Ruth Modin, age 98, of Milbank, SD, died on September 19, 2019, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at Living Word Lutheran Church in Milbank. Pastor Kent Groethe will officiate, and burial will be at Milbank City Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Monday, September 23, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank and will continue at the church on Tuesday, one hour prior to the funeral service.
Ruth Eleanor Starr Anderson Modin was born on August 30, 1921, in Tower City, ND. She was the daughter of Edward Peter Starr and Caroline Marguerite Schmitz Starr. She was baptized and was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Tower City. Ruth attended grade school and graduated from Tower City High School in 1939. After high school, Ruth attended Valley City State Teacher’s College in Valley City, ND, graduating in 1941 with a Standard Diploma Certification in the Teacher Training Curriculum and Music.
Music was a continuous part of Ruth’s life. She started piano lessons in third grade and received instruction in piano, voice, and dance during high school. She sang for many school and church functions and would return from college on weekends to play piano for Sunday services at her church. She was a skilled accompanist. After college graduation, Ruth taught elementary and high school music classes in Forman, Tower City, and Erie, ND.
While teaching in Forman, ND, Ruth met Orlo D. Anderson, a school mathematics teacher and coach from Marian, ND. On September 3, 1943, Private First Class Orlo D. Anderson and Ruth were married. Corporal Orlo Anderson was killed on a routine flight in Texas on November 24, 1944. From this marriage, a son, Roland Everett, was born.
While living and teaching in Tower City, ND, Ruth met Clarence “Cal” I. Modin. They were united in marriage on May 18, 1948. Cal’s teaching career took them to Minot, ND, and later to Erie, ND. In 1954, Cal had an opportunity to teach and coach in Milbank, SD. Cal, Ruth, and their four children, Roland, Jeannine, René, and Grant moved to Milbank.
Ruth was confirmed and joined American Lutheran Church. She served the church by directing the young children’s choir, the junior and senior choirs, and accompanying and singing in the choir. She played piano for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Luther League. Ruth was a faithful Altar Guild and “Love In Action” member and enjoyed her Bible Study group.
Ruth taught piano lessons weekly to numerous Milbank, Wilmot, and Corona area youth. She would accompany area band and vocal students and was a substitute teacher for Milbank School System and Melrose and Alba Rural Schools. In addition, she assisted Cal with his responsibilities as Grant County Probation Officer and volunteered at the Community Thrift Shop. She continued to immerse herself in music after retirement, playing in churches whenever possible and even arranging and composing music.
In 2011, Ruth became a member of Living Word Church in Milbank.
Ruth and Cal enjoyed taking trips in the summer, gardening, and being with family. She remembered each family member with birthday cards for many years, which was her way of expressing her love. Ruth and Cal’s family were important in their lives along with their faith, church, and school functions. She will be remembered as a dedicated wife and mother.
Ruth is survived by her children: Roland (Sandra) Anderson of Frankfort, MI; daughter, Jeannine (Leland) Lindquist of Alexandria, MN; René (David) Graf of Aberdeen, SD; and Grant (Amanda) Modin of Bend, OR; nine grandchildren: Matthew (Rebecca) Anderson, Catherine Anderson, Ryan (Kelly) Lindquist, Luke Lindquist, Rebecca Ruth (Shawn) Bouley, Daniel (Beth) Graf, Emily (Kevin) Osberg, Cally Modin, and Mitch Modin; fifteen great-grandchildren: Sarah and Ryan Anderson; Katelyn Ruth, Noah, and Madelyn Lindquist; Brady and Carter Bouley; Deron, Ethan, Trenton, Nathan, and Weston Cal Graf; Reid, Lydia, and Eleanor Ruth Osberg; and niece and nephews: Dorothy (Starr) Barnes, Warren Star, Jr., Allen Starr and Ted Wendland.
She was preceded in death by her husbands: Orlo Anderson, and Clarence Modin; her parents: Edward and Caroline Starr; three brothers: Warren, Leland, and Robert; and one sister, Charlotte Wendland.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Living Word Lutheran Church music program or American Lutheran Church music program.