Ruth Delores Hoffart Griffith, 92, beloved by family, friends, and all who met her, passed away peacefully on January 6th, 2023.
Ruth was born on a farm in Plainview, NE on April 2,1930, joining parents Jacob and Mabel Hoffart and older brothers Robert and Kenneth. Her name, “Ruth,” means “compassionate,” which seemed to be a guiding principle in her life. She graduated from Plainview High School in 1947, after which she attended nursing school at Lincoln General Hospital in Lincoln, NE, and Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital and School of Nursing in Hasting, NE. Her 50-year career took her to VA hospitals in Wisconsin, California and Oregon for 35 years. In Portland she spent 30 years as an operating nurse. After “retiring” from the Portland VA, she spent her remaining nursing years in Mt Hood, Oregon.
After moving to Oregon, Ruth met Jerry Griffith, and the two were married on Sept. 15, 1961. They were soon blessed with twin girls, Lori and Lynn. Family was of utmost importance to Ruth and Jerry, and they loved cheering on their daughters in sporting events and school activities. Ruth and Jerry also were part of a wonderful group of friends in Oregon, and they enjoyed numerous social outings, picnics, concerts, and weekly restaurant gatherings together.
In her younger years, Ruth’s sense of adventure not only took her across the country for work; she also loved to travel and make memories with friends. A few years after nursing school and working at the VA, she and a friend cashed out their retirement accounts and traveled in Europe for 6 months. After she was married, Ruth and Jerry enjoyed numerous trips together to places like Alaska, the Panama Canal, and Germany. In 2003 they took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan to visit Lynn’s family.
In 2018, Ruth and Jerry moved to Stillwater, MN to be closer to their daughters and their families. Their greatest joys were family gatherings and especially time with their grandchildren. They were well-known attendees at their grandkids’ concerts and school activities.
Ruth’s faith was very important to her, and she was an active congregation member at her childhood church, Eden Valley Lutheran; later she served as a parish nurse at St. Mark’s Lutheran in Portland and volunteered for the food shelf there. After moving to Minnesota, she soon became a familiar face at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Stillwater. Her favorite Bible verses was Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,” and Proverbs 31:20 - “She reaches forth her hands to the needy,” again a testament to her love and compassion for those she met.
Ruth is survived by her husband, Jerry; daughter, Lori Olson and son-in-law Dan Olson; grandchildren Jake, Seth, Ruth, Stefanie, and Justin; great-grandson Silas; nieces and nephews who meant the world to her; her dear cousin Wes Kumm; and numerous friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Robert and Kenneth; and her daughter Lynn.
A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held on February 25th, 4:00 P.M. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (1616 Olive Street W, Stillwater MN 55082). Visitation 3-4:00 P.M..
If you wish to honor Ruth with a memorial, her family invites you to consider making a donation to: A Park Bench Memorial to honor Ruth and daughter, Lynn, The Epilepsy Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society.