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Ruth Martinson

July 30, 1919 ~ December 2, 2020 (age 101)


Ruth Louise Martinson, 101, of Carrington, ND passed away December 2, 2020 at Golden Acres Manor in Carrington.

Ruth was born to Albert and Clara (Mauseth-Larson) Monson on July 30, 1919 at Lakota, ND. She contracted polio when she was six years old. She was not able to start elementary school until the spring of 1927 at the one-room Mapes No. 2 Schoolhouse in Nelson County. After her elementary education, she attended high school at Petersburg, ND graduating in 1937.  While in high school, she was a member of the girls’ basketball team for 1936-37. They went undefeated for the regular season but lost in the championship game, at the state tournament.

After working for several years following graduation, Ruth enrolled at Mayville State College.  She received her Standard Degree in May 1942. Eventually, by taking summer sessions over the years, she was able to attain her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1983.

Ruth was married to Obert Martinson of McVille, ND on June 28, 1943 in McVille.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1993.

She began her teaching career at Mapes School District No. 52 in 1942. Her first contract was for $90/month. Thus, began a teaching career that covered 42 years of full-time and 8 years of substituting in Mapes, Polto, Pekin, Sutton, Glenfield, and McHenry, ND. She retired from full-time teaching in 1986.

Someone once said, “Teachers affect eternity; one never knows where their influence ends”. This can certainly be true of Ruth’s teaching career. Of the 125 cards she received on her 100th birthday, many were from former students. A few years ago, one of her former students from the 1950’s stated: “Mrs. Martinson gave me one of the greatest gifts I ever obtained. She taught me to read. Thank You, Ruth”.

After her retirement, she served three terms in the North Dakota Silver-Haired Legislature in the early 1990’s. She also served as Vice President of the Glenfield Senior Citizens Club and as Secretary of the Foster County Council on Aging.

Ruth was a member of the Sheyenne Lutheran Church of rural Pekin, ND. She taught Vacation Bible School and was a member of the Ladies Aid.

She entered Golden Acres Manor in Carrington, ND in June 2015. While there, she enjoyed taking part in various activities, particularly adult coloring and Bingo. She was also interviewed for a book written by James Puppe entitled “Dakota Attitudes”.

Ruth is survived by her son Gary Martinson of Glenfield, ND, sister Alice Rohan of Nampa, ID, sister-in-law Ione Ringdahl of Fargo, ND, and several nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Obert, parents Albert and Clara Monson, brother Manville “Van” Monson, sisters Gladyce Lien, Dora Warner, and Irene Olmstead.

Memorial services will be held in spring 2021. Interment will be at Sheyenne Cemetery, Pekin, ND.


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