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Donald Ruud

Donald G. Ruud, 90, of Northwood, ND passed away Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Ebenezer Free Lutheran Church in Northwood. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Donald G. Ruud was born on the family farm, rural Northwood on March 20, 1929, to Gotfred and Mabel (Burthwick) Ruud and continued to live in the same house until his death.  This family farmstead was a Centennial farm that was established in 1884.

He was baptized and confirmed at Ebenezer Free Lutheran Church in Northwood, where his funeral will be held on Monday January 20, 2020.

A life-long resident of Northwood, Don attended country school and graduated from Northwood High School in 1947. In the late ‘40’s to early ’60’s he played trumpet in a dance band with several high school friends and brother Wally. They played proms and dances throughout eastern North Dakota.  He worked for local farmers and many agricultural jobs throughout high school.  For several years he farmed with his Father.  In the 1960’s he began farming on his own, acquiring more land over time and even raising cattle for several years.  Don farmed for 40+ years.  He retired from farming in 1991, when his son Paul took over.  He continued to help on the farm after his retirement. His favorite job was School Bus Driver.  He drove bus routes for Northwood Public School for 37 years.  He enjoyed this job and loved the students. Don talked fondly of his “bus kids” and had many special memories and friends from his years as a bus driver.

On February 28th, 1953, he married the love of his life, Phyllis Gravdahl in Crookston, MN.  They had 61 ½ loving years together.  The Lord blessed them with four wonderful children.  Don and Phyllis enjoyed spending time with family and friends, attending the activities of their children and grandchildren, traveling and bingo.  Don was very proud of his family and loved God, his family and America. 

Don enjoyed the Twins, Sioux Hockey, Timberwolves and his grand daughters’ ball games.  For the last 5 years, his highlight was a Twins baseball game shared with the entire family. These gatherings meant so much to him.  They also took in a Sioux Hockey game as a family in 2016.  He also loved his class reunions and enjoyed getting together with his classmates.  Their 70th class reunion was in 2017.

Don is survived by his loving children, grandchildren and great grandchildren: Ginine “Ginger” (Mike) Voglewede, Northwood, Mitchell (Sharon) Ruud, Fargo, and DeeNelle “Dee Dee” (Cary) Stephenson, Pelican Rapids.  Grandchildren: Jenna (Joe) Zavoral , their children William and Lucy, East Grand Forks, Taylor (Casey) Wald ,their son Rory, Grand Forks, Jessica (Ben) Krause, their son Atticus, Plymouth, MN, Kristen (Sam) Schimmelpfennig, White Bear Lake, MN, Anna and Viktoria Stephenson, of Pelican Rapids, Jessica Voglewede, and her sons Evan and Easton, and a niece and several nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, wife Phyllis, son Paul, and brothers Gordon and Wallace.  Blessed be the memory of Don Ruud.  Memorials preferred to the North Cemetery, Thunder Robotics, or Ebenezer Free Lutheran Church. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Ruud, please visit our flower store.


Thank you Diane! We sure had a fun Daytons crew!

Dee Dee Stephenson Jan 21 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Donald Ruud

Kassie Jacobson Jan 19 2020 12:00 AM

My heartfelt condolences to Dons family at this difficult time. I remember the Ruud farm and family, as they were neighbors to my Grandma Esther. We used to play together as young children as our parents were friends. May the loving fond memories carry all of you through this farewell.

Cindy Thingelstad Abalayan Jan 18 2020 12:00 AM

I did not know him but I had him come into Cenex a few times over the past year and I was struck immediately by his kindness. He often bought raffle tickets that supported local clubs. Whenever I saw him I would reflect on how neat he was and wondering what his life was like and now I see who his family is and it explains it all. Just good people. So sorry for your loss.

Jen Raknerud Jan 18 2020 12:00 AM

I remember being a kid living in ND from 1-6 years old and visiting my Uncle Donny and Aunt Phyliss and cousins on the farm for dinners and I was in love with the lil red potatoes Aunt Phyliss served Uncle Donny was a cool Uncle he will be great missed I also remember picking berries with Ginger,DeeDee,Paul and Michell and spending the night so fun at the farm Miss you already Uncle Donny God Bless you RIP

Lori Wolff Jan 18 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Donald Ruud

Lori Wolff Jan 18 2020 12:00 AM

Dee, I am sorry for your loss. Keep your memories strong.

Diane Nielsen (Dayton's co worker) Jan 17 2020 12:00 AM