Funeral Services for Ruth Ellen Sinness Haugland, 92, who passed away in the care of her loving family on June 5, 2020 will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 1 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Devils Lake. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 4, 2021 from 5 until 6:30 p.m. at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake.
Ruth was born March 22, 1928, in the General Hospital in Devils Lake to Torger Sinness and Isabel (Sheldon) Sinness. She was raised by older parents and was the last of five children. Ruth grew up in the home she dearly loved, where she lived for most of her life and where she took her last breath.
Ruth often described her early years as ones of love, acceptance, and fun. As a child of the Depression, she focused on the caring community around her and the beauty found in simple moments of life. She adored people and always saw special qualities in them which she was quick to share with them and others.
A strong focus on education, music, art, and literature was ingrained in Ruth. Her father came from Norway alone at the age of 15 to get an education. He plowed with oxen on his uncle’s farm while making time for his textbooks. When he met Ruth’s mother and recognized her intellectual potential, he convinced her father to send Isabel to college as well as her three sisters, something that was uncommon in the late 1800’s. Ruth was nurtured in this environment which placed a high value on education. She graduated from Devils Lake High School in 1946 and completed her education at the University of Wisconsin in 1952, receiving a B.A. in English. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles and worked for the Southern California Edison Company for nine months. She returned to Devils Lake and was joined in marriage to John Carlyle Haugland on July 12, 1953. While he practiced law with Clyde Duffy, she worked as a Deputy Register of Deeds for four years. She retired following the birth of her first child.
Ruth was gregarious by nature and was active in the community. She was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Devils Lake, a member of the Lake Region Concert Association, Beta Sigma Phi, Devils Lake Shakespeare Club, Pioneer Daughters, Eastern Star, and Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award.
Her family remembers Ruth as a hostess extraordinaire and exceptional cook. She had an open house and heart which drew people to her home daily. Neighbors frequently came over for coffee and neighborhood children were free to walk in the door at any time to open any of her three cookie jars and help themselves to her weekly replenished homemade goodies. She created a home filled with warmth, love, and laughter.
Memories of Ruth will always include her close loving relationship with her daughters, her love for her grandchildren, raising African violets, feeding birds, playing bridge, cooking wonderful meals, baking, classical music, decorating, reading, crossword puzzles, traveling and dressing to the nines even when she was just relaxing alone at home.
Ruth is survived by her daughters – Kristin (Corry) Kenner and Maren (Peter) Halbach of Devils Lake, Kari Donnelly of Orono, Minn.; and Carrie Young Inwards of Rochester, Minn. (who was like another daughter to her); grandchildren – Erica (Brian) Sauer of Fargo, Philip Kenner of Boston, Mass., Sonia Halbach of New York, N.Y., Evan Halbach of La Verkin, Utah, Katie Donnelly of Minneapolis, Minn. and Collin Donnelly of Orono; great grandchildren – George Sauer and Victoria Sauer;
She was preceded in death by husband of 65 years, John Carlyle Haugland; her parents, Torger and Isabel Sinness; her brothers – Norman Sinness and Lester Sinness; and her sisters – Jean Sinness and Elizabeth Kohl.
Posted online on May 24, 2021