Ruth Janett Larsen

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A memorial service for Ruth Janett Larsen, 91, of Glendale, will be held 1 p.m. June 7 at Glencroft Retirement Community in Glendale, Ariz. Burial will be held later this summer in Fairmont, Minn.

Ruth passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.

Ruth Janett (Herem) Larsen was born April 13, 1923, in Rake, Iowa, to Jacob and Ragnild (Bakke) Herem. Ruth graduated in 1945 from the Bethesda School of Nursing in St. Paul, Minn., under the U.S. government Nurse Cadet program. While never called to active duty, she worked in roles to backfill nurses who were serving the war effort. Following graduation, she was recruited to a staff position at Fairmont Community Hospital in Fairmont, Minn. On Sept. 29, 1949, she married Paul T. Larsen in Rake, Iowa. Paul was a lifelong resident of Fairmont and this is where they made their home. As they began their life together, they chose a verse to guide them, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This provided the cornerstone of their marriage and guided them as they raised their family. In 1952, the family moved to Rainy River, Ontario, Canada, where Paul served as a Mission Covenant pastor. In 1956, they returned to Fairmont where Ruth continued working at the hospital on night and evening shifts in order to devote her days to her children. They resided in Fairmont until 1968, when they moved to Rochester. She continued her nursing profession as a staff nurse and head nurse at Rochester Methodist Hospital. In 1979, they moved to Atlanta, Ga., where she continued to work in staff roles and in private duty nursing. Paul and Ruth returned to Rochester in 1983 and she was employed at Assisi Heights, providing nursing care for the Sisters until retirement. Ruth enjoyed traveling, making trips to Norway, Israel, Europe and all across Canada and the U.S. In retirement, Paul and Ruth traveled in their motorhome until settling full time in Phoenix, Ariz. Since 2003, Ruth was a resident of Glencroft Retirement Community and served in multiple volunteer roles, giving back to a community which she loved and had truly become her home. Her faith in God and her lifetime commitment to her church community were the backbone of her life. Paul and Ruth were a constant testimony to all who knew them as believers who simply loved the Lord. They shared a ministry of love and fellowship with friends all across the country. This love was returned to her abundantly in her final days and the family deeply appreciates the comfort this brought her. She was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

Ruth is survived by her sister, Alma Gravley of Lake Mills, Iowa; four children, P. Stephen (Margaret) of Phoenix Ariz., Leif (Georgiana) of Rochester, Minn., Naomi Woychick (John) of Cave Creek, Ariz., Jurene Phaneuf (Joseph) of Spokane, Wash.; four grandchildren, Ginger of San Francisco, Ellen and Christen of Spokane, Hannah of Dallas, Texas; two step-grandchildren, Bechan and Anna of Dallas; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; brothers, Knut and Oscar; and sister, Bertha Neville. Ruth’s only grandson, Eric McKinley Larsen preceded her in death in 1992.

The family prefers memorials to charity of choice.