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Ruth M. Kees 02/10/2017

Ruth Kees websiteWe have turned to the final chapter of the remarkable life of our dear Mother, friend and mentor
Ruth M. Kees. She was not only a talented designer and businesswoman, but also a  kind friend, patient confidant, with  great wit and worldly wisdom, always there to share a hug, or an infectious laugh, and a tour de force when you needed a strong ally.
Ruth was born July 17th, 1914, in Minneapolis, MN. , to George and H. Ruth Mueller. Her father died at a young age, leaving her mother to raise Ruth and her brother John to adulthood.
After graduating college in St. Cloud, she married, and had her beloved David ‘“’Tuffer” Tifft. David died suddenly at the age of three.
Through David’s untimely death Ruth discovered, then pursued her love of design with architect  and designer Genevieve Hendricks in Washington D.C. , where the firm worked on longstanding  restorations of Williamsburg, The Elms,  and many other notable projects on the East Coast.
Returning to Hudson in 1949, where her Mother now lived, Ruth and her Mother purchased what became Harding’s at Hudson from the Harding family. There she shared her knowledge and expertise in interior design, for more than a half a century. She also sold gifts that reflected her passion for all things that  were Ruth – books, yarn, spices, and fine gifts.  Her handknit sweaters were available there, keeping thousands of babies warm over the last  half a century.
Her marriage to Russel A. Kees gave them Catherine and Carolyn…
Ruth filled her friends’ homes with her innate creativity for design and art. She encouraged her friends to pursue their passions and enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening, cooking, music, and, a soft breeze. Her home  was her favorite place to be.
She will be  profoundly missed by her daughters, Catherine and Carolyn, her extended family and friends, Jeffrey Shaw, Edward Hawksford, and Andrew Terwilliger,  as well as her furry friends, Phinney, GiGi,  Byron, Tony, Pippin, Milton, Jetty, Sunny, Dune, and Bluie.  And love and appreciation to her “other family “ — Comforts of Home, Hudson, WI
A Memorial Service was held on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 2 pm at Ascension Episcopal Church 214 3rd Street N Stillwater, MN.  Visitation was also Thursday from 1-2 pm at the church.  Interment will be in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN at a later date.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of Hudson.


  • Fernando Miranda Posted February 12, 2017 4:16 pm

    Ruth will be in my heart for the rest of my life as a carácter woman like my grandmother was. I m sorry for your lost but I will have my scotch today in her memory. Love you girls sorry I won’t be able to be there. Fernando currently in Uruguay

  • Trudy (Pfluger) Achterhof Posted February 13, 2017 1:03 am

    Catherine & Caroline my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I will always remember her wonderful smile and great stories. She was a wonderful woman.

  • Jean Snyder-Hayes Posted February 13, 2017 5:32 pm

    Kate, So sorry to hear about your Mother, you and your family have my deepest sympathies.

  • Lenore Hoolihan Posted February 13, 2017 5:58 pm

    Ruth Keyed, such an elegant, beautiful, soul. I have loved you for years! All extended and second- tiered family have one or more of your luscious baby sweaters. I have fabulous memories and love of Dear Ruth.
    May God keep you close and in peaceful love. I look forward to our joys when we have tea again in Paradise.

  • Mary Kay Magle Posted February 15, 2017 12:47 pm

    Kate, so sorry to hear about your mother. Her shop was a Hudson icon when I was growing up! She helped me pick out my wedding “register” back in the day! I think of her fondly when look on gifts I received (almost 50 years ago!). I know she’ll be dearly missed by you and your sister!

  • Ashley Johnson Posted February 18, 2017 2:43 pm

    It was a great honor to serve your mom at the comforts of home. She was a beautiful and exciting woman to have come into my life. She will be greatly missed.

  • Pete Ronhovde Posted May 11, 2018 4:21 am

    Kate and Carolyn. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You were blessed to have your mom with you all of these years, yet I know how terribly you must miss her. She was a wonderful woman and such a good friend of my mom, Mary. They had so many laughs and discussions/debates whenever we visited. I remember visiting you guys so many times while living at “the house on the hill”. Visiting your mom’s store was always fun and interesting.

    I can also remember walking up all of those steps to the top of the hill, sometimes picking wild asparagus when it was in season and having it for dinner. There were other things that I recall as well like singing the old Oscar Meyer Wiener theme song, that was you two, not me. I miss all of those old days.

    I just saw a news special on the 10 o’clock KARE11 News highlighting the city of Hudson and it’s specialty stores among other things and I thought of your family. I hope the two of you are doing well.

    God bless!

    Pete Ronhovde

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