I Wear Tight Genes

Wherein I attempt to relate the trials and tribulations of tracking down information on people who are dead, but bear some resemblance to me...when they were alive.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ruth Elizabeth Aanestad Carlson

Ruth Elizabeth Aanestad Carlson died peacefully February 2nd, 2009, at the Ridgeview Assisted Living center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  She was born October 13th, 1920, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  On the day of her birth, she was adopted by Rev. Cornelius Walter Aanestad and Emma Borgina Nelson, and taken back to their home in Twin Valley, Minnesota.  She graduated Twin Valley High School and attended college at Concordia University in St. Paul.  In 1942, she met Torrence Carlson, married him, and then watched him ship out to the south Pacific for World War 2.

Following the war, she and Torry received their Masters’ in Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and eventually settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, having both taken music teaching jobs there. 

Ruth spent the rest of her life teaching children the joy of music for the Cedar Rapids school system.  In retirement, she would continue to accompany local high school music productions, give piano lessons, and even took a part-time job playing the piano in a local department store.  During all of that, she joined her husband in giving generously of her time to First Lutheran Church, and prior to that, St. Stephen’s.  She and her husband are responsible for fostering generations of music lovers in Cedar Rapids, as well as playing an essential role in the appreciation of Fine Arts in eastern Iowa.

In 1997, Torry was lost to cancer, but Ruth continued on with the love and help of friends and family.  Ruth is survived by two daughters:  Mary Elizabeth Valley (Tom, dec.) and Rebecca Ann Collier (Ken), both of Cedar Rapids; the eldest daughter, Patricia Ruth Fleugel (James), having passed in 1970; two grandsons, Thomas (Kelly) and John Valley, as well as 4 great grandchildren: Morgan, Kieran, Eilish and Bronwyn.  She is also survived by her sister Dorothy Nelson of Seattle, Washington, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A public memorial service will be held at First Lutheran Church.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Ruth’s name to Iowa Hospice Care, 800 1st Ave, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402.

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