Rachel Ruth Elsberry, 94, formerly of Devils Lake, North Dakota, died Sunday March 17, 2019 at Littleton, Colorado.
Rachel Ruth Elsberry, 94, formerly of Devils Lake, North Dakota, died Sunday March 17, 2019 at Littleton, Colorado. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday June 22, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church in Devils Lake. The family will be receiving family and friends one hour prior to the service at the Church. Ruth was born on December 26, 1924 at the family farm near Manilla, Iowa to Ralph and Hedwig (Meyers) Elwell. She attended country school and graduated from Manilla High School. After attending a branch of Iowa State Teachers College, she taught for six years in country schools. In 1949, Ruth came to Devils Lake to help some friends. She enjoyed playing softball on the Hoopty Gerrells team. While working at Montgomery Wards, she met her future husband, Lyle Elsberry, who was the manager of the Wards service department. Lyle Elsberry and Ruth Elwell were united in marriage on February 18, 1950 at the First United Methodist Church in Devils Lake. They had two daughters, Cathie and Shirley. Ruth was a leader for Brownie and Girl Scout troops and was a member of the Parent Teachers Association, Rebekah Olive Branch #9 and the General Federation of Women Club. She was very active in the United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school, serving as president of the United Methodist Women, holding many different Circle offices, acting as church treasurer and chairing other church committees. She also served as treasurer for the District UMW and for the Conference United Methodist Women. Ruth worked at Fairmont Foods and Nokota Feeds before being employed for 22 years at the North Dakota School for the Deaf as the business manager. After retiring, she volunteered for the Retired Senior Volunteers Program and at her church. One of the high points of Ruth’s life was joining a church group for a visit to the Holy Land. With her daughter Shirley she was part of a second church group that toured John Wesley’s home in England. Ruth also made a trip to Germany to meet a new grandson, Steven Bjornseth. Ruth is survived by her daughters, Cathie (Don) Raveling and Shirley Bjornseth; five grandchildren: Lisa (Brian Modreski) Bjornseth, Eric (Ruth) Raveling, Lauren (Loren) Louwagie, Steven Bjornseth, and Jennifer Raveling; two great-granddaughters: Jasmine and Autumn Louwagie; two sisters: Ruby Brue and Doris Hauser; one sister-in-law Joan Elsberry; and many nieces and nephews. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Lyle, her parents Ralph and Hattie Elwell, her brother Charles, her sister Icelene, an infant brother and sister, her mother-in-law and father-in-law Marie and Bland Elsberry, her sister-in-law Arlene Elwell, her brother-in-law Les Brue, her brother-in-law Jim Hauser, her sister-in-law Ninona Neel, her brother-in-law Marvin Elsberry, and two nephews.