world by finding employment with the Devils Lake Sioux Manufacturing Corporation, where she was a faithful and dependable employee for ten years before retiring.

 A few short years after retiring, Ruth found herself in a very important care-giving role with her husband, Les, who suffered the restrictive affects of COPD.  She continued her unrelenting care until the love of her life passed away on November 4, 2006.

 Alone but in no way dependent, Ruth continued living in her house and enjoyed the company of her children Deb and Brian, son-in-law Scott and her grandchildren Judd, Tyler, Sean and Cailin.  We mustn’t forget her dog, Ruka, which gave her comfort and enjoyment until her death.  After Ruth’s passing, Ruka was found guarding and protecting her until well after the arrival of the authorities.

With her many roles including wife, mom, and grandma, Ruth gave unselfishly. She showered us with unconditional love, support, advice, encouragement, and hope.  With a sense of great loss and heavy heart, we will all greatly miss this ?one-of-a-kind? and ?feisty? natured woman who meant so much to all in her path.

Ruth is survived by her loving family.  Her children, Deb and her husband Scott Kunkel of Moorhead, Minn. and Brian Christianson of Reno, Nev.; grandchildren, Judd (Alex Shaw) Kunkel, Tyler (Kylie) Kunkel, Sean Kunkel and Cailin Christianson; one great grandchild, Jadevion Kunkel; sister, Alice Larson of East Grand Forks and sister-in-law Milly Wallace of Visalia, Calif., and many nieces, nephews and their families.

 She was preceded in death by her husband, Les; son, David; brothers, William, Woodrow, Frank and Jack; sisters, Lois, Frances and Elaine.

Friends may sign the online register book and share memories of Ruth at

Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.