Ruth Johnsen

Ruth J. Johnsen, 93, Dickinson, died Friday, October 30, 2015 at the Evergreen.

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Ruth’s funeral service was held at 1:30 p.m., Monday, November 2, 2015 at Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson, with Rev. Joe Natwick officiating. Inurnment will take place at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan. Visitation was Monday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Ladbury Funeral Service.

Ruth Josephine Knudsvig was born November 7, 1921 in Dunn Center, the daughter of Lewis and Mary (Johnson) Knudsvig. She attended grade school and high school in Dunn Center. She graduated from high school in 1939 and then attended Dickinson State Teachers College for two years and obtained her Standard Teaching Certificate. Later she returned to college and received her Bachelors degree in 1961. She taught for 36 years in the elementary grades in North Dakota, and 25 years were in the Dickinson Public Schools.

Ruth was united in marriage to Clayton J. Johnsen on June 1, 1947 at Normanna Lutheran Church at Dunn Center. They farmed northeast of Dunn Center until 1954 when they moved to Dickinson because of Clayton’s health. Ruth retired from teaching in 1984 and they lived in the Las Vegas area during the winter months, but still maintained their home on Palm Beach Road in Dickinson for the summer months.

She organized the Pearl Harbor Chapter I for the North Dakota Veterans who survived the Japanese attack, and their first meeting was on December 7, 1965. There were 22 veterans who attended and it was the year before the 25th anniversary of the bombing at Pearl Harbor in 1966. It was a get acquainted gathering before going to Hawaii. In 1989, she organized the first North Dakota Day for all North Dakotans who lived in the Las Vegas area. It grew every year and she held that position for 13 years.

She was always proud of her heritage and promoted North Dakota in all her travels. She and Clayton traveled extensively and was always proud to say she was from North Dakota. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family. She crocheted many afghans which were gifts to family and friends. After retirement, she collected and restored Cabbage Patch Dolls of which she had several hundred.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Clayton; two sons, Owen Leslie (significant other, Karen Buffington) Johnsen, Dickinson, and Robert Charles Johnsen, Dubois, Wyo.; two grandchildren, Clayton Lee (Angela) Johnsen, Dickinson, and Lynae (Monte) Frerichs, Lincoln, Neb.; and four great-grandchildren, Brett, Keegan, Maddax and Urban. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her three siblings, Norman Knudsvig, Lillian Bergan, and Morris Knudsvig.

Arrangements are with Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson.

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