August 24, 1924 - July 22, 2020


Funeral Services will be 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 24, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sauk Rapids for Ruth F. Gottschalk, age 95, of Sauk Rapids who died Wednesday at Good Shepherd Community in Sauk Rapids. Rev. John Beck and Rev. Paul Cloeter will officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services on Friday at the church in Sauk Rapids.

Ruth Florence (Thurley) Gottschalk was born at home on August 24, 1924 to Arthur & Wilhemina (Fischer) Thurley in Winona, Minnesota, the youngest of 7 children. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Martin Lutheran Church of Winona. She started school at the age of 4 and graduated from Winona High School at the age of 16 as an Honor student, enjoying school, sports, and activities of all kinds. During a Walther League youth gathering, where she was a cheerleader, she met a handsome basketball player, Elmer Gottschalk from Rochester, Minnesota, and it was love at first sight. They dated for 5 years, as World War II delayed their wedding day, but finally on September 28, 1946 they happily became husband and wife. (They were just shy of 70 years of marriage when Elmer passed away on December 12, 2015.) Ruth graduated with honors from the Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota and was a lifetime member of that association. She also was a member of the Nurse Cadet Corp. in 1943-46. Ruth practiced nursing in all areas of medicine, but her primary areas were in surgical and obstetrics, including being an RN for ten years in the post-surgical floor at the St. Cloud Hospital. Ruth was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Sauk Rapids holding many church roles in the Ladies Aid, the Human Care Committee, Sunday School Teacher, and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Zone Recording Secretary. She volunteered at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Community, Meals on Wheels, and sewed quilts for the missions.

Survivors include her sons, Gary (Ann) of LaGrange, IL, Bruce (Jan) of Lakeville, MN; daughter, Nancy (Kurt) Knettel of Melissa, TX; daughter-in-law, Lorilyn of Minneapolis, MN; 10 grandchildren, Andy (Erin), Stephanie (Dave), Lorissa (Matt), Michael (Megan), Jonathan (Stefanie), Rachel, Paul, and Jacob (Alex); and 16 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Elmer; son, Stephen; brothers, Albert, Arthur, Robert, Freddy; sisters, Elsie Dorsch and Louise Livingston.

Ruth’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Moments Hospice and the staff of Good Shepherd.

Memorials are preferred to Trinity Lutheran Church.