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Ruth Ball 02/18/2024

Ruth Marie Walz was born on March 31, 1935, in Fergus Falls, MN, to Fred and Hilma (Thom) Walz.

Growing up on a farm in rural Campbell, MN, Ruth’s tenacity began early as she made her daily trek to and from a small country schoolhouse. This drive continued throughout her high school years where she attended the West Central School of Agriculture in Morris, MN. In this boarding school environment Ruth worked various jobs to cover living expenses while also earning a letter in athletics. Ruth graduated from the school, now known as the University of Minnesota Morris, in 1953.

After graduation Ruth moved to Minneapolis, MN where she lived with her cousin, Violet. Ruth immediately secured a job at General Mills and quickly discovered her love of dance. Ruth and her roommates would go to the big band dance halls weekly. Their favorite dance hall was the American House in St. Paul where they never missed the Whoopee John’s Band. Ruth was not shy, letting everyone know that she was only interested in men that could dance; it was a good thing Fred could because it was on this dancefloor where Ruth met her future husband.

On October 6, 1956, Ruth married her forever dance partner, Fred Ball. Together they moved to the family farm south of New Richmond where they would go on to raise four children while actively running the farm. Together they continued to dance as often as time would permit from old time dancing, to polka, and square dancing as members of the Willow Squares dancing group. Ruth was involved in activities with her children and the community taking on volunteer roles including: 4-H leader, Richmond Township committee, Immaculate Conception church, and the New Richmond Senior Citizens. Ruth and Fred lived a beautiful life and when it came time to retire, they enjoyed much-deserved relaxation and sunshine spending two months a year in Arizona.

Ruth loved spending time with her family. Whether it was cheering from the sidelines of an athletic event or watching a pig show, she was there. We are happy that Ruth was able to experience these events with both her children and grandchildren, and later spent time with five great-grandchildren.

We remember Ruth as someone confident in her decisions, unselfish in her thinking, and loving to her family. Ruth passed away February 18, 2024, at her rural farm surrounded by family. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Fred Ball, parents Fred and Hilma (Thom) Walz, brothers Donald Walz and Norman Walz, sister Shirley Stortroen.

Ruth is survived by sons Dennis (Nancy) Ball, David (Kim) Ball, Dale (Julie Vandre) Ball and daughter Jane Ball. Grandchildren Kristen (Erik) Haugen, Jenna (Luke) Nelson, Jacob (Marin) Ball, and Dayna (Adam) Dux. Great grandchildren Emma, Ally and Wyatt Haugen, Evelyn and Mackenzie Nelson, and her sibling Robert Walz.

Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremations Services.


  • Kerry (Althoff) Reis Posted February 23, 2024 10:25 am

    Was shocked when I saw that your mom had passed. She was always a good friend to my/our mom, Phyllis. Your mom had a very busy, rewarding life. May she rest in peace.

    • Dennis Ball Posted February 25, 2024 7:51 am

      Thank you.
      Services are today 2-4.

  • Frank and Jewelle (Ball) Vanyo Posted February 23, 2024 4:27 pm

    Our sincere sympathy on the loss of your mom. We had a lot of memorable times with your mom and dad. Keeping your family in our prayers.

    • Dennis Ball Posted February 25, 2024 7:52 am

      Thank you
      Mon and always enjoyed your company. Des had many stories from early years.

  • Diana (Shilts) Valentine Posted February 25, 2024 8:35 pm

    My condolences to you, Dennis and your family on the loss of your mom. Hold on to the memories.

  • Heather Boucher(Brunner) Posted March 6, 2024 9:29 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss I’m just reading this tonight I had not heard this. So sorry Dale and family for your huge loss. Hugs and prayers for healing. Sincerely, Heather

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