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Ruth Thoennes, 85

Ruth Ann Thoennes, age 85, of Urbank, died Friday, August 8, 2014, at her home.

Ruth was born December 7, 1928 to Rudolph and Lily (Huwe) Klein in Millerville Township. Ruth attended Brandon High School and graduated in 1946. She worked as a nurses assistant at St. Lukes Hospital in Alexandria until she was united in marriage to Edward Thoennes on November 11, 1947.

Following their marriage, Ruth became a very active member of Sacred Heart Church. She was the choir director for both the children and adult choirs, which later combined into one. She was the church organist for over 50 years, also played organ and sang duets with Ed at many area weddings and funerals. She was one of the first CCD instructors in Urbank to get her certification and was a member of the Christian Mothers.

Ruth was very active in promoting serving lunches after funerals. Ruth and Ed worked side by side on their farm, and Ruth always kept the men fed with full course meals brought out to the field, pie and ice cream included. They raised their four children and one foster child.

Ed and Ruth semi-retired and moved into Urbank in 1985. Ruth became caretaker of the church grounds at that time. They enjoyed their winters at their second home in Texas for the last 28 years.

Ruth joined the Urbank Lions Club, helped Ed with the gaming operation and enjoyed serving lunch to the members. Ruth enjoyed quilting, gardening and baking. Everyone, especially her children, loved her chicken, pickles, doughnuts and buns, which led to her nickname "Buns Thoennes." She also enjoyed watching the Twins or Bombers baseball games, bird watching, crossword puzzles, playing cards and golf.

Ruth is survived by her husband of 66 years, Edward; children, Tom (Jackie) Thoennes of Ottertail, Connie (Ed) Maloney of Ramsey, Cathy (Chuck) Debilzen of Parkers Prairie and Tim (Deb) Thoennes of Oakdale; brothers, Arland (Eileen) Klein of Parkers Prairie and Jerry (Judy) Klein of Brandon; sister-in-law, Jackie Klein of Fargo, North Dakota; 12 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and many special nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her infant son, John; two unborn children; parents; sister and brother-in-law, Lorraine (Harlan) Meissner; brother, Leroy Klein; grandson, Greg Thoennes and foster child, Sharon Suchy.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, August 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Urbank with Fr. Peter VanderWeyst and Fr. Herb Gappa officiating. Music was provided by pianist, Becky Koep, vocalists, Judy Koep, Yvonne Debilzen, Jerry Klein and the church choir. Burial was at the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Sean Abernathy, Doug Debilzen, Chris Maloney, Kevin Maloney, Lawrence Spencer, Anthony Thoennes, Troy Thoennes and Andrew Thoennes. Honorary pallbearers were Missy Abernathy, Angie Debilzen, Katie Wicklund, Jenny Maloney, Charlene Spencer, Melissa Thoennes, Jenna Thoennes and Ashley Thoennes.

Arrangements are with Lind Family Funeral and Cremation Services;