Ruth M. Branhagen

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 5:54 pm

Ruth M. Branhagen, 88, of Decorah, passed away peacefully at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Pastor Amy Zalk Larson officiating. Burial was in Washington Prairie Lutheran Cemetery in rural Decorah. Visitation was 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah and Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m., one hour before the service, at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to WMC Hospice, 901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah served the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist was Brooke Joyce. Congregational hymns were “Beautiful Savior” and “Children of the Heavenly Father.” Vocalist was Paul Casterton (“The Lord’s Prayer”). Casket bearers were Joe Branhagen, Steve Kelley, Jason Orton, Ryan Petersburg, Dave Tveter and Erick Ude. Honorary bearers were Wayne Petersburg, Gene Ude, Arlin Branhagen and Darrel Branhagen.    

Ruth was born Oct. 22, 1927, in Calmar Township, Winneshiek County, to Joseph Oliver and Myrtle Charlotte (Wheatman) Flaskerud. Ruth attended country school in Madison Township and graduated from Decorah High School with the class of 1946, and continued on to her teaching certificate. She was married to Lester Raymond Branhagen July 8, 1949, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah; they were married 67 years. They were blessed with four children: Richard, Julie, Diane and Alan. Ruth taught country school for four years. Les and Ruth owned the Cozy Tea Room, The Green Parrot and Les’s Lunch before managing Silvercrest Golf and Country Club. She retired in 1993. She was a former Girl Scout leader, and enjoyed birds, butterflies, gardening and especially her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her favorite pastimes were cheering on the Chicago Cubs, taking a drive to Bluffton to look for eagles and getting together with her family at 3 o’clock on Saturdays for coffee and sweets.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Lester of Decorah; four children: Richard (Pam) Branhagen of Onalaska, Wis.; Julie (Gene) Ude of Decorah; Diane (Wayne) Petersburg of Decorah; and Alan Branhagen of Kansas City, Mo.; a sister, Pearl (Gerald) Gilbertson of Decorah; six grandchildren: Ryan (Krista) Petersburg of Webster City; Sarah (Jason) Orton of Webster City; Lauren Ude of Minneapolis, Minn.; Erick Ude of Des Moines; Jennifer Branhagen of Onalaska, Wis.; and Joe Branhagen of La Crosse, Wis.; and three great grandchildren: Wyatt and Bryn Orton; and Landry Petersburg.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister, Arlene Tveter.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to WMC Hospice, 901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101.

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