Clarice (Harstad) Ruud, age 93 of Palisade, Minnesota died Friday, August 21, 2020 at the Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin Minnesota due to Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, which she had battled for 11 years. Clarice was born on June 25, 1927, along with her twin sister Glenice. She was born to Ole and Ida Harstad on the family farm near Sebeka, Minnesota. During WW II, in addition to attending high school, she ran the family farm along with her mother and sister, because her two brothers had entered military service and her father went to work in a shipyard in Oregon. She graduated from Sebeka High School in 1946 and spent a year building a house with her father who had returned from the shipyard. She attended the Hamline-Asbury School of Nursing, graduating in June of 1950 as a registered nurse and started working at Asbury Hospital, later shifting to North Memorial Hospital as evening supervisor. She married Russell Ruud on September 1, 1951 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Russell’s study of soils at the U of M led them to Aitkin County’s peatland. Together they began the Gun Lake Potato Farm, starting by developing 160 acres while continuing to farm in Brooklyn Center, MN. Along with working two farms and a nursing position, she and Russell built a house in Brooklyn Center. By 1956, they had established a core of developed potato fields and were able to move to Gun Lake Farm where they built another house. She continued her farming and nursing career, becoming the Director of Nursing at Aitkin Community Hospital until her retirement after which she served on the Hospital Board of Directors for 12 years. She loved field work and operated potato harvesters for 25 years. In retirement she and Russell built a house in Fleming township. She was an avid woodworker and also served on the Bethel Lutheran Church Council and was Chair of the building and maintenance committee.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ole and Ida Harstad, her husband of 58 years Russell, sisters Myrtle and Mildred, and brothers Lester and Maurice.
She is survived by her sister Glenice (Laverne) of Plainfield, Illinois; 2 sons: Aaron (Deborah) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Paul (Judith) of Fairfax Station, Virginia; five grandchildren: Rebecca (Nic), Melissa (Kent), Russell, Willow (Nate), and Margaret; and seven great grandchildren: Nicodemus, Thaddeus, Noella, Adelia, Penelope, Olive and Caroline Lee.
Due to the unique nature of her illness she donated her remains to the Mayo Clinic for studies to advance the knowledge of leukemia research. A memorial service will be held when her remains are returned. Burial will be in the Holden Cemetery at a later date. To leave an online condolence, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Aitkin.
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