Ruth Ann Bjork, age 93 of Faribault, MN passed away on Monday, September 23, 2019 at the Homestead Hospice House of Owatonna, MN following a brief illness.
The world just lost a tireless pioneer for a women’s place in the world. Ruth Ann Haker Bjork was the very first female paper carrier for the Minneapolis Journal, now the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Ruth had a list of “first” including the first women president of the Faribault Golf and Country Club and one of the very first women to head the Faribault Airport Board!
Ruth was born on January 29, 1926 in Albert Lea, MN. The second daughter of The Reverend Milton and Ina Norland Haker. In her second year of life they moved to Marinette, Wisconsin where her two brothers were born. Ruth’s dad accepted a call to Trinity Lutheran Church of Lindstrom, MN in 1936. Ruth went on to graduated from Chisago Lakes High School in 1943. That fall she enrolled in the University of Minnesota. Because of the men away at war the women were recruited to join the marching band where Ruth played the trombone. She enjoyed band throughout her college years graduating in 1947. Later in life she returned to march in the University Alumni band. She taught business in Kenyon, MN for the year before her marriage to Robert Bjork on June 20, 1948. Bob had moved to Faribault to operate Typewriter Sales and Service. Ruth worked for the State Unemployment Service until her first child Ann was born. They had 3 more daughters, Beth, Carol, and Deanna. Ruth then worked as a bookkeeper in her husbands’ business the Beltz Company a retail stationery store. For years she was the bookkeeper for the Paul Bunyan Dairy Stores in the area.
An excellent seamstress she clothed her girls and herself. She enjoyed crosswords, music, golfing, involvement in the church work; teaching, choir and quilting. After vacationing in South Texas in 1974 Ruth and Bob became winter Texans. After her husband’s death in 2003 she continued spending winters in Texas until 2016. There she taught English as a second language and quilted with her group at Our Savior Lutheran in McAllen, TX. At First English Lutheran Church she assembled bulletins every Friday for several years until the last weeks of her life. She was a dedicated volunteer in the community and her church families.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert; a daughter Beth Westerhouse; parents, Reverend Milton and Ina Haker; siblings, Helen, John, and Paul. In-laws, Oscar and Olive Bjork, brother in law, Wesley Bjork and sister in law Virginia Bjork.
She is survived by daughters, Ann Bjork Vohs and her husband Karl of Faribault, their daughter Amelia Vohs and her partner Tony West of Mpls. Carol Bjork of Bethlehem, PA, her children, Edward Redding of San Francisco, CA and daughter, Mary Redding of Bethlehem, PA. Deanna Bjork of Faribault and her partner Jon Stenson. Dee’s chosen child Deanna Michelle Lopez. Son in law Scott Westerhouse. Sister in laws, Anina Haker and Mary Haker. Sister in law, Betty and (Duane) Lund and many other relatives and friends.
A celebration of Ruth’s life is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the First English Lutheran Church, 204 2nd Street N.W., Faribault, MN. No visitation prior to service.
The Family request no flowers.
Memorials are preferred to First English Lutheran Church, Faribault, MN or the Homestead Hospice House of Owatonna, MN.