July 3, 1933 - January 24, 2020


Ruth McMaster, 86, of Waite Park, MN passed away peacefully on the morning of January 24th, surrounded by family. Ruth was born in Chicago, IL on July 3, 1933 to parents, Dorothy and Charles Herzberger. She was the second oldest in a family of five. Ruth spent her formative years in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. It is there she met her wonderful husband, Bill, and had three children, Tom, Laura and Heather. In 1974, the couple moved to Baudette, MN, purchasing and operating the local airport and where Bill later became a corporate pilot. In 1986, the couple moved to the Virginia/Eveleth, MN area and in 2000, after retirement, they moved to St. Cloud to be nearer their daughter and her family. Above all, Ruth valued her family. Her many nieces and nephews can attest to the fact that she never missed sending a birthday card or checking in regularly. She was a lioness of a mother and would do anything for her children. She was the best mother one could ask for. She was also the greatest grandma (Nana) and great grandma any child could imagine, rarely missing a sport’s or social event that involved her grandchildren once they lived nearby. She knew how to really PLAY! She was an incredibly kind and social person, making dear friends everywhere she lived. She volunteered for several organizations including running cancer support groups (Ruth miraculously survived lung cancer in 1980), driving for Meals on Wheels, and being a Guardian Ad Litem. She was an avid walker and loved to golf with her husband. She was a great bowler. She loved to dance and often said she’d have been a dancer in another life. She gently and secretly led, making any partner look like they knew what they were doing.

She was a passionate Frank Sinatra fan, once skipping school to see him perform, resulting in quite the licking from her father. On her dresser is a framed photo of Jesus on one side and Frank on the other. Ruth was also a devout Catholic. She loved old movies, with a particular love for musicals, tear jerkers, and anything with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Ruth had impeccable style, beautiful skin, and, rarely missed her weekly hair appointments. She could make any home feel stylish and all who visited feel welcome. She loved to entertain and play cards. She was fierce -- smart, funny, stubborn, loyal, generous and strong, emotionally and physically. She beat cancer! She was also very sentimental. She could whistle louder than anyone. She rarely baked from scratch. She made the best spaghetti and meatballs and loved her Crock Pot. Ruth’s favorite color was blue. She was a great speller. "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" was her and Bill’s song, but the two could do the most beautiful duet of "You are My Sunshine", with Ruth singing harmony. She loved shrimp, butter pecan ice-cream, Turtle clusters, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Most of all, she loved her husband deeply and missed him dearly when he passed. Ruth spent her last few years living in a 55+ community in Waite Park, MN, where, even in her 80s, she made several dear friends.

Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Bill, her sister and best friend, Joan, and her brother, Bob.

She is survived by her brothers, Charles and William, her son, Tom, her daughters, Laura (Sjostrand) and Heather, sons-in law, Neil Sjostand and Sandy Ferguson, 6 grandchildren and their spouses--Tony (Sarah), Corrine (Ross), Ashley (Eric), Chelsi (Zak), Lucia and Senia- and 9 great grandchildren—Tait, Devon, Drake, Jaxsen, Lily, Brody, Cooper, Coral and Bronson.

Ruth will be greatly missed by all. We hope she is happily dancing with Bill.