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Ruth Howard

Sept. 26, 1949-Feb. 8, 2008

Ruth A. Howard, 58, of Mahnomen, died Friday, February 8, 2008 at the Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

Ruth Ann Williams was born the daughter of James and Florence (Riffel) Williams on Sept. 26, 1949 in St. Louis, Mo. She grew up in the St Louis area and graduated from Webster Grove High School in 1967. Ruth married Dale Howard and through this union she had two daughters, Michelle and Angela. Ruth was later blessed with three more daughters, Julie, Elizabeth, and Rachael.

While raising her girls, Ruth worked various jobs in St. Louis. In 1985, Ruth moved to Strawberry Lake, where she purchased a farm. In 1993 she moved to Mahnomen, where she purchased her current farm and residence. She continued to farm independently and raise horses at both locations from that time forward. Since November 2006, Ruth has courageously battled lung cancer.

Ruth was an avid traveler and had the opportunity to visit both England and Ireland. From 1993-99, Ruth was appointed to the Governor's Council on Partners and Policy, where she served as an advocate for disabled children. She was passionate about politics and was always ready for a debate. She greatly enjoyed jazz music and often played the piano. She loved going to rodeos and truly treasured working with her horses. Ruth loved her grandchildren and cherished the time she was able to spend with her family.

Ruth is survived by her mother, Florence Williams of St. Louis; her life companion, Leo Zaviska; five daughters, Michelle (Carl) Stanley of Menahga, Angela (Jerry) Heinen of Rogers, Ariz., and Julie (Santiago) Quiroz, Elizabeth Brinkman and Rachel Howard, all of Mahnomen; three brothers, James, Steven, and Thomas Williams; four sisters, Jane Ryder, Karen Stinger, Martha Fererro and Mary Williams; seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Her father James and a brother, John, preceded Ruth in death.

Local services are scheduled from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in White Earth, with a Prayer Service at 6 p.m. The funeral mass and burial will take place in St. Louis.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home of Mahnomen. An online guest book is available at