Visitation 1/2 hour before the funeral.
1:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Peace Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND
There will be a graveside service at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at Highland Memory Garden, Des Moines, Iowa
Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.
Ruth Ann Parker Roth was born in Palmyra, Iowa, on April 30, 1913, to George Frederick and Jessie May Parker. Three generations of her family moved together to North Dakota in 1916 to farm in St. Thomas, ND. After one year of drought and another year of sagging price support, they moved back to Des Moines, Iowa, about 1918. Second born of four children, she was always a resourceful forward thinker. As a teenager, she used her babysitting money to take tap dancing lessons. After graduating from East Des Moines high school in 1932, she worked at Rollins Hosiery Mill making silk stockings prior to WWII and nylons after silk was no longer available from Japan. On New Year’s Eve 1934, at the stroke of midnight, she married Walter William Roth. Family and friends still recall what a handsome couple they were.
She nearly died as a young woman , but God had more for her to do. She lived a strong and robust life well into her 90’s when dry macular degeneration claimed her sight. Walter also had a bout with death as a young man when he contracted Undulant Fever. Ruth worked full time and was his primary caregiver during the 4 years he suffered through the disease. After being bedridden for 3 years, he learned to walk again, despite doctors predictions that he would be wheel-chair bound.
In 1945, after 11 years of marriage, they welcomed their daughter, Paula, into this world. Ruth became a full-time homemaker, who loved gardening, canning, and caring for her family. When Paula was in high school, Ruth returned to the work force part time. She worked at the service desk of Younkers department store in Des Moines. After a few years, she worked full- time at the Iowa Film Exchange, inspecting motion pictures, where she worked alongside her sister, Olive, for many years until retirement.
In the late 60’s, she and Walt built their dream home in the Lake of the Ozarks, and they enjoyed that on into retirement while maintaining their home in Des Moines. Ruth landscaped and planted bushes, trees, and flowers at their home in Missouri just as she had done in Des Moines. Walt enjoyed planning all those activities but was not physically able to do a lot of the physical labor in those years.
They welcomed their only grandchild into this world in 1983 a year before their 50th wedding anniversary. Daniel Larsen was the joy of their lives, and they enjoyed watching him grow into a young man. Walt passed away in 2002. By that time, they were resettled in their Des Moines home, closer to family. When dry macular degeneration began to claim Ruth’s sight, she moved to Fargo in 2007 at the age 94 to begin a new life, living with her daughter, Paula, and son-in-law, Dick Larsen. In Fargo, she enjoyed taking the bus to the Ed Clapp Community Center for lunch each weekday and attending Peace Lutheran church on Sundays. As her eyesight continued to fail, she faced life courageously without complaint. She attended the annual all-school reunion at East Des Moines High School from 2004 to 2012 and was honored as the oldest in attendance in 2011 and 2012. In 2010, she took pride in attending Dan’s graduation from the Creighton School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. That same year, she attended a ceremony to dedicate the Welcome Desk at Iowa State University Hospital in honor of Walter who had received life-saving treatment there years before.
She was recommended for Hospice care in August of 2012 and continued to live at home with Dick and Paula until March 2, 2013, when she crossed the Beautiful River into Glory, just 2 months shy of her 100th birthday. We will be forever grateful for her many years of loving guidance and her quiet caring ways.
Honorary pallbearers are: Daniel Larsen of Littleton, CO (grandson), Dale Larsen of Casselton, ND (step grandson), nephews: Dennis Parker (Shell Knob, MO), Stephen Parker De Soto, IA) , Robert Parker (Davis City, IA), and Leonard Reeves (Sergaent Bluffs, IA).