Ruth Lorraine Fortney
Ruth Lorraine Fortney, 94, of rural Soldiers Grove, WI, put her right hand into the Lord’s and took her final step from this earthly home on Friday, October 4, 2019, at Soldiers Grove Health Services, where she spent her last 18 months. She was surrounded by loved ones at the time of her passing. Ruth was born on December 10, 1924 at home in Johnstown Valley, Crawford County, to Lars and Carrie (Hanserud) Olson. She was baptized and confirmed at Mt. Sterling Lutheran Church.
Ruth graduated from Gays Mills High School in 1943. On May 10, 1944, she married Clifford Fortney in Viroqua, WI. Ruth and Clifford celebrated 59 years together raising four children and farming in Johnstown Valley and Mt. Zion. She was a member of Franklin Lutheran Church in Folsom and a member of the Hannah Circle.
Ruth loved playing cards, watching “Wheel of Fortune,” working in her garden, cooking, baking, and sharing her delicious Norwegian treats with all. She was especially well-known for her homemade donuts. Throughout her life, she celebrated birthdays and holidays, which were important family traditions that she passed along to her children.
Ruth is survived by her children: Ronald (Lorraine) Fortney, Gays Mills, WI; Phyllis (Gary) Haugland, La Crosse, WI; Diane Fortney (Greg Bakkestuen) and John Fortney, Viroqua, WI; Brother-in-law: Irvin Dregne, Viroqua, WI; Grandchildren: Wendy (Scott) Wright, Aaron (Nicole) Fortney, Justin (Rita) Fortney, Britt (Mark) Drake, Hans Haugland (Jessica Kaufmann), Leif Haugland (Elizabeth Lieder), Torre (Steve) Kramer, Sheena George (Tyler Halverson), Taylor (Joe) Gjefle, Shane Bakkestuen, Tiffany (Rich) Copus, Michelle (Nick) Brown; Great Grandchildren: Drew (Anastasia) King, Luke, Lydon and Cayden Wright, Kayla (Bob) Noel, Hunter Fortney, Lincoln and Elliott Drake, Abigail and Evelyn Kramer, Sophia George, Havyn Gjefle, James, Joe and Alice Lieder, Marigh and Amber Bakkestuen, Logan Turben, Devin Brown, Alycen, Mariah and Iziah Copus, Ian, Hadley and Nadia Brown and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Clifford, and grandson Cody George, her parents, brothers and sisters and in-laws: Borghild and Milfred Burkum, Thomas and Alice Olson, Arnold Olson, Melvin and Myra Olson, Lillian and Peder Pedersen; Leona (Irvin) Dregne and Jeanette and Fay McDaniel; two nephews and one niece.
A Celebration of Her Life will be held at Franklin Lutheran Church, Saturday, October 19, 2019 with a visitation at 1 p.m. and service at 2 p.m. Pastor Jeanette M. Thorp will officiate. Ruth’s final resting place will be in the church cemetery. A special thanks to the staff at Soldiers Grove Health Services and VMH Hospice for the loving care of our mother. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family. Online condolences may be offered at www.couleecremation.com.