Ruth Hanssen was born December 25, 1923 to Paul and Anna (Mendel) Tschetter on a farm northeast of Bridgewater. She attended country school and graduated from Canistota High School in 1941. She received her teaching degree from Sioux Falls College. For 13 years she taught in rural schools near Emery. In 1967 she began teaching at the Emery School and in most recent years was a substitute teacher until retiring in 2006. She graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1971 with her four year degree in education. On July 9, 1946 she married Harry Hanssen at an evening ceremony on the lawn of her parent’s home east of Emery. Ruth liked gardening, especially flowers, cooking, baking and crocheting. Ruth enjoyed baking goodies for the Emery School employees and was happy to have her entire family come to her home. She was a member of the First Baptist Church and was a volunteer for the Senior Citizens Meals.
She is survived by three children: Brenda (Russell) Gulbranson, Sioux Falls; Darwin (Joy) Hanssen, Bellevue, NE; Cindy Speck, Greeley, CO; eight grandchildren: Chad (Amy) Gulbranson, Lonnie (Angi) Heibult, Andy (Alison) Pulford, Scott (Heather) Hanssen, Brent (Kim) Hanssen, Mike (Karina) Hanssen, Kelsey Speck and Paul Speck, six great-grandsons: Talon Hanssen, Dylan Gulbranson, Austin Heibult, Trent Hanssen, Brock Hanssen, Jack Pulford and a step-great-grandson, Ty Smith, five great-granddaughters: Katy Gulbranson, Avery Heibult, Grace Pulford, Lana Hanssen and Fernanda Hanssen and a sister-in-law, Frances Tschetter, Bridgewater.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, four brothers: Edmund, Joe, Jake and Paul, and three sisters: Elizabeth Fluth, Rose Bleeker and an infant sister, Annie.